Based in San Francisco, Anki Inc. is well known for AI robotic toys. The main robotic toys include Cozmo, Anki Overdrive and Vector. Due to its huge popularity, Anki was able to raise over 200 million dollars in venture capital. The capital was raised from Andreessen Horowitz, Index Ventures, and other investors.
Despite raising millions, Anki shut its doors after failing to get any further funds. It’s quite a hard fall! Recode reports that the work force of over 200 staff members will lose their job. Each one of them has been assured to get a week of severance pay. On April 29, Anki said in a news statement, “It is with a heavy heart to announce that Anki will be letting go of our employees, effective Wednesday.” They also added, “A significant financial deal at a late stage fell through with a strategic investor and we were not able to reach an agreement.”
Anki claims a net sale of 6.5 million products. Last August alone saw a sale of 1.5 million robots. In 2017, Cozmo had a high demand on Amazon with 15,000 developers to assist. In 2018, Anki declared that 2017 had a revenue of about 100 million dollars. They expected an increase in the following years. Well, that didn’t take place!
Anki spokesperson informed Recode, “despite our past successes, we pursued every financial avenue to fund our future product development and expand on our platforms. [We were left] without significant funding to support a hardware and software business and no bridge to our long-term product roadmap. A significant financial deal at a late stage fell through with a strategic investor and we were not able to reach an agreement. We’re doing our best to take care of every single employee and their families, and our management team continues to explore all options available.”
In 2010, Anki Inc. was created by Hanns Tappeiner, Sofman and Mark Palatucci. These roboticists were graduates from Carnegie Mellon University. They worked to bring robotics and AI into the everyday life of users. This goal was attained by the release of the Anki Drive, the smartphone-controlled car. In 2013, the car got a chance to go on display at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference. Anki later on partnered with Apple Inc. to release many Anki Drive add ons.
Anki’s recent robot Cozmo had a great ability to influence the daily lives of users. Cozmo was soon followed by the release of Vector. Vector was an advanced robo targeting the older generation. None of these innovations, were able to keep the flame of Anki burning.
The head of communications for Anki gave a statement via email. They said, “We’ve shipped millions of units of product and left customers happy all over the world while building some of the most incredible technologies pointed toward a future with diverse AI and robotics driven applications. We’re doing our best to take care of every single employee and their families, and our management team continues to explore all options available.”