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Ossic shuts down despite its crowdfunded 3D headphones raising millions

By midian182 · 8 replies
May 21, 2018
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  1. It’s easy to forget that even if a Kickstarter project meets its funding targets, the investment you made doesn’t guarantee a final product. That’s the situation faced by thousands of backers of the Ossic X headphones, who won’t be receiving their devices or refunds after the company announced it was shutting down due to lack of cash.

    Audio startup Ossic set a $100,000 target on Kickstarter in 2016 for its head-tracking “3D sound” headphones, which are especially suited for use with virtual reality. The product obviously had its appeal: Ossic raised $2.7 million on Kickstarter and $3.2 million on Indiegogo, along with seed funding that almost matched what was raised by the 10,300 crowdfunding backers.

    Despite raising so much cash, the company has now shut down due to lack of funds. Ossic says it would require “more than 2 million additional dollars” to ship its headphones to all backers. The company received more than 22,000 pre-orders for the devices, notes TechCrunch, and while 80 backers received the $999 developer tier headsphones in January, only 250 Ossic Xs were built and a few dozen shipped to Kickstarter backers.

    Ossic has blamed virtual reality’s slow adoption rate and a number of high-profile hardware startup failures for its inability to attract extra investment. It added that issues caused by trying to meet the campaign’s stretch goals saw it burn through the money that was raised. Staff reportedly worked without pay and used their own savings in an attempt to keep the company up and running.

    Those who handed over money for a pair of Ossic X headphones and received no items or refunds are understandably unhappy with the situation. Almost 1500 backers have joined a Facebook page threatening the company with a class-action lawsuit.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Vulcanproject

    Vulcanproject TS Evangelist Posts: 616   +808

    Going to be difficult to sue a bankrupt wound up company that has no money to defend itself let alone pay anything back....
    i3kingwizardop likes this.
  3. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 4,246   +2,719

    That, and them damn lambos and coke parties drained the cash. They probably hoped to spend the rest on actually building something, but came short. This is how it often ends with Kickstarter people. Handing money over to thieves and hoping for returns, now who's really stupid here?
    beavacuda and havok585 like this.
  4. i3kingwizardop

    i3kingwizardop TS Booster Posts: 41   +17

    If they can pierce the corporate veil the plaintiffs can go after personal assets.
  5. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,035   +1,443

    That potential class-action lawsuit will go nowhere. Every Kickstarter project has a very clear legal outline stating that you are guaranteed NOTHING by your contribution. You are giving money based on a faith-only commitment.

    I've put up a few bucks for Kickstarter projects, most frequently indie-type games. But stay away from hardware Kickstarter's as they typically promise the moon and developers grossly underestimate R&D and production costs.
  6. kapital98

    kapital98 TS Maniac Posts: 313   +243

    Bingo. Harder said than done though. If they get a class action suit who knows? Plenty of large firms are willing to take the case if they think it will win (and they have the experience to know a winner and loser).

    If just one owner of the company is personally wealthy? $$$$
  7. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,515   +2,825

    For those interested in the exact same kind of headset, Audeze is currently taking pre-orders for it's 3D head-tracking Mobius set to release next month.
  8. havok585

    havok585 TS Booster Posts: 190   +53

    Seems someone's got it right :)
    beavacuda likes this.
  9. Mighty Duck

    Mighty Duck TS Addict Posts: 134   +71

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