San Francisco sues local drone maker, drone maker then shuts down

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Ars TechnicaArs Technica wrote the following post Fri, 13 Jan 2017 16:20:12 -0600

San Francisco sues local drone maker, drone maker then shuts down

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Enlarge (credit: Lily Robotics)

A San Francisco-based drone startup that raised $34 million in pre-orders folded on Thursday, the same day the company, Lily Robotics, was sued by the local district attorney in county court. The city accuses Lily Robotics of engaging in false advertising and unlawful business practices.

The company's story is reminiscent of the now-defunct Torquing Group, a Wales-based firm that raised $3.4 million (the largest European Kickstarter project to date) to build a drone called the Zano that ended up not going anywhere, either.

In 2015, Lily Robotics released a slick YouTube promo video demonstrating its drone, calling it the world’s first “throw-and-shoot camera.” It received widespread, breathless coverage from various other media outlets, ranging from Wired to TechCrunch. Lily Robotics' founders were named on the “Forbes 30 under 30” list in 2015. And in addition to its pre-orders, the startup took in $15 million in venture capital, according to CrunchBase.

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