A bad year just got worse for Quirky. The crowdsourced design company just filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Quirky will also sell assets related to Wink, its home automation hub, to a company called Flextronics. This is a bummer.
Quirky was always a cool idea. Bouyed by $US170 million in venture capital funds, the start up gave regular people the chance to invent things and helped them sell inventions. Things took a turn when Quirky doubled down on home automation with Wink, an ambitious and ultimately awfully problematic range of products. After a security update managed to brick the hubs of about 10-per cent of Wink users, it was clear that something had to give.
So back in June, Quirky got out of the product business. The idea was that the Quirky community would reorganise and help big brands come up with cool products — which was sort of the opposite of Quirky's original David versus Goliath approach to design. That said, it was a desperate attempt not only to save Quirky but also Wink.
Somehow, Wink will live on. If Quirky gets a better offer than the one from Flextronics, the company that originally made the Wink hub, the company might sell it to someone else. But with just $US12 million left in cash on hand, Quirky needs to sell something to someone to pay its debts. Meanwhile, Wink products will continue to work, although honestly they never really worked to begin with.
Image via Quirky / Shutterstock