Despite ample investment money, the downtown Mountain View start-up Quixey is reportedly closing its doors. In recent days the tech company filed paperwork saying it was laying off nearly 50 employees and permanently closing its Castro Street offices.
Quixey launched in 2009 as a search engine for the rapidly growing app marketplace. The start-up quickly attracted investment capital, and by 2015 the company was being valued at $600 million.
But signs of problems emerged not long afterward. Early last year, a wave of employees departed as Quixey posted disappointing revenues. The company tried to pivot its business model from a search engine to advertising within apps.
Quixey's main backer was the Chinese tech giant Alibaba, which signed a deal to invest about $110 million in the Silicon Valley start-up. But the relationship between the two companies had apparently become strained and Alibaba withheld further investment.
Quixey representatives declined to comment.