Author Topic: Lily Drone Folds After Funding Dries Up  (Read 9155 times)

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Offline EEVblog

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Lily Drone Folds After Funding Dries Up
« on: January 12, 2017, 04:07:35 pm »
Even with $34M (MILLION!) in pre-orders from 60,000 people, they have now folded without delivering anything.
Refunds are being offered though.
As early as December 20th they Tweeted that they were delivering.
Turns out they were relying upon new funding in order to do that. That funding didn't come through.

Backer email:

Quote
The Adventure Comes to an End
 
Dear Lily community,

Antoine and Henry here from the Lily team. When Lily set out on the journey to create a flying camera over 3 years ago, we were determined to develop and deliver a product that would exceed your expectations.

In the past year, the Lily family has had many ups and downs. We have been delighted by the steady advancements in the quality of our product and have received great feedback from our Beta program. At the same time, we have been racing against a clock of ever-diminishing funds. 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 (details below).

We want to thank you for sticking with us and believing in us during this time. Our community was the drive that kept us going even as circumstances became more and more difficult. Your encouraging words through our forums and in your emails gave us hope and the energy we needed to keep fighting.

Before we sign off, we want to thank all the people who have worked at Lily, who have partnered with us, and who have invested in us. Thank you for giving your all, nights, weekends and holidays, in the effort to deliver a great product.

After so much hard work, we are sad to see this adventure come to an end. We are very sorry and disappointed that we will not be able to deliver your flying camera, and are incredibly grateful for your support as a pre-order customer. Thank you for believing in our vision and giving us the opportunity to get this far. We hope our contribution will help pave the way for the exciting future of our industry.

Sincerely,
Antoine and Henry
Lily Founders


Refund Details:
Lily will be offering a refund to customers over the next 60 days. We will be initiating refunds to the payment card used for the original transaction (no action is required on your part; please allow 14 days for the refund to appear on your statement).

If the card you used is expired, please fill out this form so we can work with you on providing a refund by other means (e.g., PayPal or check).

« Last Edit: January 12, 2017, 04:12:08 pm by EEVblog »
 

Offline Kean

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Re: Lily Drone Folds After Funding Dries Up
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2017, 04:32:18 pm »
Wow!  I wonder what they're not saying...
Presumably their build cost was going to be way higher than they anticipated, and thus there wasn't going to be  the ROI expected by VC/financers.
 
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Offline ataradov

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Re: Lily Drone Folds After Funding Dries Up
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2017, 04:58:13 pm »
Were they spamming forums with some new FAA rules copy-paste?
Alex
 

Offline vodka

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Re: Lily Drone Folds After Funding Dries Up
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2017, 06:03:02 pm »
They  will refund the money  :-DD :-DD  that is i think. 
By experience with other bankrupts, when a person needs 60 days for refund the money , he hasn't the money and he has to ask to loan somebody.
 

Offline ivaylo

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Re: Lily Drone Folds After Funding Dries Up
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2017, 06:19:10 pm »
Interesting, 3D Robotics folded burning investors similar amount of money - http://www.forbes.com/sites/ryanmac/2016/10/05/3d-robotics-solo-crash-chris-anderson/#4fc7954d4840
They did produce a drone which hit the stores, but apparently couldn't save them...
 

Online Kilrah

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Re: Lily Drone Folds After Funding Dries Up
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2017, 09:59:53 pm »
Will be interesting to see how refunds work out.

They could very well still be sitting on a considerable amount of cash, but having so grossly underestimated the production costs that if they started manufacturing they'd make a significant loss on each unit.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Lily Drone Folds After Funding Dries Up
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2017, 10:37:34 pm »
Will be interesting to see how refunds work out.
They could very well still be sitting on a considerable amount of cash, but having so grossly underestimated the production costs that if they started manufacturing they'd make a significant loss on each unit.

I can't imagine they'd be sitting on anything close to $30M in cash.
 

Offline nixfu

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Re: Lily Drone Folds After Funding Dries Up
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2017, 06:55:16 am »
Dear Dave, please come home.  :)
 

Offline Brumby

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Re: Lily Drone Folds After Funding Dries Up
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2017, 11:23:29 am »
Would have been interesting to see the final product....

https://youtu.be/lWAhoAIcELM
 

Offline dunkemhigh

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Re: Lily Drone Folds After Funding Dries Up
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2017, 02:08:07 pm »
The UK's El Reg has something on this: apparently the DA is having a go at them for unlawful practices:

http://m.theregister.co.uk/2017/01/13/lily_robotics_faces_lawsuit_for_false_advertising/

One bit of note is:

Quote
The complaint against Lily, obtained by The Register, alleges that the company knowingly misled customers by creating a promotional video that purported to show video footage captured with a Lily drone prototype.

"In fact, none of the video in the Promotional Video was shot by a Lily Camera," the complaint says. "Most notably, the POV footage used in the promotional video was filmed using a professional camera drone called the DJI Inspire."

Apparently they (allegedly) fibbed about the footage from a prototype, making out it was from the Lily camera when it was from a GoPro. OK, fair enough that fibbing is a naughtly thing to do, but was the prototype supposed to be the final thing? I mean, if it's a technology demo, isn't it OK to say "this is what it will look like" (noting that they didn't have small print saying it wasn't the real thing as you'd buy it).
 

Online Kilrah

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Re: Lily Drone Folds After Funding Dries Up
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2017, 09:56:33 pm »
I mean, if it's a technology demo, isn't it OK to say "this is what it will look like"
Probably fine IF you say so, which they apparently didn't.

 

Offline dunkemhigh

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Re: Lily Drone Folds After Funding Dries Up
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2017, 10:36:23 pm »
Quote
which they apparently didn't.

