The Zano drone Kickstarter campaign folded back in November, taking £2.3 million in pledges and a decent share of Kickstarter’s reputation with it. To try and clear the air, Kickstarter has hired freelance journalist Mark Harris to do some digging.
The Zano was meant to be a palm-sized ‘intelligent’ drone that would handle basic photography duties for £170 ($360), significantly cheaper and smaller than something like a DJI Phantom. The campaign had no problem smashing its funding goal, but delays ran rampant, and the 600 drones that did make it out to backers could ‘barely fly’. In November, the Torquing Group, the company behind Zano, declared bankrupcy.
To try and get to the bottom of what happened, Kickstarter has commissioned Harris to write a story about the failure. The crowdfunding platform doesn’t have a monetary or legal stake in Zano, so there’s not much to be gained by conducting a more formal investigation.
Harris’s mandate is “to lay out the progress of the project, from start to finish; to discover what happened to the over £2m in funds pledged; and to answer the questions of whether Zano’s creators could have done anything differently, or made mistakes that future Kickstarter projects might avoid”. The story is expected to be released sometime in January.