Lily Camera is marketed as the drone which you can “just throw in the air to start a new video”, but IndieGoGo have just commenced an investigation into a ‘Lily’ campaign claiming to be ‘Official’.
UPDATE: DroningON.co has now received official confirmation from Lily as per the updated article below.
DroningON has received formal confirmation from Lily’s ‘Head of Communications’, Kelly Coyne, to confirm that they never have had an IndieGoGo presence, their preorder campaign has only ever managed via their own website.
The statement provided follows:
[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]”The official Lily Camera is available for pre-order exclusively from our website, www.lily.camera. We did not partner with any crowdfunding platforms such as Indiegogo or Kickstarter for our pre-order campaign. Several months ago, a fake page popped up on Indiegogo. We have been in touch with Indiegogo regarding this, and they are actively investigating the fraudulent campaign. There is no connection between our company and this Indiegogo account. Since our pre-order launch in May 2015, several fake websites have popped up, including one with claims to sell Lily stock. We ask all current and future Lily customers to not attempt to purchase any product (or stock) from anywhere other than www.lily.camera.”[/perfectpullquote]
The story, reported first this morning by sUAS will have initially been unsettling for thousands of users that have pre-ordered and paid up to $900+ in advance to reserve the first of these unique drones.
It is highly likely that the investigation into this fake campaign has been prompted by complaint reports by the backers themselves upon realising that the campaign was illegitimate. It is fortunate that IndieGoGo are acting quickly to shut down such fake campaigns to avoid buyers being tricked into investing their money.
[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]”With only 3 months to go before shipping for Lily should commence, users are no doubt very anxious to see evidence of the functionality claimed by the Lily campaign page and potentially the reason for its temporary suspension.”[/perfectpullquote]
Despite the delay announced by Lily earlier this year, Lily cannot be accused of failing to communicate because their ‘Lily Product Updates’ feed is updated on a daily basis and newsletter updates are regular, although some users may find the lack of regular demonstration videos quite frustrating. In general, Lily are at this time one of the most transparent crowd-funded drone projects currently running.
There has always been controversy around the viral Lily Camera Promotional video which is quite clearly ‘simulated’ and not filmed by a prototype, contrary to the terms of an IndieGoGo campaign, ironically this point may have formed some basis for the investigation into this fake campaign because other recent drone/quadcopter campaigns have tricked users into investing back show-casing functionality which simply cannot be achieved by the product delivered to the backer.
Lily’s most recent blog posts have been in relation to testing ‘in the field’ with their team of testers consisting of “recent college graduates through to individuals with years of experience in a different profession looking to embark on an entirely new career in robotics.
Lily claim that within just a week, 219 test flights have been logged but so far, only one video clip from such testing has been released, a short snippet via Instagram.
With only 3 months to go before shipping for Lily should commence, users are no doubt very anxious to see evidence of the functionality claimed by the Lily campaign page and potentially the reason for its temporary suspension. But, this is positive in some respects as it demonstrates that IndieGoGo are finally taking seriously the reports of backers and investigating campaigns which may not meet their terms.
[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]”We have confidence that the delay is the right thing to do for their customers and ultimately will give them the time to deliver the best possible product. I believe they will do just that.” Bijan Sabet – Spark Capital[/perfectpullquote]
Confidence was boosted in this campaign after Lily announced a $14m boost in funding capital as a result of first-round investment talks with ‘Spark Capital’, however at the same time they announced that shipping would be delayed from early 2016 to Summer 2016, however summer has arrived and we are still yet to see a fully functional, fully featured Lily in action end-to-end.
We have asked Lily to respond to this article and will report on the latest as we hear it.
Have you invested in Lily? Are you concerned about the delays? Or are you confident that Lily can still deliver? Comment below and let us know…