Omni, a digital rentals marketplace that has been struggling to make its business model work despite shifts in direction, is shutting up shop.
According to a report from Tech Crunch, a company spokesperson said: “We’ll be winding down operations at Omni and closing the platform by the end of this year.” Omni has made no announcement on Twitter, however, and its blog site is not operational at press time.
It was reported in October that Coinbase was in talks to acquire Omni’s engineering team to further development of its educational project Coinbase Earn. That news came as Omni was reportedly laying off staff as it struggled to make profits after selling its physical storage business in May, TechCrunch says.
Coinbase has now taken on the dev team, according to the report, with a spokesperson saying:
"Coinbase has reached an agreement with Omni to hire members of its engineering team. We’re always looking for top-tier engineering talent and look forward to welcoming these new team members to Coinbase.”
Last year, Omni raised $25 million in a funding round led by Ripple executives Stefan Thomas and Chris Larsen, who invested directly with the XRP cryptocurrency. The firm has reportedly raised $35 million all told.
The company had started off as a kind of Uber for personal storage, collecting items from users’ residences and holding them in a warehouse until needed again. Its low fees proved to be too low for a viable business, though, the report says.
It then moved on to offering a platform for users to rent out items they were not using, before morphing the service again into a similar rental service for stores, but those too failed to bring in sufficient revenue, according to TechCrunch.