Ossic, the San Diego-based 3D headphones start-up, has gone bust, leaving almost 10,000 investors out of pocket.
As reported by PSNEurope sister publication Audio Media International, the company had raised $2.7m on Kickstarter and $515,000 via Indiegogo’s InDemand programme in its bid to developed ‘high-end’ headphones that could deliver 3D audio in a VR environment. However, Ossic announced on Saturday (May 19) that it is now “unable to deliver the remaining Ossic X headphones”. No refunds will be offered to its investors.
The following statement was posted the Ossics website:
“It is with an extremely heavy heart that we must inform you that OSSIC is shutting down and will be unable to deliver the remaining OSSIC X headphones.
“The OSSIC X was an ambitious and expensive product to develop. With funds from the crowdfunding campaign, along with angel investment, we were able to develop the product and ship the initial units. However, the product still requires significantly more capital to ramp to full mass production, and the company is out of money.
“Over the last 18 months, we have explored a myriad of financing options, but given VR’s slow start and a number of high profile hardware startup failures, we have been unable to secure the investment required to proceed.
“This was obviously not our desired outcome. The team worked exceptionally hard and created a production-ready product that is a technological and performance breakthrough. To fail at the 5 yard-line is a tragedy. We are extremely sorry that we cannot deliver your product and want you to know that the team has done everything possible including investing our own savings and working without salary to exhaust all possibilities.
“The OSSIC X was started as a campaign to create immersive and interactive audio. One of the biggest questions was, in a world of small earbuds and phone speakers, do people really care about good audio? Are they truly interested in the next generation of 3D audio? The success of the campaign was a resounding “YES” that has had a ripple in the audio industry.
“We will forever be grateful to you and the team members, investors, and business partners who believed in us and helped give our dream a fighting chance. We were able to achieve some amazing things in an industry that was, and still is, ripe for innovation. Your voice of support throughout these past 2 years will continue to bring change to the industry, as bigger players than us refocus their efforts into better, smarter, and more immersive audio.
“Thank you for all of your support, and we sincerely apologize that we could not deliver all of the headphones.”
TechCrunch reports a group of more than 1,200 Facebook users have now joined a page threatening a class action lawsuit against the team. This report also highlights that some 22,000 people had made pre-orders for Ossics headphones, but that the firm only produced around 250 units.
UPDATE: A representative from Indiegogo cited the amount raised via its platform was $515,000 and not $3.2m as originally reported.