Sirin Labs recently raised $115M in an Initial Coin Offering to fund their new attempt at a secure blockchain smartphone, in a phase of downturn for ICOs, signing up soccer star Leo Messi as brand ambassador.
Though it was launched last March — with a huge marketing campaign with movie stars, including Leonardo di Caprio – by September their CEO admitted they had sales of “just under $10 million”, which amounts to just about 700 units sold.
A total utter failure, which proved beyond any reasonable doubt that the hundreds of thousands of top executives, and the rich and powerful of the World — with assets of trillions of dollars — did not even remotely trust their claims and approach. They sticked to their iPhone as the least-worse alternative, and just assumed all to be cracked or crackable by a large incalculable number of actors.
Nevertheless, Sirin Labs had by March had enough millions of dollars to decide to pivot/rebrand by “integrating” the blockchain to increase their security, positioning as crypto wallet an client, and committing to switch from obscure proprietary to an unspecified level of “open source”. They previously raised equity for $25M in 2013 and another $75M in 2016 for their $15,000 Solarin smartphone, claiming to be the most secure phone in the World.
From this huge product failure and consequent huge fundraising success story we can learn a few lessons:
(A) Validates a huge demand for more secure client devices for communications (like the aforementioned blockhain phone), cryptocurrency wallet and general cloud computing – quantified in hundreds of billions from Snowden onwards – that are way more secure than current state-of-the-art. Continue reading The Secure Blockchain Smartphone Failure