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Seattle-based Egraphs seemed to be paving the way for the future of the autograph, but suddenly, the startup is shutting down operations.

CEO David Auld told us that the company simply ran out of funds.

“We weren’t able to raise additional capital and weren’t generating enough income to sustain ourselves,” CEO David Auld said. “We just ran out of money in the end.”

eGraphs, which was founded in July 2011, allowed fans to purchase a high-resolution photo and attach instructions for a personalized message. Athletes received a notification via a custom iPad app and signed pictures. Once completed, a link to the digital photo was sent back to the fan via email.

The news today comes as somewhat of a surprise, as the company had brought on hundreds of athletes across the NBA and MLB, along with racing and swimming celebrities. eGraphs also had expanded into the entertainment world with comedians and musicians.

According to the company’s Facebook and Twitter pages, eGraphs was growing the business as late as this month, attending events like NBA All-Star Weekend and MLB’s Spring Training.

One interesting note here is a lawsuit that was filed by Florida-based Autography last August against eGraphs. Tom Walters of Autography claimed that Brian Auld, brother of David, took his idea for electronic autographs even after signing confidentially agreements, then went and helped create eGraphs with David.

David Auld wouldn’t say if this played a role in the company’s closing.

Here’s what’s posted on the eGraphs home page:

Dear Friends,

Sadly, I must announce that we will be shutting down Egraphs.

We ran into some unforeseen obstacles that ultimately prevented us from continuing to operate. It has been a very difficult time for us here at the company, as every one of us was dedicated to building out the future of fan-celebrity interactions. We were fortunate enough to witness some amazing experiences between you all, and it was what enabled us to work up to this point.

We wanted to send our sincerest thanks to those of you that have supported our company in any way.

For our customers, we hope you enjoyed and continue to enjoy your egraphs. Every celebrity put a little of themselves into each one, and we want you to have those memories forever.

To our celebrities, we wanted to give all of you a better way to share yourself with your fans. We hope that someone else will carry our torch forward for you. It was clear to us that you need better ways to interact personally with your fans, and we see a bright future for those options.

To our partners, fans, and others, we appreciate all the numerous ways you directly and indirectly supported us. Launching a new product is never easy, and we could not have even gotten off with ground without a lot of help.

Starting a business is always a gamble and most do not make it to sustainability. The most difficult part is disappointing those of you who believed in the idea with us. We gave Egraphs everything we had, but the landscape proved a little too treacherous.

We will be reaching out to many of you through email to give you more relevant information about your specific situation. If you have any questions or concerns, please continue to email support@egraphs.com.

Thank you all again. We hope you have fond memories of your experiences, as we certainly do.

Sincerely,

David Auld & The Egraphs Team

Comments

  • ThoughtYouShouldNo

    William Chan, one of their engineers tweeted:

    William Chan ‏@w1zz1e
    Pro-tips for starting a promising business. Lesson 1: Don’t get sued. Lesson 2: Don’t get sued. Lesson 3: ….

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