Robotics Company Anki Shutting Down

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Anki, a robotics company known for its Vector and Cozmo home robots along with AI-based Anki Drive cars, is shutting down, reports Recode.

Anki CEO Boris Sofman today told all Anki staff that they would be terminated on Wednesday and would be given a week of severance pay. Anki has nearly 200 employees.


Just days ago, employees were told that Anki was aiming to find additional funding after a round of financing fell through. To date, Anki had raised more than $200 million in venture capital from investors like Index Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz.

Anki in 2018 said that it had earned $100 million in revenue in 2017 and expected to exceed that number in 2018, but that wasn't enough to keep the company afloat.

In a statement to Recode, Anki said that it did not have the funding to support its business and reach its long-term product roadmap.
"Despite our past successes, we pursued every financial avenue to fund our future product development and expand on our platforms," a company spokesperson said. "A significant financial deal at a late stage fell through with a strategic investor and we were not able to reach an agreement. We're doing our best to take care of every single employee and their families, and our management team continues to explore all options available."
Anki was founded by roboticists from Carnegie Mellon University and in 2013, launched its first product, Anki Drive, AI-based cars that drove themselves with customer input. After that, Anki came out with Cozmo, a robot aimed at kids, and then Vector, a more advanced robot that sold for $250.

Article Link: Robotics Company Anki Shutting Down
 

alphaod

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Feb 9, 2008
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In this day and age, a lot of startups don't realize they need to sustainable with good online term goals without having to rely on constant outside investments. Unless it can be scaled, they'll have a hard time finding investors.

I would interested to know what kind of business plan they were proposing.
 

reden

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Aug 30, 2006
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In this day and age, a lot of startups don't realize they need to sustainable with good online term goals without having to rely on constant outside investments. Unless it can be scaled, they'll have a hard time finding investors.
Or they hire tons of people, expensive overhead, and no real idea on how they're going to make their companies profitable.
 

macduke

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Jun 27, 2007
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At first I mixed them up with Sphero and was more upset. But this also sucks because I thought that Vector robot toy looked pretty cool. Wanted to get one for my daughter when she was a year or two older and when the price came down a little more. Maybe it will be on a huge discount now and I can pick one up for under $100.
 
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duervo

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Feb 5, 2011
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These products (at least some that I know of) require a mobile app to use. Given Anki is going out of business, it’s only a matter of time before the iOS app for affected products ceases to function on a future version of iOS, which will then render the product useless.

This is why I try to steer clear of physical products that have a dependency of some sort on a mobile app in order to function as advertised.
 

mgmacius

macrumors member
Jan 16, 2008
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Not surprised at all, however cool the demo was the price was way too high. And there was never any real use for their products apart from funny gadgets. That’s not enough!
Oh well
 
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duervo

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Just told my kid (he’s 7.) He is NOT happy. Apparently he was going to put some of this stuff on his Christmas wish list.
 

DocMultimedia

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Sep 8, 2012
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Physical toys are certainly having a problem in the digital world. iPad vs stuffed giraffe. One market that seems saturated with small robotics is K12 education. At a recent conference there were dozens of companies pitching small robotics. Oh well. Things change. :)
 
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wolfshades

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Nov 1, 2007
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These types of products are fun to have. But they don't really fix any kind of problem.
You're right of course, but with the advent of the IoT there are a lot of things out there that seem to catch the consumer eye as "cool" but don't really fix a problem. Case in point: the beyond stupid product "Ember" - a WiFi connected coffee mug, designed to keep your coffee warm for up to an hour. Doesn't actually solve any problems. Most people I know don't leave their coffee sitting somewhere for an hour and expect it to still be warm. It's a niche product at best, yet it's doing gangbusters in sales. Idiots everywhere are buying them.

Source: I am one such idiot. I'd sit down on my chair but I'm not done kicking myself yet.
 
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PinkyMacGodess

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Their website is up, and looks like it's still in business. Hmm...
[doublepost=1556577808][/doublepost]
What’s going to happen to all the current funding and their cash?
It will be divided amongst secured creditors, and management. Hopefully. I'm not a bankruptcy expert, but it does seem amazing that huge amounts of cash disappear during that process.
 

Ken_C

macrumors newbie
Feb 10, 2017
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“Told the employees they would be terminated”, that’s a bit harsh. Just fire them for god sake, much more humane. They probably got the last of the robots to do it. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
[doublepost=1556577899][/doublepost]Exactly what I thought....
 
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PinkyMacGodess

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Sounds like a shock tactic approach to attract that last minute investor. They must have more than one week of cash.
That's a long shot ploy...
[doublepost=1556578533][/doublepost]
These products (at least some that I know of) require a mobile app to use. Given Anki is going out of business, it’s only a matter of time before the iOS app for affected products ceases to function on a future version of iOS, which will then render the product useless.

This is why I try to steer clear of physical products that have a dependency of some sort on a mobile app in order to function as advertised.
Yet I have an old iPad that can't be updated, and it's running really old apps that I loved that were never updated. So, yeah, it's possible to keep using 'old' apps...
[doublepost=1556578738][/doublepost]
“Told the employees they would be terminated”, that’s a bit harsh. Just fire them for god sake, much more humane. They probably got the last of the robots to do it. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
OR!!! Fire management that couldn't save the ship! FIRE MANAGEMENT!!!
 
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