This is becoming a too consistent theme. Promising rewards crowdfunding project raises millions of dollars from thousands of backers only to deliver (if at all) a craptaculous product. In this case, it is the story of ONAGOFly – a drone project that raised $3,459,193 on Indiegogo. Almost 17,000 people funded this campaign and if you visit comment alley on Indiegogo – many of them are totally pissed-off. ONAGOFly is one of the most funded Indiegogo campaigns of all time. The high-profile drone project caught plenty of media attention including by Crowdfund Insider so it is, of course, disappointing to see so much backer’s remorse.
The campaign creator, Sam Tsu, posted an update about a month back. He stated at that time that most drones had been shipped out (the original ship date was for April 2016). Firmware updates were in the queue. Progress was being made. This all sounds fine and good. But switch over to the backer comments and you get a very different picture.
While it appears that many people are receiving drones there are many complaints about drones that simply don’t work. So what is better? Receiving a drone that doesn’t fly and thus receiving your paid for product or receiving no drone at all?
One OnagoFly backer, Jay Boucher, was so upset he created a website dedicated to the clumsy crowdfunded product.
OnagoLIES is committed to documenting the rise and alleged fall of OnagoFly. It opens by saying;
If you were taken by the OnagoFly drone’s Indiegogo campaign, you are not alone and you’re in the right place. This is a resource to hopefully get some help in your quest for a cancellation, a refund, or replacement. I stand by every word I write, which is why the crazy amount of hyperlinks. Proof that this is not occurring in a vacuum.
OnagoLies then claims allegations of faked campaign videos promised features like obstacle avoidance, not working and overall lack of quality in contrast to the campaign promises. During much of this time, Indiegogo allowed sales to continue via OnDemand. ShittyKickstarters on Reddit called it Indiegogo’s answer to Kickstarter’s Zano – another epic drone failure.
The OnagoFly is just another cautionary tale regarding the risks of donating money to a rewards-based crowdfunding campaign. The OnagoFly team had a cool drone concept but they failed to deliver on promised features. The campaign creators were probably ill-prepared for the response they received and lacked the skills necessary to manufacture and deliver a product to thousands of backers. So the next time you decide to back a rewards campaign you may want to consider if it may be better to wait and purchase on Amazon (or Alibaba) a tested product. That may be a better option than being one of the first in the queue to receive (or perhaps not receive) an untested product (that may not work).
Below is a video from a local TV affiliate in Washington, DC that covered the OnagoFly crowdfunding project.
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