Unicorn is shutting down after spending all it’s funds advertising the product only to get little than 350 orders after so much expenses. Unicorn an electric scooter startup by the co-creator of Gadget Tracker Tile made the announcement about the loss the company had bear because of the failure to land enough customers to buy the product.
The startup sent an email to customers where it says it lacks all the resources to deliver any of it’s $699 electric scooter and won’t be in fact issuing any refunds because “we are completely out of funding”.
Nick Evans, Unicorn CEO in the email said that the company had “totally failed as a business” and had also “spread the cost of this failure to you, the early customers that believed in us.”
”UNICORN CEO NICK EVANS SAID THE COMPANY HAD “TOTALLY FAILED AS A BUSINESS”
Nick Evans, Unicorn CEO
Just six months ago, the company appeared in the electric transportation scene making scooters and it’s aims were to capitalize on the popularity of dockless rental services like Bird and Lime while still able to encourage buyers as being an affordable alternative to shared scooters.
The all-white design of the Electric scooter was also an interesting thing that struck a lot of people while the startup also appeared to be offering an absolutely great product to its emerging customers if they ever got any.
The scooter has lots of high-tech features such as GPS tracking and smartphone-enabled locking. The Unicorn electric scooter just integrates well with Evans which utilizes Bluetooth to track lost items such as Wallet, Keys or smartphones.
But the untimely demise of the company is such a sad story considering the fact that the company had spent so much advertising and marketing as well as having loan debts to replay as well as other expenses which left the company with so much less to develop the actual product it was planning to sell.
We could have continued moving forward and taking more orders and that would continue to fund the business, and if we did that might have been able to deliver the product, but we also may have not been able to sell enough Unicorns, so by doing that we would be risking more people’s orders. So we made the very, very difficult decision to stop.
A large portion of the revenue went toward paying for Facebook ads to bring traffic to the site. A portion also went to our manufacturer in the form of a down payment to build the scooters, but unfortunately that down payment cannot be redeemed for a portion of the scooters that we were planning to order.
Unfortunately, the cost of the ads were just too expensive to build a sustainable business. And as the weather continued to get colder throughout the US and more scooters from other companies came on to the market, it became harder and harder to sell Unicorns, leading to a higher cost for ads and fewer customers.
Nick Evans – Unicorn Scooters
The company is working on selling its remaining assets in order to give partial refunds, but Evans warns that even this is “looking unlikely.”
“We are so, so very sorry,” he concludes.
No one was happy about this sad story as most of the early customers of the company were really unsatisfied with the situation of things. The Verge was able to reach out to a couple of customers to know about their feelings about the situation of things and most expressed their anger with one email from Rebecca Buchholtz saying ” I am upset he basically robbed everyone of his customers and is closing without delivering any scooters, This was my daughters Christmas gift and now I cannot get her any gift.”
Another customer, Matt Furhman expressed his displeasure “I find it shocking that someone like Nick Evans who has name recognition and clout in the tech community due to Tile, would operate in such a fraudulent way,” Furhman said he’d spent $998 after ordering two Unicorn scooters and went ahead calling Nick Evans “a Thief.”
Customers are therefore advised to contact their credit card companies and dispute the charges from Unicorn. Also Evans had an email conversation with The Verge where he made mention of the fact that the company only received 350 orders. “I feel horribly guilty that we left people with no scooters and no refunds,” he said. “We are working on something, but, yes, this seems unlikely.”
Unicorn might have fallen but it’s definitely not the only electric transportation company to have fallen on rough surface. An electric skateboard startup from Santa Cruz called Inboard Technology is currently liquidating it’s intellectual property as well as assets after attempting to pivot to electric scooters. The company had to lay off it’s entire workforce after the failure,
While there are some companies failing, some are in fact enjoying success by using celebrities to market their products. Unagi for example made it while using artists such as Kendrick Lamar, Chance the Rapper, Halsey, Steve Aoki and teen pop megastar Billie Eilish — which has helped it raise $3.5 million in venture capital.
While starting and maintaining an E-Scooter business might be hard for some or easy for others, it’s definitely a game of good cash flow and the ability to land enough funds to run the operations of the company. There are usually barriers such as economic imbalance as well having to compete against already established organizations.
Companies like Unicorn, which sought to partner with China’s Segway/Ninebot on manufacturing (and whose Segway ES2 the scooter closely resembles), find themselves facing enormous upfront costs that are difficult to recoup without a swell of customer preorders.
The fact that people still see Chinese products as not being entirely superior in quality to those made in the US might be a big failing part for Unicorn considering the fact that the scooter is entirely made in China but to be sold in the US.