net SE, the parent company for Meyer Optik and others, has now officially gone backrupt, and that means the thousands of backers of several Kickstarter campaigns will receive neither their lenses nor refunds.
The company filed for insolvency in August, despite having raised several million dollars in multiple Kickstarter campaigns for rebooted production runs of classic lenses. The first outward sign of trouble was when it was announced that founder and CEO, Dr. Stefan Immes, had been in a serious car accident and would no longer run the company, although word of internal mismanagement has leaked out since. Nonetheless, with this announcement and the filing for insolvency, where the funds that were raised had gone and if any would make their way back to backers was unclear, but now that the bankruptcy is finalized, it's assured that thousands of backers will receive neither the products they selected nor a refund. I don't really mince words when it comes to how I feel about crowdfunding and photography gear, and I wrote a long piece about how I think it's a bad idea in general last year. It's unfortunate to see that another company's failure has left so many people out serious chunks of cash, but it's a good reminder to understand the risks before you back a crowdfunding campaign.
Lead image by Pixabay user RJA1988, used under Creative Commons.