Investing in startups can be tricky and few manage to raise a significant amount before even before presenting a Minimum Viable Product. Such was the case with Ossic, their indigogo pitch read "At Ossic, we're developing the future of 3D audio in headphones. Our first product, the OSSIC X, is the world's first smart headphone that uses anatomy calibration to playback incredibly immersive 3D audio tailored to the way you hear the world everyday."
In other words Ossic was creating the world's first intelligent 3D audio headphone that calibrates to the listener - increasing the sense of auditory space, and acoustically recreating the environment. But how they were doing this was anyones guess. The company claimed they paired advanced 3D audio algorithms with head-tracking and individual anatomy calibration.
Ossic had already raised millions of dollars before they decided to go online and raise more via crowdfunding. Their intial target of $100,000 (Dh 365,000) was surpassed and orders came flooding in. By June 2016 Ossic had raised another $3.2 million (Dh 11 million) through Kickstarter and Indigogo. Investors patiently awaited their new headphones, but sadly they never came.
A Dubai resident who invested in the initial kickstarter campaign said “It had been two years and Ive invested in a few projects so you tend to forget about them. But when I read the news I was stunned” This has been the case for Ossic investors worldwide.
The company pinned the funding shortage on both a "slow start" for VR and a "number of high profile hardware startup failures" that prevented it from getting additional seed funding
A statement on Ossic’s website read “We have a very dedicated team of folks who have remained for the last 6 months, working for free, doing anything they could to try and make the company succeed.” This means Ossic burned through all of its $6 million (Dh 21 million) in about a year and a half.
There's no mention of customers getting refunds, although that's typical of crowdfunding since they are considered investments and not purchases.
UAE residents! Have you invested in a creative crowdfunding project? What was your experience? We’d love to hear your story.