Another Shutdown, Another Proof VC Cash Isn’t Everything – Silas Adekunle’s Startup Reach Robotics Winds Up
The startup ecosystem is as such that not everyone is favored. Sometimes, rough patches cannot be straightened, and the end of the road is not metaphoric. Reach Robotics has decided to turn off its engine, Similar to recent shutdowns we have seen this year and in the previous 365s.
VC Money Or No VC Money?
Silas Adekunle, the overseas-based techie and innovator, has called it quits on the consumer robotics sector. Founded in the Bristol Robotics Laboratory in the United Kingdom, it has been six years since the company has been in operation – and it has been good so far. It looks as though this company too ran into money problems.
Reach Robotics has raised USD 7.8 Mn in a span of 8 funding rounds. Nevertheless, that’s not just enough. A The Times report two months ago revealed that the startup was under pressure from a creditor. It appears Silas and his team were searching for further investment or a huge sale.
These efforts were to serve as a prevention to the company’s collapse. There’s no information about whether or not Reach Robotics made profits from robot sales. But it was not long after the fix that it started laying off staff, cutting down its workforce to just 17.
Reach Robotics filed for administration around the same time. The move was reported to have been taken to buy more time. Adekunle told BusinessCloud that he filed to give the company time to settle with its creditors. This was in order for the startup to not be forced into liquidation, leaving assets at risk.
The Fall Of MekaMon
Reach Robotics is best-known for MekaMon, and it was with support from John Rees (COO) and Chris Beck (CTO). This creation is a four-legged, spider-like robot which you can control from a smartphone app. The world’s first gaming robot, MekaMon supports augmented reality and can turn into a gun-slinging fighter. But the project has reached the end of the road.
Silas expressed his satisfaction with what Reach Robotics has done to make MekaMon a reality. “Unfortunately, for Reach Robotics, in its current form at least, today marks the end of that journey,” he said.
The shutdown comes about two years after the company launched into the mass retail markets. Even after successfully pitching MekaMon to Apple, the consumer market just wouldn’t favor Silas and his team.
Silas wrote in a LinkedIn post: “I am thankful to everyone who has been a part of this journey, from my co-founders Chris and John, who have been there through thick and thin, to members of the management team who were supportive in the most difficult of times, Jonathan Quinn, Kathryn Green, Philip Green just to name a few”.
Reach Robotics Still Has An Arm Stretched
As it appears moreover, this really is not goodbye. The official statement following the shutdown and spin informs that Reach Robotics is shutting down its consumer business only. The startup will refocus on the non-consumer sector after some time. Silas also said that he would continue developing gaming robots for the education sector.
“Thank you to all of our investors, advisors, mentors, family, and friends over the years. Special thanks to UWE, Bristol Robotics Laboratory, Pervasive Media Studio, SetSquared and so many others who have supported our growth.
Reach Robotics began with the vision of creating advanced and accessible robotics to entertain, inspire, and educate. I hope to carry that vision forward into the future,” he said.
Image Courtesy: Forbes