Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
Tiko is the 3D printer you’ve been waiting for. Simple, accessible, and dependable, all for a pledge of $179.
Tiko is the 3D printer you’ve been waiting for. Simple, accessible, and dependable, all for a pledge of $179.
Tiko is the 3D printer you’ve been waiting for. Simple, accessible, and dependable, all for a pledge of $179.
Created by
16,538 backers pledged $2,950,874 to help bring this project to life.

Highs and Lows

235 likes

Hi Everyone,

If you have followed us these past couple of years, then you have witnessed the struggles of entrepreneurship. The ups and downs. The highs and lows. The exciting victories, and the painful losses. You have seen that starting a company is a perilous journey, where success is the exception, not the rule.

Today we have some regretful news to share. Just when it seemed we had finally made it, we have once again found ourselves in a difficult situation.

 

What Happened?

It’s a long story, but it’s all out there in the updates.

We started as a trio of starry-eyed first-time entrepreneurs. With your support, we set out to change the world. Our mission was grand: to build the ultimate prototyping tool and empower everyday innovators around the world. We set off with a bang, and with blind optimism, we jumped head-first into manufacturing. It felt like we had it all figured out…

Except, we didn’t. We had no idea how difficult it would be to go from a prototype to mass production.We learned along the way, but most mistakes were costly and irreversible. Our greatest mistake was committing to inventory too soon. We didn’t realize it at first, but by ordering components in bulk, we had backed ourselves into a corner. Design flaws appeared, and we were trapped. By the time we understood our predicament, it was already too late. We were in too deep, and there was no turning back. Our cheerful mission to empower innovators had become a struggle to survive.

Despite the year and a half of hardware and software setbacks, manufacturing challenges, repeated delays, regulatory hurdles, unending certification requirements, unplanned operating expenses, logistical nightmares, sleepless nights, strained relationships, frustrated suppliers, a disgruntled community, new competitors, and a jaded industry, we simply refused to give up. Day after day, we kept fighting with all our hearts. Evenings. Weekends. More engineers. More developers. More prototypes. More testing. Nothing was ever enough. We did everything we could to turn this around, but by November 2016, we were at a breaking point. With resources running thin, and options running out, we prepared for one final push. We believed software improvements could solve the remaining technical issues, and that pre-orders could solve our financial ones. It was our big chance to get back on our feet.

We gave it everything we had, and we made great progress, but in the end it wasn’t enough. Software had improved, but not enough. Same with hardware and quality control. Pre-orders streamed in, but they too were just not enough. We were right at the finish line, and yet, we were miles away.

 

How Far Did You Get?

We developed the software, finalized the hardware, and manufactured 16,000+ sets of (almost) every component. We managed to ship a little over 4100 finished printers. The first hundred went to early-bird backers, and the rest were spread across three large batches. One to Canada, two to the United States. Europe was next, but feedback suggested the software was not ready, the hardware still needed work, and we no longer had the resources to assemble/ship further batches.

There’s also a myth that we bought/built an entire factory. It’s based on the ambiguous wording of a previous update. The fact is, we simply rented a space for assembly. We later backed out because of registration issues, but were allowed to stay in the free space we had before.

  

What Is the Status Now?

By early January, we had no choice but to lay off our team and wind down operations. It was the hardest thing we had ever done. Despite the team’s incredible effort and dedication, their sacrifice and their faith, we simply could not afford their salaries. We had to let them go. We asked everyone to organize and document their work, and with heavy hearts, we wished them farewell. Everything is now in “hibernation mode”. Frozen, but well documented and ready to resume at a moment’s notice.

Meanwhile, in China, operations have slowed to a crawl. We continue to run small-scale tests to show that hardware can be improved, and we do our best to fulfill warranty requests, however we are no longer in production. Most of the components are sitting there in boxes, but we lack the resources to purchase the remaining few, or to assemble/ship full batches of finished printers.

We have also cancelled all pre-orders. We deeply appreciate their patronage, but the risk is now too high. We must return our focus to fulfilling Kickstarter rewards before making promises to anyone else.

Basically, the company is now on standby while we pursue ways to get back on track.

 

So, Is Tiko Dead?

