Startups.co comes to the aid of closed on-demand virtual assistant firm Zirtual - A startup that had raised $5.5 million suddenly dissolved. It deleted its Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, and Google + profile. It changed its website to say its "pausing operations." However, there could be a second chance for Zirtual, the startup that ceased operations on Monday, terminating over 400 employees through email.
After 2 days of silence, founder Maren Kate Donovan finally wrote in a medium post that the company was burning more cash than it was taking in.
Zirtual has a deal to be acquired by Wil Schroter, CEO of Startups.co, a startup launch platform. It will acquire Zirtual and relaunch the service, which provides personal assistants to help clients with tasks such as doing research, managing calendars and booking travel.
Zirtual notified its employees about the acquisition and gave the opportunity to re-apply. However, it was unclear how many would be hired back, though Schroter noted in a separate post that it wouldn't be all of them.
Donovan noted that the increased operating cost came from converting its workers from contractors to employees with benefits, a move that can add 20 percent or more to labor costs.
Zirtual clients might also be frustrated. The service cost $399 a month for 16 hours of assistance, some paid for multiple months up front. We cannot offer refunds to clients directly, an FAQ on Startup.co's website said. The clients have the option to seek charge backs from their credit card company or bank, Zirtual said.