Zwoop collapses ahead of UK app launch

Sian Bradley's picture
by Sian Bradley
Zwoop planned to launch its app in the UK

AI powered e-commerce assistant, Zwoop, has fallen into administration shortly before its planned UK app launch.

Zwoop raised $13m from billionaire Robert Friedland and his company Ivanhoe Capital Corporation in October 2016.

It had big plans, with offices operating in Hong Kong, where the platform technology was developed, London where go-to-market and communications activities were managed, and Singapore where the enterprise relationships and token entity structure were headed. It's LinkedIn page claims it had 50 full-time employees across those three firms.

Billionaire Robert Friedland
Billionaire tycoon Robert Friedland poured $13m into the startup

Zwoop planned to use the money to hire more staff in its London office and to hold the global launch of its app in the UK.  The app was powered by AI, machine learning and language processing, to ‘remove the frustrations and inefficiencies of e-commerce.’  

But then, founder Alessandro Gadotti quit the company over a row about a unaccounted $2m, and its plan to raise $30m was scrapped.

Gadotti previously served as APAC CEO of Powa Technologies. Powa, who had acquired ZNAP for US$75 million in May 2014, went into liquidation in February 2016. 

According to sources, thousands of unpaid bills were left following Zwoop’s demise.  Allegedly, one London marketing agency is owed £42,000 by the firm, and a public relations company has an unpaid bill of £30,000. In September 2018, Zwoop also suspended the sale of its ICO, due to "updated legal opinion". 

Plans for a Zwoop office opening in Covent Garden were also scrapped.