The revolutionary helmet manufacturer Skully burst onto the scenes when it successfully became a crowdfunding success story on 9th October 2014. Skully raised an enormous $2,446,824 making it by far the most successful wearable tech investment that crowdfunding had ever known!
Skully took the world by storm, promising innovations which were once dreams of the future. The SKULLY AR- 1 was the first helmet to feature a built-in 180° Blindspot Camera and Heads-Up Display for unparalleled situational awareness and safety. It was a proper ‘Smart motorcycle helmet’. Featuring built in audio, video, and navigation.
Bikers across the globe were so excited, that the company raised over $2.4 Million from helmet preorders alone.
Skully also secured an enormous $11 million in Series A financing back in February 2015, leading to increased confidence in the brand, and in the products eventual successful launch.
Over the course of the next 12 months, amazingly, the company burnt through that money and started to rapidly run out of funds.
People started to get concerned when Skully missed its original May 2015 promised ship date, leading people to wonder when, and if, they would ever receive their new lids. Unfortunately, that concern does appear to have been completely justified.
2016 saw the start of Skully’s demise. Skully’s CEO and co-founder Marcus Weller dramatically departed the company back in July, supposedly being ousted by the tech start up. His brother Mitch, who served as chief of staff also left the company. Following the brothers departure, the reins were handed over to COO Martin Fitcher.
Whilst it was clear that the tech start up was in difficulty, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the drastic leadership changes were implemented to bring the company back on track. Unfortunately, far quicker than any of us thought possible, it appears that Skully has ceased operations. Whilst their website is currently still active, they have marked all items as out of stock, and appear to have switched off the ability to purchase.
Unfortunately it is so far unclear if the 3000+ early investors are likely to see any of their money back, or indeed receive a finished product. Reports indicate that this is unlikely, as the company has ceased operations with several of their suppliers, and their manufacturer with unpaid bills, as well as at least 50 full time employees that are being made redundant.
Crowdfunding site Indiegogo does make clear that you are parting with your cash as an investor and not a customer. They do warn that there are no guarantees that the project you are backing will be a success, and therefore you may not receive the product you are ‘purchasing’.
Whilst all currently seems lost, there are reports that marketing VP Carlos Rodriguez has said that “The Skully executive team is working diligently on closing a round of funding so that we can continue to fulfill our pre-orders and delight our customers”.
The coming days and weeks should shed more light, but for now, if you were one of the 3,000+ people to pre-order, now would be a good time to cross your fingers!