The flying camera Lily seemed quite promising when it was introduced for the first time. Since the company could not get enough funding, it is being shut down and it is refunding all the money it was given by eager customers. Emails were sent to people that they would be issued a refund and the flying camera Lily will not be shipped because the company has to shut down. People will get their refunds over the next 60 days.
Flying camera Lily shut down despite $15 million venture capital
It’s not that the company making the Lily flying camera didn’t have money. It received around $15 million as venture capital but the project couldn’t be managed in a manner such that the company could deliver flying cameras on time. The company didn’t just get $15 million as venture capital it also received $34 million in pre-orders from 60,000 customers who wanted to own the flying camera Lily. The company has primarily shut down due to mismanagement and directionlessness.
Why would you use a flying camera like Lily?
Here is a video that explains why you would use a flying camera, especially when you are on your own and you want your actions to be captured in a video.
As you see in the video, you can shoot yourself as if you are being filmed from a helicopter by a professional team of videographers. You just take the flying camera where you want to film, switch it on, and throw it into the air and then go about doing your stuff. It starts following you whether you are skiing down an icy slope or crossing the English Channel or cycling through France. It was basically for creating high-resolution videos from above on your own. It was a great concept and as mentioned above, more than 60,000 people were ready to pay $800 for the device. Unfortunately, despite generating great interest, the flying camera company is being shut down and people are being refunded.
Surprisingly, as this Venture Beat update reports, even till December 13, 2016 the company was providing product updates and its Twitter account was committing to send the drone-powered flying cameras to its US-based customers.
Some of the major Lily flying camera investors include Dorm Room Fund, Sherpa Capital, Slow Ventures, Spark Capital and StartX (and many more angel investors).
Here is the extract of the email sent by the Lily flying camera team, announcing the shut down:
At the same time, we have been racing against a clock of ever-diminishing funds. Over the past few months, we have tried to secure financing in order to unlock our manufacturing line and ship our first units – but have been unable to do this. As a result, we are deeply saddened to say that we are planning to wind down the company and offer refunds to customers.
The flying camera start-up had delayed shipping multiple times. First, it had committed to ship flying cameras by summer 2016 and then the shipping was postponed to early 2017. In itself it was a revolutionary product but there were so many delays that many other companies making flying cameras, like Hover, came over, and Lily lost the edge as well as early advantage. In fact, the Hover camera looks much better. Have a look at this video
So the Lily flying camera is shutting down and it might be a good thing because there are many more, sleeker flying cameras available in the market these days. Since they were having so much problem in the beginning, you can imagine what a nightmare it could have been after people had purchased the Lily flying camera and then the company had been shut down. There would have been no support and you would have been stuck with it.
Personally I feel a flying camera like Lily or even Hover, is much better than one of those GoPro cameras: it’s a pity that one of the pioneers of this field is being shut down but the good thing is there are many more flying camera options available and many more are being made available in the near future.