The ZANO was a miniature drone planned to be created by UK company Torquing Group following a successful Kickstarter campaign that raised more than R50 million. The operative word there being “was”, as the company has since gone into voluntary liquidation with no plans to deliver anything to its backers.
The campaign had promised delivery of the ZANOs in June of this year, but when the company went into liquidation in November, only 600 of the 15 000 ordered drones had been delivered.
As with all crowd-funded projects, the story usually stops here – a successfully funded campaign in no way promises a delivered product. Kickstarter recently revealed a study that concluded only 9% of their projects fail to deliver rewards.
But, unlike so many other failed projects, Kickstarter has made a start into investigating this matter, or, to be precise: they’ve hired someone else to do it.
As a paid commission, British journalist Mark Harris will write an investigative story on the matter, as he revealed on blogging site Medium:
“I’ve been commissioned by Kickstarter itself. 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,” Said Harris, “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. The primary audience for the story is the 12,000+ backers of the project, although I will also make the story publicly available once I’ve completed it, most likely in the middle of January.”
While knowing why and how your money was wasted is better than absolutely nothing, we’re sure the backers will appreciate some effort on Kickstarter’s part to drill into this problem on their platform, even if this approach is decidedly off handed.[Source – Mark Harris on Medium]