With $34 million in pre-orders, it looked like the autonomous drone from Lily Robotics was ready for launch. Unfortunately, the San Francisco based company was unable to acquire necessary funds in order to allow the manufacture and production of their first drone.
“We have been racing against a clock of ever-diminishing funds,” wrote the company’s cofounders Henry Bradlow and Antoine Balaresque. “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.”
“We want to thank you for sticking with us and believing in us during this time,” its cofounders wrote. “Our community was the drive that kept us going even as circumstances became more and more difficult.”
Lily saw an immediate and dramatic surge in popularity upon their launch with a video that went viral with 12 million views in May 2015. Their drone was able to follow around snowboarders, kayakers and other outdoor adventurers and navigate around objects on its own.
Although the company received an impressive 60,000 pre-orders for a total of $34 million, Lily ran into production issues which caused delay after delay until it was eventually revealed the drone would never be released.
It’s unfortunate the drone will never see the light of day. Even though it was revealed the prototype didn’t actually function as well as the drone represented in the video, it would’ve been great to see it in action.