Lily Robotics Sued for False Advertising and Unfair Business Practices

Lily Robotics Sued for False Advertising and Unfair Business Practices

News came yesterday that the Lily drone would not be released and preorders would be refunded. The company indicated an inability to secure the funds needed for a production run, despite having raised $34 million. However, Lily Robotics failed to mention that they are also being sued by the San Francisco district attorney for false advertising and unfair business practices.

The suit alleges that after an investigation of several months, the district attorney's office uncovered that the company's promotional video was actually filmed using a "much more expensive, professional camera drone that requires two people to operate." On this basis, false advertising charges have been filed against the company. 

The district attorney's office also obtained a judicial order that requires the company to refund customers after discovering that the money obtained from 60,000 preorders had been used to obtain a $4 million bank loan, resulting in unfair business practices being added to the lawsuit. Regarding refunds, the suit alleges the company “lost contact with a high percentage of its preorder customers” and that those customers had "considerable trouble" obtaining refunds. While the company has promised refunds will be disbursed in the next 60 days, this is certainly a troubling development. Did you preorder a Lily drone? Have you attempted to obtain a refund? Let us know in the comments. 

[via DIY Photography and SF Gate]


Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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Oh boy, here we go....

It's been 2 hours since this posted.. Where are all the "humorous" comments?

Well, I just looked at their C Team and it appears they're predominantly white males... #DuckingForCoverNow

I still don't understand the whole concept (of kickstarter).

In my head, there are people with money looking for investement in ventures and if those people pass and let those kickstarter ask "the community" for money to get their thing started... Maybe it's not a good sign?

Many cool thing came out of kickstarter but I still don't see why I should pledge money upfront to someone since I'm not qualified to judge their business plan, assets management, etc...

I do think the idea (Kickstarter) was intended for start-ups with little money to invest in up-scaling their ideas, however larger, more reputable companies are also taking advantage of the platform as an alternative to traditional bank loans - which is commendable to me

They didn't raise their money through Kickstarter.

What ever the platform...

The concept of asking for money before anything is shown is strange. they make it look like you're "pre ordering" but in fact, you are gambling/investing in a product...

Peak Design gear is a great example of a very successful kickstarter campaign

I know, I have one! But I bought once their company was running smoothly and not 6 month before any product is produced!

I think the whole point of kickstarter and the like is that there is an element of risk and reward. If you are prepared to back something still in development and it fails then there is a risk you won't get all your money back.

.. This reminds me to cancel my pre-order for the Tesla 3 series before I forget about it!

Good man!

its difference analogy. Tesla is big company and have proven records.
Kickstarter is nothing proven. just idea and concept.
closest you can compare is pre ordering Faraday Future FF91 car.

I was super impressed by the lily drone video when I saw it. The old lady throwing it, someone else pitching it off a bridge, the drone in the water, etc. It's a shame it never went to market I think it would've appealed to a large crowd who otherwise wouldn't have bought a drone.

I pre-ordered a Lily about a week after they started accepting orders. After pretty much no communication from them as far as updates and getting the first email stating that they weren't going to meet the initial deadline, I contacted them for a refund.

It took a bit of back and forth with them claiming they sent it out already etc... Long story short, I finally spoke with someone on the phone and 2 days later I saw the refund back in my account.

I was wondering if they were stalling the release to add in more features since the Phantom 3 and up (as well as other drones released since)are able to pretty much do the Lily's main selling point (follow the user). Other than being waterproof, there's really no reason to get one since it doesn't offer the ability to manually operate it if desired at the very least...