Robotics Company Anki Shutting Down

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Apr 29, 2019.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    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.
    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
  2. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    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.
  3. Unity451, Apr 29, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2019

    Unity451 macrumors 6502


    Aug 29, 2011
  4. reden macrumors 6502a

    Aug 30, 2006
    Or they hire tons of people, expensive overhead, and no real idea on how they're going to make their companies profitable.
  5. nezr macrumors regular


    Feb 19, 2010
    Vancouver, BC
    These types of products are fun to have. But they don't really fix any kind of problem.
  6. DrFu79 macrumors member

    Apr 25, 2008
    Sounds like a shock tactic approach to attract that last minute investor. They must have more than one week of cash.
  7. nutmac macrumors 601

    Mar 30, 2004
    I can't say I am surprised.

    When I am looking for toys for my kids, I generally avoid those that rely on a screen.
  8. macduke macrumors G4


    Jun 27, 2007
    Central U.S.
    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.
  9. duervo macrumors 68020


    Feb 5, 2011
    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.
  10. iLoveDeveloping macrumors 6502

    Sep 24, 2009
    “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)_/¯
  11. 69Mustang macrumors 604


    Jan 7, 2014
    In between a rock and a hard place
    They're toys. They're not supposed to fix any kind of problem.
  12. mookc1 macrumors member

    Dec 11, 2014
    ....and now I have a bulldozer shaped paperweight. Hot deal at Best Buy for Christmas, dead by May.....
  13. radio893fm macrumors regular

    Aug 11, 2004
    You'd be surprise of what sex toys can do... but oh well, not for this forum.
  14. chrismac2 macrumors regular


    Jan 14, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    I guess that means my 5 month old Vector has few days left to live.....
  15. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    Hey! Only AngerDanger makes GIFs around here. If you tread on his territory, bad things will happen.

    Ever seen an animation of an emoji monkey getting fed unripe bananas?! Well let’s hope you don’t.
  16. JustSomeInfo macrumors newbie

    Nov 28, 2016
    And now those robots have no home and a taste for human blood.
  17. mgmacius macrumors member

    Jan 16, 2008
    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
  18. duervo macrumors 68020


    Feb 5, 2011
    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.
  19. DocMultimedia, Apr 29, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2019

    DocMultimedia macrumors 6502a


    Sep 8, 2012
    Charlottesville, VA
    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. :)
  20. Recognition macrumors 6502a


    Jun 27, 2013
    As long as the SDK continues to work I won’t be too mad!
  21. tennisproha macrumors 65816

    Jun 24, 2011
    What’s going to happen to all the current funding and their cash?
  22. wolfshades macrumors 6502


    Nov 1, 2007
    Toronto, Ontario Canada
    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.
  23. PinkyMacGodess macrumors 601


    Mar 7, 2007
    Midwest America.
    Their website is up, and looks like it's still in business. Hmm...
    --- Post Merged, Apr 29, 2019 ---
    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.
  24. Ken_C macrumors newbie


    Feb 10, 2017
    --- Post Merged, Apr 29, 2019 ---
    Exactly what I thought....
  25. PinkyMacGodess, Apr 29, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2019

    PinkyMacGodess macrumors 601


    Mar 7, 2007
    Midwest America.
    That's a long shot ploy...
    --- Post Merged, Apr 29, 2019 ---
    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...
    --- Post Merged, Apr 29, 2019 ---
    OR!!! Fire management that couldn't save the ship! FIRE MANAGEMENT!!!

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