I hope you're not planning to hold your breath while wating for the Popslate 2 E-ink smartphone case, because you're going to have a long wait (and I wasn't looking forward to giving you mouth to mouth, anyway).
Popslate sent out an email last night to the backers of its failed crowd-funding campaign, informing them that the company was bankrupt and that the hardware would never be shipped.
The announcement was also posted to Popslate's page on Indiegogo:
[W]e have been unsuccessful at raising additional financing, despite having vigorously pursued all available avenues since the close of our March Indiegogo campaign (including angels, VCs, Shark Tank and equity crowdfunding, both in the US and abroad). ...
There is no way to sugarcoat what this all means:
- popSLATE has entered into the legal process for dissolution of the company
- Your popSLATE 2 will not be fulfilled
- There is no money available for refunds
- This will be our final update
The Popslate case was designed to be an always on display for your iPhone. powered by its own battery and paired with the iPhone over Bluetooth, the Popslate's E-ink screen could be used to display images, status updates, boarding passes, etc.
Popslate had previously warned backers in December that they running low on funds, so today's news comes as little surprise. (And yet, Popslate continued to sell the Popslate 2 on its site even though it knew it might never ship.)
Really, though, today's news is par for the course for a company that has broken more promises than it has kept.
Popslate first appeared in 2012 when it launched an Indiegogo campaign for its first E-ink case for the iPhone. Said device was supposed to ship in June 2013, but it was only after numerous delays and missed release dates that Popslate was able to ship the case in April 2015. And even so, the case was still missing half the promised software features.
Popslate had also promised to send me a review unit, but that too turned out to be a lie.
Undeterred by their struggles, Popslate launched a crowd-funding campaign for a second E-ink smartphone case last February. They raised $1.1 million in that campaign, but that was not enough to fully fund development and manufacturing.
Popslate went on to try to raise a capital investment. The founders even appeared on Shark Tank, a reality TV show starring VCs.
Popslate was not able to raise capital, mostly due to the fact that neither founder was competent at running a business or managing a development team.
And now the company is dead.