Keecker, a consumer robotics company based in France, has closed down. Founded in 2012, Keecker raised $8 million, according to Crunchbase, and was building a consumer robot that could autonomously navigate and provide users with entertainment, security, communication, and smart home data.
Pierre Lebeau, founder and CEO of Keecker, made the announcement in a blog. Lebeau said Keecker “ran out of cash” as it was unable to find investors to keep the company going.
Lebeau said the company had “over 1000 robots out there, thousands of users and have seen some amazing stats like 3.5 hours of usage [per] day.” Keecker did not receive as much attention as Jibo and Kuri, but it suffered the same fate, unfortunately. Jibo recently turned off its servers, which will severely limit the functionality of the robots in the field, while Mayfield Robotics shut down Kuri before it was shipped to consumer’s homes.
Here’s more from Lebeau:
“Building a profitable cash machine in B2C robotics is harder and we couldn’t convince investors to further fund us.
“We’ve seen other like Jibo and Kuri fail last year, we fought like dogs not to follow their path, but in the end there is a strong sentiment again consumer robots that we couldn’t get past. In the end consumer electronics is a tough market were David is likely to fall against the many Goliath.
“Keecker was a dream, a dream to think about users first, a dream to focus on shared tech (TVs, speakers) and a dream to engage with people in a much more useful way.
“We know that one day, pretty soon, big brands will launch similar products. Our dream wasn’t wrong, we just tackled a big problem with little means and weren’t able to convince enough investors to get behind our project.
“Maybe we were too early, maybe we were too expensive, maybe we didn’t try all possible ways to make money, maybe we weren’t good enough, maybe we didn’t meet the right people, lots of possible causes but in the end, I am proud of what we achieved, I’m unbelievably proud of the team that put all these long hours to build this product and proud of the 6 years we had at Keecker.”
Lebeau said Keecker published its last Over The Air (OTA) update to all its robots on March 8, along with a new version of the Android and iOS apps. Through the update, the company removed its dependencies on its servers, which will no longer function over time. Lebeau said the robots will continue to function without requiring Keecker servers, enabling customers to still watch movies and play music. However, features such as remote video access, home analytics, video conferencing and more will disappear.
The video below gives a glimpse at what Keecker was able to do. This story is developing and will be updated accordingly.