Bad news, Sailfish Tablet backers, Jolla has pulled the plug on its Indiegogo project. The Finland-based startup made the announcement last week that the device just wasn’t meant to be.
Back in Fall 2014, Jolla launched an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to raise $380,000 for its in-house tech. The unique tablet has been dubbed by the company as the world’s “first crowdsourced tablet” to surface. Following the project’s capital raising success, Jolla returned to the global crowdfunding platform once again for the tablet with a new 64GB version.
Earlier in January, Jolla shared that some backers wouldn’t get their tablets after all. The company successfully shipped a small amount of the devices in October, but has been dealing with financial and supplier issues ever since.
Last week Jolla’s co-founder and chairman of the board, Antti Saarnio, officially declared the company has given the project the axe:
“After the first two Indiegogo campaigns (in November-December 2014 and February-March 2015) things looked very bright. We realized that the promised shipping schedule was very tight, and we were very confident that we could make it. However, soon after the Indiegogo campaigns, we hit the first obstacles: we experienced severe issues with component deliveries and with the display quality. Still, back in August-September 2015 as we started the pre-order campaign for the Jolla Tablet, we were confident that we could start deliveries according to the revised project schedule. And in October, we shipped the first batch of tablets – 121 units – to ensure that the order and logistics chain worked properly. Everything went smoothly.
“To continue, our supplier then had their own issues and had to change factories two times for production, which again affected the schedule. Naturally, project delays also have a severe impact on budgets; it was this cycle of events, which led the project into serious trouble.
“To top it all off, we entered into company-wide financial trouble as our financing round was unexpectedly delayed in the late autumn. The initial impact was that we could not pay our subcontractors, which again contributed to more delays. The financing delay resulted in a fight for the survival of our company, not just the Tablet Project.
“In December, the long-awaited financing finally arrived, but at that point the company had already been hit hard. In order to continue the Jolla story, we had been forced to apply for debt-restructuring in Finland and had to temporarily lay off a large part of our organization. Despite these challenges we are continuing the story – this was just one death valley we had to pass through. And, we definitely are not yet in the clear, as we now need to rebuild our organization and recover from the hit.
“What has made the past months even more stressful for us has been the realization of the amount of distress we might’ve have caused for our Jolla Tablet project supporters. It is one thing to deal with internal challenges, but when they so directly affect our dear Community, the situation becomes nearly unbearable.”
Saarnio did reveal what Jolla intends to do with the backers’ money:
- Ship remaining Tablets to Indiegogo backers: will ship 540 units as soon as they can starting from February (so, sometime this month)
- Refund the remaining Indiegogo contributors: Jolla aims to refund the total contribution, including shipping and all accessories. Due to the financial constraints this will happen in two parts: half of the refund will be done during Q1/2016, and the other half within a year, our financial situation permitting.
Saarnio then added:
“The Tablet shipping and refund processes start immediately once all the practicalities are in place. Specific to refunding, we plan to establish and ramp up the refunding process and start refunding during the course of February.
“You will be receiving an email with instructions on what to do. Please wait for that, before contacting our service and support team.
“Once again, we apologize from the bottom of our hearts for the inconvenience, and, of course, hope for your continued support.”
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