No, at least, not yet. We made countless mistakes, and we are now in a tough place, but it doesn’t mean that everything we built is suddenly worthless.

The cost of 3D printers has dropped significantly since our campaign launched. Now that this price war (aka race to the bottom) is nearing its end, we have asked ourselves: What is the next frontier? Where will this industry go next?

Well, we have our theories, and we believe that Tiko as a platform is exceptionally well positioned for this future. Granted, these technologies need some re-engineering, more testing, and much better execution, but the potential is still there. It turns out there are people who feel the same way...

  

What Are You Doing To Fix This?

We are doing something we should have done a long time ago. We are speaking with investors.

Up until now, we have been on our own. We believed investors would get in the way, but that was immature. It’s time to put that thinking behind us, and start working with people who have the resources and experience to manufacture a product at this scale, and build a sustainable business.

We are already well into discussions with a number of interested investors. They are fully aware of our situation, but see our vision for the industry, and the roadmap for our technologies. They understand the challenges, but also recognize the potential for a bright future.

Of course, these discussions cannot be rushed. It’s a lengthy process, and it could take months for us to reach something conclusive. We’ll update you on this once we have something definitive.

 

Why Didn’t You Tell Us Sooner?

Keeping technologies private is one thing, but this is entirely different. It’s an incredibly heavy burden to bear, and holding back was not easy. Unfortunately, many investors value discretion, especially in the early stages of discussion. The headlines of our failure would hurt the odds of reaching a deal, so we did what was best for the project and kept quiet. It’s all out in the open now, but we’ve already made good progress, so it might not be a dealbreaker.

 

What If Investment Falls Through?

There are other roadmaps for how we could proceed. Some position us for a slow recovery, while others involve a gradual wind down. Either way, we feel that you should have a say in all this. Over the coming weeks, we will be in the comments section to collaborate on a variety of ideas. Everyone is welcome to participate, and we hope you will join us as we work together to define the next chapter of the Tiko story.

 

Can I Get a Refund?

No. If we cannot refund everyone, then it is unfair to refund anyone. Our priority is still the successful delivery of all Kickstarter rewards, and the remaining funds will be used for the turnaround effort, in line with Kickstarter’s Terms of Use.

 

Final Thoughts

Starting a company is a fight against the odds, and a journey into the unknown. Just when you think you have it all figured out, reality comes in and hits you in the gut. We climbed to the top, then fell off and hit every branch on the way down. We’re sorry we disappointed you. You believed in us, and we let you down. It hurts like hell... but this isn’t over yet.

We know you're tired. We are too. The thing is, we still love what we do. We still have our vision, our passion, and perhaps even our future. These are tough times, but we haven’t given up yet, and we hope you won’t either.

Thank you for supporting us at our highest heights, and our lowest lows. We may be down, but as long as you believe in us, we will never be out.

We’ll be in touch,

Team Tiko

Dylan Wase, max, and 233 more people like this update.

Comments

Only backers can post comments. Log In
    1. Invictus Games & Street Legal Mods just now

      thats the risk when you invest in products on kickstarter. you guys are crying like babies and acting like some copy and paste will get you somewhere. then the others talking about how tiko ran off with 2.5 million etc. you guys are out of touch with reality and would of done no better yourselves. they did what they could, it was a risk and they failed. you're out 180 bucks, boo hoo, they lost a lot more than that.

    2. Mohamad Nazri Ismail 3 days ago

      @Tiko I would like to formally request a full refund for the Tiko printer that you promised with a value of $179 and the $55 that you requested for shipping.

    3. Mohamad Nazri Ismail 3 days ago

      tiko really scam

    4. Missing avatar

      Hussain Ali Khan 3 days ago

      @Tiko, I would like to formally request a full refund for the Tiko printer that you promised with a value of 179$ and the 55$ that you requested for shipping.

    5. Gary Mahon 6 days ago

      "We'll be in touch" Oh you pranksters, you

    6. Mohamed El-Shinnawy 6 days ago

      tiko I would like to formally request full refund for the Tiko printer that you promised with a value of $179 and the $55 that you requested for shipping. Please contact me.

