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Internet-connected wine bottle startup Kuvée is shutting down

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Kuvee smart wine bottle Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Kuvée, the startup that makes a Wi-Fi-connected wine bottle complete with touchscreen, has announced it is shutting down, as reported by Business Insider.

The system, which The Verge tested (and called gloriously dumb) in March 2016, is basically a sleeve with a touchscreen that fits over proprietary wine cartridges. Once a cartridge is put into the sleeve, the touchscreen displays information about the wine, like the grape it’s made from and pairing notes. The initial purchase of the sleeve and four cartridges costs $178, with additional cartridges — that could be purchased through the touchscreen — priced between $15 and $50. Kuvée said that its system would keep wine fresh for 30 to 60 days.

Though there was significant initial interest in Kuvée — the early bird preorders on Indiegogo sold out in three hours — it wasn’t enough to keep the company going. In a goodbye note, Kuvée CEO Vijay Manwani pointed toward the difficulty of educating the public about the product and says that “last year’s Napa fires affected our ability to scale our customer base over the holiday season and hence our ability to raise the funds required to continue building awareness of Kuvée.”

Manwani says in the note that Kuvée will continue to seek a partner that can “acquire or leverage the Kuvée technology and bring it to market at part of their own business model,” but all of its business operations are ceasing today, just about a year and a half after it initially started shipping. That means if you have a Kuvée system, it’s going to be useless once the company’s remaining stock sells out. From now through March 26th, Kuvée is selling all wines at 50 percent off with code LASTORDER.