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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.
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16,538 backers pledged $2,950,874 to help bring this project to life.

Highs and Lows

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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 234 more people like this update.

Comments

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    1. Missing avatar

      Michael D Moogalian II just now

      @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.

    2. Missing avatar

      Alfonso 4 days ago

      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!

    3. Gunnar Schröder 5 days ago

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

    4. 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.

    5. Lesley Lo on September 14

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

    6. 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?

    7. 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.

    8. 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.

    9. 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.

    10. 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.

    11. 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.

    12. 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.

    13. 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

    14. 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?

    15. 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.

    16. 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.

    17. 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.

    18. 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

    19. 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.

    20. 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.

    21. 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.

    22. 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.

    23. Rudson Machado on August 21

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

    24. 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.

    25. Missing avatar

      Ergün Özen on August 10

      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.

      Or at least one of the printers you made for backers.

    26. Giuseppe Giuze Franco on August 10

      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.

    27. Missing avatar

      Gregory Schmeling on August 9

      @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. james Lang on August 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.

    29. Missing avatar

      Leo Frollini on August 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.

    30. Missing avatar

      juliavent on August 4

      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.

    31. Missing avatar

      brendan on August 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.

    32. Missing avatar

      Tavernoshca on August 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.

    33. Tsai da Yi on July 31

      @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.

    34. Vic Tam on July 27

      There has NO proven record that your business had developed any product at all!!!! THIS IS A FRAUD!! THIS IS A FRAUD!! THIS IS A FRAUD!! THIS IS A FRAUD!! THIS IS A FRAUD!!

    35. David Freese on July 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.

    36. Steven Kennett on July 25

      @people asking for a refund.

      "No."

    37. Missing avatar

      Matt Sowers on July 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.

    38. Missing avatar

      WissiW on July 20

      @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.

    39. BhEaN on July 19

      @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.

    40. Luke Hunter on July 19

      @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.

    41. Missing avatar

      Joshua Scheufler on July 18

      @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.

    42. Julien Ferla on July 18

      @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.

    43. Yossi Ezra on July 18

      @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. Thank you in advance.

    44. baruto on July 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.

    45. Justin Hollingsworth on July 16

      @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. Thank you in advance.

    46. Missing avatar

      Glenn on July 14

      @ Tiko, I hope that you have honestly tried to fulfill this business plan and product to final completion, Reading your updates and struggles it appears to have been an extremely hard journey and many mistakes made. The idea of Kickstarter is to support development and design of new products, some of which do not get off the ground - this I support wholeheartly, this is why I backed you. I do believe the $55 shipping fee ask was wrong and should be refunded to all those who paid it, however it does not look like you will be doing this.

      What I would like, is the opportunity to receive the TIKO unit as completed so far, at least i can see what my pledge helped develop and the progress made - I am truly interested. You have large amounts of stock, that you will have to pay to store (at some point, or send to waste) and the option should be given (to those that understand that the units are not 100% operational) to receive the units.

      PLEASE make this an option and inform us all!

    47. Missing avatar

      JAYTEE on July 12

      @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. 강기찬 on July 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. I have received nothing after more than two years of waiting.

    49. Missing avatar

      Daniel on July 11

      Want to copy and paste a previous comment. You asked for shipping money when you WERE NOT ready to ship - so you just cash grabbed. In effect, this was inaccurate and we should be refunded the shipping at least.

      So, I understand that you are trying to cite KickStarter's TOS as blocking point for not issuing refunds. The point is that you flat out lied when you asked us for an additional $55 because you said your company was ready to ship the product. If that isn't a more blatant cash grab I don't know what is. It's kinda false advertising when you say a product is ready to ship, charge your base for the shipping, and then back out saying you failed with the "No one gets a product and No one gets a refund". I think at best you should at least be refunding the $55 seeing as you didn't collect that through Kickstarter and since there is nothing to ship, you no longer need that shipping fee.

    50. Bryan Mitchell
      Superbacker
      on July 7

      Anything new on the front to report?