Heavily-backed e-mail startup Goodmail Systems is shutting down. The company, which had raised more than $45 million in venture capital backing and at one point was led by prominent digital media executive Peter Horan, decided to close up shop after a sale to an unspecified company fell through, according to a report in VentureWire. Goodmail was also unable to raise additional funds from its investors, which included eBay (NSDQ: EBAY) founder Pierre Omidyar’s Omidyar Network.
Goodmail’s flagship product was “CertifiedEmail” which appended a “cryptographically secure token” to e-mail messages, which marked them with a “unique blue ribbon envelope icon” so recipients would knew they were authentic. The company’s clients included big names like Time Inc. (NYSE: TWX), StubHub, and Overstock, but CEO Daniel Dreymann tells Venturewire that Goodmail was unable to make a profit after Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) stopped supporting the system last year.
Horan joined Goodmail as CEO in May 2008 after leaving IAC (NSDQ: IACI), where he was CEO of IAC Media and Advertising, saying at the time that “at the risk of sounding reckless, I believe this could be better than Google.” He stepped down in February 2010 but is still listed as chairman.
We asked the company’s PR team for more details — but the e-mail bounced back.