Today’s news shows why pre-orders don’t always mean a guaranteed delivery as Lily, the company behind an upcoming autonomous camera drone has announced that are shutting down, despite amassing $34m in pre-orders.
The news was announced in an email to customers, in which the start-up revealed that they had failed to raise enough additional funds to start production of the drone and that they will be reimbursing all pre-order customers within the next 60 days.
The company’s co-founders, Henry Bradlow and Antoine Balaresque said the following about it in the email:
“Over the past few months, we have tried to secure financing in order to unlock our manufacturing line and ship our first units – but have been unable to do this.
“As a result, we are deeply saddened to say that we are planning to wind down the company and offer refunds to customers.”
The camera drone was first unveiled in a promotional video in May 2015, in which Lily showed a drone that was said to be the first ever “throw-and-shoot” camera that could track users and capture footage of them.
It featured a battery life that lasted up to 20 minutes, with a waterproof design and a price tag of just $499, so naturally, it was pretty interesting to the outdoor types.
60,000 customers are believed to have pre-ordered the drone thinking that it would ship in February 2016, that date didn’t happen and now the market is full of drones that do it in a similar, if not better way.