It is a familiar story, a Silicon Valley startup went bust, however, 1-Page was the first to go public on the Australian Stock Exchange. After the share price rose 2,700 percent in the first year, co-founder Joanna Riley was flying high. Unfortunately, 1-Page didn’t have the revenue, paying customers or any other matrix to justify its rapid rise. A $726.2 million valuation seemed high as well, however, by May 2017, shareholders turned on Riley, voting to remove her from the board. According to the Australian Financial Review, even Riley’s own father, who co-founded the 1-Page with his daughter, sold 75 percent of his stake in 1-Page and he isn’t publicly supporting his daughter.
When Riley originally pitched her recruiting software, she excelled at generating buzz, but, unfortunately, she and her sales team were not as good at generating a paying clientele. Using artificial intelligence, 1-Page claimed that they could transform the recruiting process for companies. While 1-Page’s website claims that Fortune 100 clients such as Under Armour are clients of the company’s Talent On-Demand solution, when Forbes interviewed ten former 1-Page staff members, they claimed that this was not true. Under Armour and other prominent clients were given a free trial. Once the free trial was over, most users did not turn into paying clients.
Corporate raider Andrew Chapman bought eight percent of 1-Page and was put on the board at the same time as Riley’s abrupt removal, Now, Chapman wants to close down 1-Page as there is little hope for the company to recover. The company’s product was unworkable, with one former staffer calling the product “vaporware.” The Sydney Morning Herald reported that the board voted to cease operations at 1-Page, nevertheless, 1-Page’s website is up and running, urging businesses to claim an early access invitation to several different products more than one week later. Riley may have had a great idea, but things did not go as planned. Even an overhaul of the business, a new client focus and significantly lowered operating expenses were not enough to convince the shareholders that 1-Page was worth saving.