Indeed, although a closer reading doesn't say they did fib, only that the boss didn't want the footage to be traced to a GoPro. Kind of like Microsoft not wanting their servers to be known to run Linux (and saying so in internal email), which is fine so long as they don't sell the asp.net services as IIS hosted.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Lily Drone Folds After Funding Dries Up
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2017, 10:38:03 pm »
Apparently they (allegedly) fibbed about the footage from a prototype, making out it was from the Lily camera when it was from a GoPro. OK, fair enough that fibbing is a naughtly thing to do, but was the prototype supposed to be the final thing? I mean, if it's a technology demo, isn't it OK to say "this is what it will look like" (noting that they didn't have small print saying it wasn't the real thing as you'd buy it).

The problem is they didn't say it was from a mockup, hence the lawsuit.
Also, it wasn't a prototype, it was shot from a competitors commercial drone.
 

Offline dunkemhigh

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Re: Lily Drone Folds After Funding Dries Up
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2017, 10:59:30 pm »
Quote
Also, it wasn't a prototype

The advert, yes, but the dodgy emails refer to a prototype which had a GoPro mounted on it. I think the desire to explicitly not have it traced to a GoPro may have been because that was a direct competitor rather than to hide that it wasn't the final hardware.
 

Offline madires

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Re: Lily Drone Folds After Funding Dries Up
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2017, 11:02:51 pm »
I wonder if they are telling the truth. They told that they will shut down and refund at the same day the DA informed them about filing a lawsuit. They were "racing against a clock of ever-diminishing funds", but still have enough money left for refunding?
 

Offline dunkemhigh

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Re: Lily Drone Folds After Funding Dries Up
« Reply #15 on: January 14, 2017, 11:06:29 pm »
Quote
"racing against a clock of ever-diminishing funds", but still have enough money left for refunding

I am not defending them (honest!) but that could mean that they were burning through other investment funds and the point at which that runs out and they would have to start on the returns money is where the clock runs out.
 

Offline Fraser

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Re: Lily Drone Folds After Funding Dries Up
« Reply #16 on: January 15, 2017, 12:04:24 am »
The DJI Mavic has just been released as well. It looks pretty amazing and though more expensive it would be strong competition to the Lily. I certainly want a Mavic as it looks well designed and has DJI knowledge and support.

https://www.dji.com/mavic

Fraser
 

Online Kilrah

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Re: Lily Drone Folds After Funding Dries Up
« Reply #17 on: January 15, 2017, 01:48:28 am »
I've had a Mavic for 2 months now, it's a real technology marvel and extremely well crafted fine piece of gear.
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Lily Drone Folds After Funding Dries Up
« Reply #18 on: January 15, 2017, 01:57:05 am »
The Hover camera also looks impressive, though not quite on the same level as the Mavic - amazing nobody thought to put a carbon-fibre shell round a quad before.

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Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Lily Drone Folds After Funding Dries Up
« Reply #19 on: January 15, 2017, 02:15:28 am »
If you read the actual complaint : https://regmedia.co.uk/2017/01/13/lily_complaint.pdf

It appears that they made deliberate attempts to disguise the fact that the demo footage was shot from a GoPro, and there are emails to prove it. Seems like a pretty good case for false advertising.
My guess is it will boil down to whether the crowdfund campaign is subject to the same rules as conventional sales and advertising.
 
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Offline madires

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Re: Lily Drone Folds After Funding Dries Up
« Reply #20 on: January 15, 2017, 02:57:18 am »
Quote
"racing against a clock of ever-diminishing funds", but still have enough money left for refunding

I am not defending them (honest!) but that could mean that they were burning through other investment funds and the point at which that runs out and they would have to start on the returns money is where the clock runs out.

I've just read that they have burned $15 million from some sponsors and didn't touch the money from the preorders. Kudos for that.
 

Offline Howardlong

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Re: Lily Drone Folds After Funding Dries Up
« Reply #21 on: January 15, 2017, 03:37:08 am »
I don't believe I've seen it stated anywhere how much the refund would be, i.e., nowhere have I seen it state "full refund".
 

Offline eugenenine

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Re: Lily Drone Folds After Funding Dries Up
« Reply #22 on: January 15, 2017, 03:41:42 am »
I would think most anyone on here could design an RC coptor with a camera for 34 million.
 

Online Marco

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Re: Lily Drone Folds After Funding Dries Up
« Reply #23 on: January 15, 2017, 04:26:16 am »
The Hover camera also looks impressive, though not quite on the same level as the Mavic - amazing nobody thought to put a carbon-fibre shell round a quad before.

Patents? There have been a few protected rotor quads before.
 

Online Kilrah

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Re: Lily Drone Folds After Funding Dries Up
« Reply #24 on: January 15, 2017, 04:32:46 am »
My guess is it will boil down to whether the crowdfund campaign is subject to the same rules as conventional sales and advertising.
Their problem there is they didn't use any of the usual crowdfunding platforms, they did their own thing where they really took "pre-orders", not "investments" - so it will likely be considered as "pre-order sales" and not "crowdfunding"...

I would think most anyone on here could design an RC coptor with a camera for 34 million.

The whole point for this one was not to be "RC" but fully autonomous with barely any user interaction required, or even possible. Even the biggest players aren't quite to that level yet.

My guess is that they folded simply because they were way too optimistic at the start. If they delivered something now, already more than a year late it would be nothing like what they advertised either in design or capabilities, everybody would go batshit crazy about them, so they really had no choice.

« Last Edit: January 15, 2017, 04:36:48 am by Kilrah »
 


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