Sketchy business: Peachy Printer claims co-founder stole backer funds to build a houseBy Shawn Knight 10 comments
There's an inherent risk associated with crowdfunding projects. According to one study conducted last year, roughly nine percent of Kickstarter campaigns fail to deliver on their rewards. Some projects fall short of their promise due to little more than incompetence but others, like the Peachy Printer, are a bit more complicated.
The Peachy Printer raised more than $500,000 with the promise of delivering a $100 3D printer by March 2014. That date came and went and after more than 60 updates, we finally know why.
According to Rylan Grayston, one of the creators of the device, fellow co-founder David Boe allegedly stole roughly $320,000 CAD from what was raised in the campaign to build a house. As you'll see in the video above, Boe, who reportedly invested the initial $10,000 in the business, allegedly confesses to the crime.
Boe's role within the business was to be the business administrator and financial manager. Grayston said the Kickstarter campaign was launched before Peachy Printer existed as a company. As such, they didn't have a corporate account so Boe is said to have set up his personal bank account to receive the Kickstarter funds and promised to hold them until the company's account was ready.
Graystone said he wanted to tell backers about the issue as soon as he found out but was working on multiple ways to still deliver the rewards and didn't want to risk having the whole thing fall apart.
I'm not pointing fingers or issuing blame or anything else... but, is it just me or does something seem a bit "off" here? The dialog feels scripted (with poor acting) and the video seems a little too polished, complete with dramatic music. What's even more bizarre is that the company invited some backers over to film their reaction of learning about the bad news. One of the backers even jokes about being a paid actor. Who does that?
A subsequent update addresses a number of concerns from backers, all of which can be found by clicking here.
What are your thoughts on the whole matter? Did you invest in Peachy Printer? Is the whole thing one giant scam or are they trying to do the right thing? Chime in with your thoughts in the comments section below.