After five years of delivering forecasts, the weather service Poncho will shut down. According to Fast Company, Poncho has been sold by its parent company, Betaworks, to Dirty Lemon, a beverage startup that makes expensive detox drinks ($7.50 to $10.83 for a 16-ounce bottle) that are mostly water and lemon juice. It’s a strange end for Poncho, though it’s kind of a wonder that the service lasted this long.
Poncho launched in 2013 and immediately stood out in two ways: it texted the weather to your phone every morning, and the app pretended that all of its messages were written by a cartoon cat. The service eventually expanded into apps and chatbots and added other features like alarms, but it was ultimately the core weather-telling service and cuteness that was its main attraction.
Apparently, Poncho didn’t catch on widely enough. Fast Company, which spoke with Poncho and Dirty Lemon, says the app is being purchased for its text messaging infrastructure and development talents. Dirty Lemon markets straight to consumers and evidently wants to use Poncho’s tech to help it sell drinks to customers over SMS. The entire Poncho team is said to be joining the beverage startup. It’s not clear how soon Poncho will shut down. Poncho raised $2 million on Apple’s Planet of the Apps last year.
This is Betaworks’ second sale of a beloved property just in 2018. Back in April, it sold Digg to an ad-tech company called BuySellAds. While selling companies is in some ways a success for a startup incubator, neither of these recent sales sound like big wins for Betaworks.