The last time we heard from Meta, the creators of the Meta 2 Augmented Reality headset, it looked pretty bleak. Now that several new facts have come to light, we have confirmation of the fate of the beleagured company: Meta is done.
As we reported back in September, the company had to lay off the majority of its staff after failing to gain a $ 20 million new round of financing from investors. On Wednesday, a filing with a court in Delaware unintentionally revealed that Meta is insolvent and in any way over.
How did we get here?
Previously reported vacations hit the company hard Next Reality not only resulted in the deduction of middle-level employees and the support team, but also found that one of these migrations was executive-level.
We have confirmed that Joe Mikhail, the Chief Revenue Officer of the company, is no longer engaged in meta. It is unclear whether the separation was directly related to the holiday or by a separate lawsuit.
Mikhail represented the company at last year's AWE conference in California, the gathering of insiders from the AR business community. There he enthusiastically and passionately presented the hardware, software and the future of the company. Mikhail was so impressive in his efforts that he set up the NR30 list of AR leaders in 2018. Prior to joining the Chief Revenue Officer, Mikhail, a Silicon Valley veteran who previously worked at Lenovo, was a board member of the company's directors.
Prior to Mikhail, Meta's main character was man Ryan Pamplin, an equally energetic and aggressive proponent of Meta's mission to take over the AR mainstream. When Next Reality asked about Mikhail's promotion to Pamplin's status in May 2018, the company said Pamplin was "on leave". His status has never been officially updated in public, and now Pamplin – whose Twitter profile still shows him in a neat tweet with Meta-2 headset alongside Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak – is promoting his own startup, BlendJet. a portable mixer.
The quiet disappearance of the meta-leadership before leave was self-evident for the company, as a number of other high-ranking team members have similarly resigned the company in recent years 12 months with little comment or public statement. In fact, the current version of the company's Web site, which once featured a string of meta-team members, displays only the face of company founder and CEO Meron Gribetz.
Meta 2 No Longer for Sale
In addition to the deletion of executives from the company's website, another important component has disappeared: The Meta 2. Previously, the site had an option to purchase the device. Today, this option no longer appears in the menu of the site. Similarly, the link to the buy.metavision.com section of the site stops working.
This time last year Dell announced that it would sell the Meta 2 as the device's first major reseller. However, we could not find the Meta 2 anywhere on the Dell website. If you search for "augmented reality" on the website, the only AR product is DAQRI's Smart Glasses. Dell did not immediately respond to this absence when contacted by Next Reality.
The disappearance of The device looks even worse than meta last August, heavy discounts on the meta 2 and sold the device for $ 949, which is a drop of over $ 500 compared to the $ 1,495 normal price.
Patent Law Showdown Shuts Down
Any company facing Meta's funding problems, executive leaving and product disappearance would be a big problem. In the meta-story, however, there is still another wrinkling, which was finally resolved today.
As Next Reality reported in August, Meta was hit with a patent infringement suit by Genedics, LLC alleging that Meta infringed patent coverage "UI image manipulation and user input in a three-dimensional space in which View projectors images and sensors to identify user input. "
Originally, Meta tried to relocate the case to California, but this request was denied. In November, Meta's legal status was significantly weakened when he requested that the court dismiss its large legal team. This application was granted. Chief Judge Christopher J. Burke, judge at the US District Court for the District of Delaware, ordered Meta to find new lawyers. That was months ago and since then little progress has been made.
In a new filling at the court, the lawyers for Genedics requested a status update from the court while submitting a letter from Meta containing a report at the end of the story.
"We asked Meta about the need to respond to the court's request for a status update," wrote Genedics lawyer David W. deBruin, "and the company responded this afternoon via its CFO John Sines, as follows … "
Dear Judge Burke:
I reply to your court ruling that the Meta Company must call a lawyer or reach an agreement with Genedics LLC. I am sorry to inform you that the settlement negotiations were unsuccessful. In addition, the Meta Company lender exercised its remedies as a secured lender of first priority and sold all assets to a third party under UCC foreclosure at a value below the outstanding loan amount, and the Meta Company is insolvent. Meta does not have the resources to consult a lawyer or submit a settlement offer.
And with that, Meta's story is officially done. Even if a comparison could be made with Genedics, it is too late, as the assets of Meta are sold and the company has run out of cash. Many of the details behind the case are still grim, but it seems Meta will not have the firepower needed to defend the Genedics patent lawsuit without additional funding.
But it is not past. Genedics wants to take a look at Meta's assets. "Meta did not provide, and Genedics has no other information, let alone the underlying evidence of the alleged foreclosure sale, and does not know how Metas and / or the alleged purchaser of Meta's assets will relate to Genedics' outstanding claims for infringement," wrote Genedics deBruin. "For the sake of due care, Genedics seeks the ability to engage in discovery to assess these issues."
We still do not know what's going on with the unsold Meta-2 inventory, its remaining staff, or But the lesson that can emerge from Meta's story is that it may have been too early for the market.
Founded at the end of 2012, at around $ 73 million, a look at it suggests Some polished, cheaper and more powerful AR devices launched at CES 2019 suggest that Meta may I had a big idea that was focused on the future. but published only a few years too early.