Flooz.com

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Flooz.com
TypeCorporation (closed)
IndustryInternet payments
FoundedFebruary 1999; 23 years ago (1999-02)[1] in New York City
DefunctAugust 26, 2001
HeadquartersNew York City
ProductsFlooz
Websiteflooz.com (web archive)

Flooz.com was a dot-com venture, now defunct, based in New York City that went online in February 1999. It was promoted by comic actress Whoopi Goldberg in a series of television advertisements.[1] Started by iVillage co-founder Robert Levitan, the company attempted to establish a currency unique to Internet merchants, somewhat similar in concept to airline frequent flier programs or grocery store stamp books. The name "flooz" was based upon the Arabic word for money, فلوس, fuloos. Users accumulated flooz credits either as a promotional bonus given away by some internet businesses or purchased directly from flooz.com which then could be redeemed for merchandise at a variety of participating online stores. Adoption of flooz by both merchants and customers proved limited, and it never established itself as a widely recognized medium of exchange, which hindered both its usefulness and appeal.

Use by crime syndicate[edit]

In 2001, Flooz.com was notified by the Federal Bureau of Investigation that a Russian-Filippino organized crime syndicate used $300,000 worth of Flooz and stolen credit card numbers as part of a money-laundering scheme, in which stolen credit cards were used to purchase currency and then redeemed.[2][3] Levitan has stated that fraudulent purchases accounted for 19% of consumer credit card transactions by mid-2001.[4]

Closure[edit]

The company announced its closure on August 26, 2001, perceived as an early indicator of the growing dot-com bubble burst.[4] Upon the company's closing, all unused flooz credits became worthless and nonrefundable. Over its short history, flooz.com reportedly exhausted from $35 million to $50 million in venture capital.[5] The company's bankruptcy was cited as having approximately 325,000 creditors.[6]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Kosoff, Maya (October 16, 2015). "These dot-com startups look just like some of today's hottest tech companies — here's what happened to them". Business Insider. Retrieved February 27, 2016.
  2. ^ Tedeschi, Bob (August 27, 2001). "E-Commerce Report; Seller of Online Currency May Have Been Victim of Fraud". The New York Times. Retrieved February 28, 2016.
  3. ^ "A decade before crypto, one digital currency conquered the world — then failed spectacularly". The Hustle. 2018-06-30. Retrieved 2022-05-09.
  4. ^ a b Aune, Sean P. (January 25, 2010). "Five Dot-Coms That Didn't Survive The Bubble". TechnoBuffalo. Retrieved February 28, 2016.
  5. ^ David Goldman. Top 10 dot-com flops CNNMoney. March 2, 2015.
  6. ^ Myers, Courtney Boyd (July 30, 2011). "Where are they now? New York City's Dot Com Entrepreneurs: Part One". TNW. Retrieved 2022-05-09.