Why did skully helmets failed (bankruptcy) - Please give a general answer regarding all aspects - BUT please focus on why the project failed in the technolegy segment - what did they tried to do but did not succeed - (incompetence) - smart motorcycle helmet https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skully_(helmet)
Hello! Thank you for asking Wonder about why Skully Helmets failed as a company and declared bankruptcy.
The short answer to your question is Skully suffered from overgrowth where they were unable to meet the production needs of their pre-orders while seeking funding during a decline in venture capital.
I began my research by researching business related news articles regarding the company Skully.
I started by creating a timeline of events trying to focus on challenges that Skully faced. I sourced multiple news articles that discussed the changing production deadlines. Many articles speculated on reasons, so I dug for articles that focused on concrete information released by Skully.
I located information that focused on information that the company released and the founders that were removed from the company shortly before the company announced that it was ceasing business. Most of this information was speculation as well, but I was able to find a quote from one of the founders about this event.
As I continued researching, there were many articles about the lawsuit a former employee filed. I noted the lawsuit in my findings, but did not report heavily on it because, aside from the initial filing, there is nothing that could be considered a concrete fact regarding this point in the company's history.
I discovered that the company had the fastest fully funded campaign on Indiegogo with $2.5 million in pre-orders in late 2014. Due to the Indiegogo campaign, Skully pushed back the shipping date until May 2015 from the original late 2014 date .
An additional $11 million was raised by series A funding in February of 2015. In May of 2015, the shipping date was quietly pushed back again to December 2015.
In May of 2015, some publications were noting that Skully was asking journalists to sign non-disclosure agreements before being allowed to demo the helmets.
In January 2016, it was reported that Skully had shipped helmets to early supporters who would help fine tune the design. By April, it was reported that the helmets had not been shipped to early supporters. Rather, there was a delay in shipping due to design for manufacturing issues. Design for manufacturing issues relate to a prototype product not having all of the parts properly designed or sourced to make mass production possible.
In the message in April 2016, Skully stated that the issues were being resolved with manufacturing the boards in the helmet, and that early backers would be being shipped helmets after testing was completed.
In May 2016, Skully released a Youtube video that announced that mass production had begun on helmets.
In July 2016, it was reported that less than 100 helmets had been shipped to early backers. In this same time period, it was reported that both of the two founders of the company were replaced by investors.
It was reported in late July, that the original founders of the company stated that they were forced out after investors disagreed with them regarding a deal with LeSports, a Chinese company that was interested in purchasing Skully.
By early August 2016, Skully announced that it was ceasing operations and filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. At this time, a former employee filed a suit against Skully for wrongful termination and as well as "fraudulent bookkeeping practices". There have been no further reports about this lawsuit at this time.
In a retrospective article about Skully, Techcrunch analyzed the history of the company and reported that Skully's main issues seemed to come from overgrowth and a tight venture capital market. Skully grew too fast to maintain its supply chain, and was seeking funding in a period of decline in venture capital funding.
To wrap up, I established a timeline of events regarding the business Skully and its decline. I have pieced together the events that caused Skully to decline that are based in fact rather than allegation. It appears that Skully grew too quickly to be able to source parts while in a period of decline in venture capital funding.
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