The venture capital-backed New York tech company on Wednesday submitted a petition in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York in Manhattan.
Hukkster developed an app that alerted users when items they were interested in buying went on sale. The company had 300,000 users and 315 retail partners when it closed its doors, according to its website. A huckster is a person who sells wares or services in the street — a peddler.
The startup, which raised a total of $4.5 million in funding from the twins’ Winklevoss Capital Management LLC and other investors, shut down earlier this month.
In an Aug. 1 e-mail, Hukkster co-founders Erica Bell and Katie Finnegan announced that the website would close. ‘We are writing with the unfortunate news that Hukkster is now closed,’ the duo wrote in the e-mail. ‘Thank you so very much for shopping with Hukkster over the years and supporting us in our mission to save you time and money on the brands you love. It gave us great joy creating a tool to help you access your favorite products, must-haves, little somethings, special gifts, pick-me-ups, finishing touches and perfect accents. … We started Hukkster with nothing more than an idea and had the opportunity to build our dream team and make our vision a reality. While we’re sad to say goodbye, we hope our story inspires all of you to challenge the status quo.’
On its website for the closed company, the ‘Hukkster Family’ says it saved shoppers nearly $39.04 million since its launch and, ‘Now it’s time for a nap.’
Hukkster did not disclose the reasons for its bankruptcy filing in court papers, but debtor counsel Fred Stevens at Klestadt & Winters LLP said the company filed for Chapter 7 to preserve value and complete a sale of its assets.
Stevens said Hukkster had shopped its assets prepetition and ‘has a couple of pending offers, which have been turned over to the [Chapter 7] trustee.’ He directed questions about the timeline of the sale process to Chapter 7 trustee Jil Mazer-Marino of Meyer, Suozzi, English & Klein PC , who could not be reached for comment Thursday.
Hukkster in November 2012 reportedly closed on $1 million in seed financing from Winklevoss Capital and other investors.
According to The Deal Pipeline, on May 14, 2013, Hukkster announced a $2 million seed round from Winklevoss Capital and additional strategic investors, including Lisa Blau, the wife of Related Cos. LP chief executive Jeff Blau, and an investor who has backed other New York startups, including The Daily Muse and Loverly.
On March 12, the company closed its latest VC funding round, raising $1.5 million.
All told, Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, best known for claiming that Mark Zuckerberg stole their idea for Facebook Inc. , sunk $1 million into the tech company. The Winklevosses are working for regulatory approval of a proposed bitcoin exchange-traded fund. According to a Feb. 19 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust would issue shares representing units of fractional interest in bitcoins held by the trust.
In its petition, Hukkster reported $192,860 in assets and $1.63 million in liabilities.
Unsecured creditors include Samtex USA Inc. (owed $420,000), Kris Canekeratne ($220,000), Charles River Associates ($185,000) and Joshua M. Childress Revocable Trust ($150,000).
A Section 341(a) meeting of creditors is scheduled for Oct. 1. Judge Sean H. Lane is presiding over the case.
Calls to Winklevoss Capital were not immediately returned.