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Tech start-up Ninja Blocks shuts its doors

Tech start-up Ninja Blocks shuts its doors

Funding dries up as it runs over time with its Sphere product development

Tech start-up on the home automation front, Ninja Blocks, has hit the wall after running over time with its Sphere product development and running out of funds.

Ninja Blocks is a home automation system that allows users to connect a range of sensors to the Internet.

It had an impressive list of backers since it was first launched in 2012 after being selected to be part of the Australian startup incubator, Startmate. Some of its investors included SingTel Innov8, Blackbird Ventures and 500 Startups.

In October last year, the company managed to raise $US700,000 to help launch its new Ninja Sphere Internet of Things (IoT) product, which can monitor items connected to the hardware device and other aspects such as a home’s temperature, energy use, a person’s presence in the house and lighting.

Since its inception, the start-up attracted more than $2.5 million in investments.

In blog post, Ninja Blocks said the development of its Sphere product ran over time and over budget.

“Ninja Blocks has always run lean, and when the next round of investment fell through we didn't have much runway left to adjust our course,” the blog said.

“With no credible source of funding on the horizon, and hardware still undelivered to kickstarter backers, we made the difficult decision to down-tools. Doing this has left the company with enough to pay the creditors and eventually ship almost all the Spheres that were promised.”

So far it has partially built 300 Sphere devices, but they needed more funding to be finished, the blog said.

“If and when we could get Ninja back up and running, building and shipping those 300 Spheres would be our first job and highest priority,” the blog said.

“We've all put big chunks of our lives into this company and it really sucks to see it failing. We’re proud of the product though, and hope it can live on for a while through the community, while we work out how to move forward.”

It plans to keep its Cloud services running and ship Spheres to its kickstarter backers in the next few months.

“Everything has been open sourced and we’ll be here to help the community keep developing if they want to,” the blog said. “As a company, we might be back at some point, but nothing is solid right now.”

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