SAN FRANCISCO — Another crowdfunded Bay Area startup has closed its doors without shipping customers the products they paid for, a failure that raises fresh concerns about risky online pre-order campaigns.
San Francisco-based digital payments startup Plastc shut down Thursday, saying it’s considering filing for bankruptcy after failing to raise the cash it needed to mass produce and ship its smart credit cards. The 3-year-old company raised millions through pre-orders of its $155 Plastc Card, but failed to ship a single order — and its demise leaves behind scores of angry customers.
“We are disappointed and emotionally distraught,” the company wrote in a farewell note posted on its website, “and while we know this is extremely disappointing for you, we want our backers to know that we did everything we could to make Plastc Card a reality.”
A company representative could not be reached for comment.
Plastc is at least the third such high-profile flame-out Silicon Valley has seen in recent months, as more startups turn to online pre-orders to raise the cash they need to get off the ground. Crowdfunding proponents argue those campaigns, often launched on platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, democratize fundraising by allowing anyone to be part of a startup’s founding. But they are inherently risky as they ask customers to pay for products that aren’t yet developed and may never work.
San Francisco-based flying camera startup Lily Robotics filed for bankruptcy in February, after shutting down without shipping more than 60,000 pre-orders. The company is selling its assets and has promised to…
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