    7. Missing avatar

      fernando argiro on November 14

      tiko I would like to formally request full refund for the Tiko printer that you promised with a value of $179 and the $55 that you requested for shipping. Please contact me.

    8. Shawn White + Pulsar Toys on November 7

      @Tiko
      I formally request a full refund for the Tiko printer that I pre-ordered with a value of $179 and the $55 that you requested for shipping.

    9. Tom Stillwell on November 3

      @Tiko I would like to formally request a full refund for the Tiko printer that you promised with a value of $179 and the $55 that you requested for shipping.

    10. Mads Storm Andersen on October 23

      "Just when you think you have it all figured out, reality comes in and hits you in the gut. "
      Well if you listen to your backers and took some of the advice handed to you, you might have come out on top.. But why would you? You knew it all!! "SAD, really!!".
      P.S All you backer who are requesting refunds. Copy'n'Pasting text will only flood fill the comments and show you don't know how KS works.. SAD:)

    11. Missing avatar

      Raquel Busquet on October 20

      @Tiko, I would like to formally request a full refund for the Tiko printer that you promised with a value of 179$ and the 55$ that you requested for shipping.

    12. Missing avatar

      Tanner Balius on October 18

      @Tiko, I would like to formally request a full refund for the Tiko printer that you promised with a value of 179$ and the 55$ that you requested for shipping.

    13. Missing avatar

      Martin on October 18

      @Tiko I would like to formally request a full refund for the Tiko printer that you promised. The amount I pledged was 179USD and 55USD for shipping. Awaiting your swift reply.

    14. David Pedro Garrido on October 17

      @Tiko I would like to formally request full refund for the Tiko printer that you promised with a value of $179 and the $55 that you requested for shipping. Please contact me.

    15. Josh Murray on October 16

      @Tiko, I would like to formally request a full refund for the Tiko printer that you promised with a value of 179$ and the 55$ that you requested for shipping.

    16. Omer Pines on October 12

      I would formally like to request a full refund of $179 for the printer and the $55 in shipping. Thank you.

    17. marcos on October 10

      Tiko Gostaria de solicitar formalmente um reembolso total para a impressora Tiko que você prometeu com um valor de $ 358 e os $ 110 que você solicitou para envio

    18. Missing avatar

      Josh Matthews on October 8

      @Tiko, I would like to formally request a full refund for the Tiko printer that you promised with a value of 179$ and the 55$ that you requested for shipping.

    19. Missing avatar

      Josh Matthews on October 8

      I would formally like to request a full refund of $179 for the printer and the $55 in shipping. Thank you.

    20. Gutem on October 6

      @Tiko I would like to formally request a full refund for the two Tiko printer that you promised with a value of $358 and the $110 that you requested for shipping

    21. Missing avatar

      Kike Guillen on October 4

      @Tiko I would like to formally request a full refund for the Tiko printer that you promised with a value of $179 and the $55 that you requested for shipping

    22. Steven Goldsmith on October 1

      @Tiko I would like to formally request a full refund for the Tiko printer that you promised with a value of $179 and the $55 that you requested for shipping

    23. Alex Dixon on September 29

      @Tiko I would like to formally request a full refund for the Tiko printer that you promised with a value of $179 and the $55 that you requested for shipping.

    24. Missing avatar

      Dieh Shung Teck on September 29

      @Tiko, I would like to formally request a full refund for the Tiko printer that you promised with a value of 179$ and the 55$ that you requested for shipping

    25. Vivid N. Savitri on September 27

      @Tiko, I would like to formally request a full refund for the Tiko 3D printer that you promised with a value of 179$ and the 55$ that you requested for shipping.

    26. Andrés Mauricio Paredes on September 27

      @Tiko, I would like to formally request a full refund for the Tiko printer that you promised with a value of 179$ and the 55$ that you requested for shipping.

    27. Missing avatar

      Michael D Moogalian II on September 26

      @Tiko, I would like to formally request a full refund for the Tiko printer that you promised with a value of 179$ and the 55$ that you requested for shipping.

    28. Missing avatar

      Alfonso on September 22

      Finally I have the shipping charged back in my credit card. Thanks to a consummer and users organization in my country (OCU).

      It is not as impossible as it seemed.

      Time to invest in my (working) Tevo Tarantula!

