The former company, Lily Robotics, is being sued by San Francisco authorities as the city is accusing them of engaging in unlawful business practices and false advertising.
Lily Robotics is quite notorious in the drone market. Unfortunately, it is for all the wrong reasons. The robotics company was based in San Francisco, California. It was founded in 2013.
Back in 2015, the company released a new product promo video. Published on YouTube, it received quite some media coverage. The promo campaign caused quite an upstir. Its video advertised the first “throw-and-shoot camera” in the world.
Lily Robotics received quite a substantial number of pre-orders. These accounted for a $34 million sum. The startup also reportedly received funding. This accounted to about $14 million.
The such advertised Lily drone should have been shipped by February 2016. Later, the company delayed the term to the summer of 2016. As of December 2016, no device has been shipped. Lily Robotics also failed to release any new announcements.
The last customer update came in October, last year. It informed paying clients that U.S.-based customers will be the first to receive the units.
A new development on the matter came earlier this week. On January 12, Lily Robotics sent a customer email. In it, it announced that the drone unit cannot be produced. As such, paying customers will receive a refund.
The company will also reportedly be shutting down. January 12 also came with news for the company. The city of San Francisco decided to sue the startup. A filing was made by the local district attorney.
San Fran authorities accused the company of unlawful practices and also false advertising. George Gascon, a San Francisco District Attorney, went to offer details.
In the civil complaint, he alleged the following. He pointed out Lily Robotics’ presupposed shipment dates. He detailed each plan. And also pointed out the U.S. December 2016 -January 2017 last delivery time.
Lily Robotics did not mention some facts in its official statement. For example, it did not explain what went wrong with the drone. It only proceeded to apologize. And to mention their sadness at seeing the “adventure” end.
The company was also reportedly contacted by various media representatives. But it also reportedly declined to comment on some matters. A representative did announce the following. the company was reportedly already working in offering a full refund to all paying customers. The decision was reportedly not related to the court trial.
Lily Robotics will be facing another decision, besides the filed lawsuit. A local San Francisco judge granted the following approval. The city requested restrictions on the startup’s bank accounts. These imposed restrictions saw to the following.
Lily Robotics will only be able to access its accounts so as to pay its employees. It will also be allowed to access them so as to pay the customer refunds.
The lawsuit will have its first meeting next week. Lily Robotics should present itself in court on January 18. It will be facing the San Francisco authorities. The presiding Court Judge will be Harold Kahn. If the local DA prevails, Lily might also have to pay some civil penalties.
The Lily Founders posted their statement on the official company blog. In it, they offer various details. These include the promised refunds.
According to the announcement, the company will be carrying out the refund over the next 60 days. These will be sent to the original transaction payment card. This should appear on the user’s statement in about 14 days.
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