VINAYA, the London-headquartered hardware startup that was developing a range of wearable devices, has gone into administration.
CEO Kate Unsworth told Business Insider that the company will undergo a “restructuring” and is spinning out certain parts of the business.
It’s currently unclear whether people who backed VINAYA’s recent Indiegogo campaign will get the devices they paid for.
Documents filed with Companies House show that VINAYA has split into two companies: Vinaya Limited and Vinaya Technologies Limited.
Vinaya Technologies Limited, the original company, was placed into administration on December 12.
Business Insider was shown a letter dated December 19 that was sent to VINAYA’s creditors. It confirmed that the company had been placed into administration, and explained that accountancy firm Menzies is handling the case. Menzies did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
VINAYA described its products as “distraction management” tools that help customers to “filter out the noise.” Its Altrius devices are smart jewellery pieces that connect to a smartphone via bluetooth and only notify the wearer when a notification is deemed important enough.
Business Insider tried out VINAYA’s first product, the Altrius, back in August 2015. “I felt less pressure to keep on checking my phone for no reason,” we said at the time after using the Altrius for a week.
The company, which was previously known as Kovert Designs, raised $3 million (£2.45 million) in seed funding in November 2015 and went on to raise over $272,000 (£222,000) in an Indiegogo campaign launched in June.
Unsworth told Business Insider in June that she hoped to raise a £10 million Series A round in the first quarter of 2017. “I don’t want to raise an A now because if we raise now our valuation will be lower,” she said. “But we need money before Q1. So the way that convertible note works is, we’ll take let’s say £2 million and anybody who comes in now, because it’s slightly higher risk, gets a discount on the series A price. It’s like a loan, so they don’t get equity straight away. When the Series A comes round they don’t just get the £2 million worth of equity, they get £2 million plus 20% more.”
Investors in VINAYA included Net-a-Porter cofounder Carmen Busquets, Tech City UK chair and Passion Capital partner Eileen Burbidge, Bebo founder Michael Birch, Localglobe partner Robin Klein, and Playfair Capital.
Documents filed with Companies House show that other shareholders in the company included former Decoded Fashion CEO Liz Bacelar, Samos Investments partner Shan Drummond, Passion Capital partner and former Last.fm chairman Stefan Glaenzer, former Index Ventures associate Sofia Hmich, Love Home Swap CEO Debbie Wosskow, angel investor Jeremy Yap, Been There LLC, Jumpgate Ventures, and ZCP Holdings.
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