Updated March 2, 2017
Another drone company has (quietly) fallen: China-based Skye Intelligence, a company with venture capital funding that sold its Orbit drone on Kickstarter, has shut down its operations.
The Orbit drone showed promise, with the company even exhibiting at last year’s InterDrone
industry conference. This drone has (or should I say had
?) a flight time of 20+ minutes, 1080 p 30/60 fps video, and was marketed toward both hobbyists and commercial users. It was also recognized for its “follow me” tracking capabilities.
But the Skye Intelligence website is down (it’s unclear for how long it’s been inactive). Its Facebook hasn’t been updated since Oct. 16, 2016. It hasn’t tweeted since Oct. 12, 2016. Its PR firm stopped working with them in November.
“One day we were all set to launch in several countries, the next it all went quiet and we had to pull out,” said Ella Roche, the company’s former PR manager, in an email.
While other crowdfunded drones like Lily
, and Fleye
have also shuttered their operations ― let’s be honest, a failing crowdfunding drone is not a shock ― the events surrounding the Orbit’s demise are a bit different. While the Lily, Zano, and Fleye drones never made it to production, the Orbit drone did. All the backers from the Orbit's Kickstarter received their drones. Plus, since the company had investors it mainly used its Kickstarter campaign for marketing and product testing. So…