It was already known that in Anki They were struggling to keep the business afloat, but today Boris Sofman, CEO of the company, had a meeting with all employees to confirm what many feared: the closure of the company and the dismissal of its 200 employees.
For those who do not remember, Anki achieved fame when, in 2013, she appeared in an Apple keynote featuring the groundbreaking and surprising Anki Drive, a kind of scalextric controlled from the iPhone with carts full of sensors They offered a mix of video games and toys.
In the same way, Anki was well known for your little cute robots with artificial intelligenceCozmo and Vector, who offered a personal toy with educational and assistant functions, and whose personality reminded us Wall-E, is that both the animation of the eyes and the personality of these robots were the work of a Pixar animator.
Anki raised more than 200 million dollars
Sofman mentioned during the meeting on Monday that the reason for the closure of the company is because they did not find enough funding to keep the company afloat, then they can not afford a hardware and software business and create a long-term work plan.
"We ran out of funds to support a hardware and software business and we bridged our long-term work plan, and despite our successes in the past, we are looking for ways to fund the development of our future products. An important financial agreement has failed with a strategic investor and we have not been able to reach an agreement. We are doing everything possible to take care of each of our employees and their families, and our management team will continue to explore the options available. "
Anki will stop operating from May 1 and the 200 employees who are part of the company will receive only one week's salary as compensation. That decision was made after a new round of funding failed at the last minute because although they sought to develop a robotics and artificial intelligence company, the image perceived by the public and investors was from a toy company. and entertainment.
During her short life, Anki has achieved more than $ 200 million in investment and there have even been offers from Microsoft, Amazon and Comcast. Last year, they claimed that during 2017 they sold almost 100 million dollars and that in 2018 they would exceed this amount, but so far there is no official announcement of sales.
- Robotics and AI
- Business and Economy