    29. Gunnar Schröder on September 21

      Ich will mein Geld zurück¡!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    30. Missing avatar

      Dennis Mark Hammar on September 18

      I invoke my rights under Kickstarter's Terms of Use:
      https://www.kickstarter.com/terms-of-use/oct2012
      "Project Creators are required to fulfill all rewards of their successful fundraising campaigns or refund any Backer whose reward they do not or cannot fulfill."
      I demand a full refund for my pledge amount.

    31. Lesley Lo on September 14

      When the hell are you going to ship our order??

    32. Nigel Allen
      Superbacker
      on September 13

      Amazing how these guys can walk off with almost $2.5m of other people's money and not be to concerned. Do they all own houses now? Cars? Great holidays?

    33. Missing avatar

      Helen L on September 11

      @Tiko, I would like to formally request full refund for the Tiko printer that you promised with a value of $179 and the $55 that you requested for shipping.

    34. Missing avatar

      Nemo Sampaio on September 11

      @Tiko I would like to formally request a full refund for the Tiko printer that you promised with a value of $179 and the $55 that you requested for shipping.

    35. Missing avatar

      Vinay G. Pai Kane on September 11

      @Tiko I would like to formally request a full refund for the Tiko printer that you promised with a value of $179 and the $55 that you requested for shipping.

    36. Noch Exodus on September 10

      The bad thing is you request for shipping cost. So that mean you should delivery the things. You should refund the shipping cost.

    37. Aaron McLellan on September 8

      @Tiko I would like to formally request a full refund for the Tiko printer that you promised with a value of $179 and the $55 that you requested for shipping.

    38. SheepsFeaTheR on September 7

      @Tiko, I would like to formally request a full refund for the Tiko printer that you promised with a value of $179 and the $55 that you requested for shipping.

    39. Missing avatar

      Keith Leung on September 5

      No status No news No refund, even asking us to pay the shipping cost and I feel so irresponsible

    40. Gavin Stirrat on September 4

      It's been quite a while since the last update - what's going on?

      And perhaps if there are no options, at least you should refund shipping if the funds do not exist to refund everyone the full amount?

    41. Jack Miller on September 3

      @Tiko, I understand that you've had "difficulties", but I would like to formally request full refund for the Tiko printer that you promised with a value of $179 and the $55 that you requested for shipping -- shipping that I paid for but was associated with no product.

    42. Missing avatar

      Katsuyuki Horiuchi on September 2

      If you can not make a refund, please hand over the product. I think that it is unfair to give products only to some investors.
      Do you say that unfairness to offer products only to some investors is allowed in the terms of use of kickstarters?

      Moreover, you receive a shipping fee that should not be used for product development.
      It is obviously a fraud.

    43. Robert L Hester on August 28

      @Tiko, I would like to formally request a full refund for the Tiko printer that you promised with a value of $179 and the $55 that you requested for shipping.

    44. Daniel Pellicer on August 28

      Hello, I know that refund is not an option at this point. What I would have is a Tiko printer even if it's not 100% stable... even if I won't get perfect prints it might still be useful for some DIY works. Thanks to contact me about that option

    45. Missing avatar

      Gilbert Ursulescu on August 24

      @Tiko, I would like to formally request a full refund for the Tiko printer that you promised with a value of 200$ and the 55$ that you requested for shipping.

    46. Missing avatar

      Gilbert Ursulescu on August 24

      @Tiko, I would like to formally request a full refund for the Tiko printer that you promised with a value of 179$ and the 55$ that you requested for shipping.

    47. John Hines on August 23

      @Tiko, I would like to formally request a full refund for the Tiko printer that you promised with a value of 179$ and the 55$ that you requested for shipping.

    48. Rudson Machado on August 21

      @Tiko, I would like to formally request a full refund for the Tiko printer that you promised with a value of 179$ and the 55$ that you requested for shipping.

    49. Rudson Machado on August 21

      What a disappointment :( money doesn't grown in trees and we did trust you guys...

    50. Daniel Velez Franco on August 18

      @Tiko, I would like to formally request a full refund for the Tiko printer that you promised with a value of 179$ and the 55$ that you requested for shipping.