Kickstarter has hired Mark Harris, a freelance journalist to investigate exactly what went wrong with the failed project despite it raising over 2.3 million GPB (approximately 3.6 million dollars or Rs 24 crores). With the move, the crowdsourcing platform intends to give irked backers and public the answers they are entitled to.
In January 2015, British drone startup Torquing Group successfully received the funds for the production of its handheld Zano drone. In November 2015, the startup went into liquidation, shutting down the project without fulfilling its promise.
Kickstarter wants to get to the bottom of this. Harris, who has previously contributed to The Guardian, and The Economist among others, will find out what happened to the money and investigate how much progress Torquing Group had made. The group had shipped 600 Zano drones of the 15,363 units paid for.
“The company wants to help the backers of this failed project get the information they are entitled to under their agreement with the project creator,” Harris wrote in a blog post.
Zano project had raised the money in under two months courtesy of more than 12,000 backers. Upon learning the failure of the project, Kickstarter said it was baffled that the firm raised millions only to come to bits in less than a year. Torquing Group CEO Ivan Reedman abruptly left the company last month citing “personal health issues and irreconcilable differences.”
“They would like to uncover the story of Zano, from its inception to the present, and decided that the best way to do that was to hire a journalist,” Harris added. “I will also be looking into Kickstarter’s role in the project, and whether it could have served Zano’s creators or backers better throughout.”
Harris noted that he has no connections with Kickstarter, nor with anyone behind Zano project, and that Kickstarter doesn’t have any right to make suggestions or changes to the story. He expects the story to come out mid-January.