There are plenty of reports that Skully Helmets have shut down operations, but there is still some hope for those that have placed orders with the embattled company.
Despite raising millions of dollars in startup funding and successfully demonstrating the technology, the Californian startup that promised to bring augmented reality to the motorcycle helmet has continually failed to meet delivery deadlines.
Those failures seem largely because the design of the Skully AR-1 helmet is not suited to mass production.
There are now conflicting and confusing reports circulating about the company’s future.
Here’s what we know:
- Scully CEO and co-founder Marcus Weller and his brother and Chief Of Staff Mitch left the company about two weeks ago.
- Some reports are the pair were fired by the company’s Board of Directors.
- The rift between the brothers and Skully’s board seems to be over an acquisition deal with Chinese company LeSports - a deal that appears to have been crucial to raising the necessary funds to keep Skully in business.
- Rumours are that deal may still go through with Marcus Weller out of the picture.
- Martin Fitcher, Skully’s Chief Operating Officer, took over as CEO.
- Intel Capital, a division of technology giant Intel, has been working with Skully for nearly two years and had recently been trying to negotiate a funding round to keep the company going, but it appears Intel Capital determined it was better to just shut the whole company down instead.
- Intel Capital has reportedly released a statement saying “We’re disappointed Skully has closed its doors”.
Reports were also circulating that the Skully website would be shut down.
At the time we published this story it was definitely still active, but will not accept orders.
However, there seems to be some hope for those people who put their faith - and money - behind Skully’s promises.
A statement from inside the company says “The Skully executive team is working diligently on closing a round of funding so that we can continue to fulfil our pre-orders and delight our customers.”
And incoming CEO Martin Fitcher had this to say at the time he took over - “I understand the burning question many customers are asking is: Will I get my helmet? The answer is yes.”
“By the end of this month, 400 AR-1s will be in the hands of customers. With the backing of some of the world’s most innovative investors, I can confidently say that we have all the resources we need to deliver the rest of our pre-orders.”
Let’s hope Martin Fitcher can keep his promises.