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Matrix Backed Protonn Shuts Down In Less Than A Year After $9 Mn Seed Funding

Matrix Backed Protonn Shuts Down In Less Than A Year After $9 Mn Seed Funding

Protonn used to allow independent professionals including lawyers, graphic designers and nutritionists to launch their own businesses online

It was founded in 2020 by former Flipkart executives Anil Goteti and Mausam Bhatt

The global freelance platform market size was projected to reach $9.1 Bn in 2026, growing at a CAGR of 15.3% from $3.39 Bn in 2019

Digital solutions startup Protonn has shut down its business in less than a year after raising $9 Mn in seed funding, according to media reports

Founded in 2020 by former Flipkart executives Anil Goteti and Mausam Bhatt, Proton used to allow independent professionals including lawyers, graphic designers and nutritionists to launch their own business online, create videos, conduct live sessions, generate payment links, and track their performances. 

Anil Goteti had served as a senior vice president at Flipkart before joining Protonn in November 2020. Mausam Bhatt had also worked at Flipkart before leaving to join Google and eventually, Protonn. 

Protonn launched its product in the American market after raising seed funding. The funding round was led by Matrix Partners India with participation from 021 Capital and Tanglin Venture Partners. Angel investors Binny Bansal (Flipkart), Kalyan Krishnamurthy (Flipkart), Neeraj Arora (WhatsApp), Sujeet Kumar (Udaan) and Kunal Shah (CRED) also participated in the round. 

The fund was raised to expand the team, launch new products in the market and continue product development.

According to ET, the startup was unable to find the right product-market fit and the founders didn’t agree to pivot the business towards another line. Hence, it has completely shut operations and let go of all its employees. 

“Covid-19 didn’t help the startup either, but there was a point when a pivot became necessary but founders weren’t on the same page on that,” said a source to the publication, adding that the startup has returned the full capital to its investors.

The global freelance platform market size was projected to reach $9.1 Bn in 2026, growing at a CAGR of 15.3% from $3.39 Bn in 2019. 

The growth in the geek economy market has been led by factors including many companies actively considering bifurcating their workforce and using a hybrid employment model. Inclusion of full-time as well as part-time/freelance workforce is quite a trend post the pandemic.

This would involve a combination of regular full-time workers and a number of freelance workers, often working remotely. The growing adoption of hybrid models like this and similar to this is expected to drive growth in the industry further.