Everyone knows that here at FashNerd.com, we have been fans of Vinaya since its ‘Kovert Designs’ days. We championed their campaigns to raise money. We styled their handsome tech in our WearableTechStylist edits. We were even in talks to arrange a road trip to their offices as part of FashNerd.com’s Road Trip Series. That is why we were shocked to hear that one of our favourite wearable tech brands had entered bankruptcy.
This was a company that was held in high regard. Their tech accessories were a great example of how fashion and technology was the power couple to watch in the wearable tech industry. We, at FashNerd, loved their product because it seemed to do what it said on the tin, not an easy feat. Also, it was hard to swallow their sudden downfall because it wasn’t so long ago that they announced their product partnership with Thrive Global. In the announcement the duo confirmed that they were going to be working together on a number of events in NYC Soho pop-up store which was set to run from November 2016 until 15 January 2017. So what went wrong?
“Vinaya’s tech accessories were a great example of how fashion and technology was the power couple to watch in the wearable tech industry.”
Well, we first heard the whispers from various industry insiders that trouble was brewing at Vinaya at the beginning of December 2016, but we never imagined that it was this bad. According to Business Insider‘s report, the regulatory filings indicate that the company will become two separate entities, Vinaya and Vinaya Technologies. So what does this mean for people who have invested in Vinaya’s Zenta? Well, those who helped fund the biometric bracelet might not receive the wearable in January 2017 as previously scheduled.
This news comes a little more than a year after Vinaya raised around $3 million in seed funding from backers. The most worrying thing is Vinaya is not alone. 2016 was also not great for established players like Fitbit, whose company stock closed on Thursday 29th December 2016 at $7.39 per share, a drop of nearly 75% compared to the same time last year. Then there was Pebble whose own demise ended with a sale to Fitbit (NYSE: FIT) for somewhere between $34 million and $40 million, a very low offer in comparison to the rather huge sum of $740 million that was offered by Citizen back in 2015.
As we come to terms with the fact that Vinaya’s objective to establish themselves as an authority in the wellness commerce space might have gone up in flames, CEO Kate Unsworth told Business Insider that the company is undergoing a “restructuring”. With backers of the crowdfunding campaign starting to complain about a lack of communication from the company, it does not look like a good start to the year for the wellness tech company.