No one ever says hardware is easy, and today it looks like another promising startup has hit a wall. Navdy, which made an in-car heads-up display that projected info like navigation on to your windscreen, has been sending out notices to customers and others who might have claims against the company, as part of a General Assignment for the Benefit of Creditors.
The full note is at the end of this story.
This is not a bankruptcy per se, but an alternative to one, aimed at smaller businesses.
As part of it, the company Navdy Inc. (the assignor) is assigning its rights in tangible and intangible assets to Navdy LLC (the assignee) for liquidation.
“Assignee shall liquidate the Assets, wind down Assignor and distribute the net liquidation proceeds to creditors of Assignor who timely submit claims as instructed below,” reads a legal notice pertaining to the General Assignment, which is dated October 26.
Those who believe they may have a claim against Navdy should follow this link to make it. The deadline for submissions is April 24, 2018.
We’d actually been asking around about Navdy for the last couple of months, after a number of readers got in touch to point out that the company had gone radio silent on its social accounts and hadn’t been responding to customers with questions and problems.
We’d also heard from a source that the company was shopping itself around.
Doug Simpson, the founder and CEO, himself responded to my most blatant question of all, sent as a message to Navdy’s Twitter account after previous notes got no reply.
“Are you still in business?” I asked.
“Hi Ingrid. Yes of course we are! Weird question but thanks for checking in on us,” Simpson replied. He followed up to see if we’d be interested in hearing about news when there was news to share.
Those emails were dated October 30, four days after the General Assignment for the Benefit of Creditors was made.
We have reached out once again to Simpson, as well as the company’s press contact, to try to get more information. We have also contacted Renault, who is apparently working with the company and one of its strategic investors, Harman, to integrate the Navdy into its cars from next year.
We have also tried to contact several investors. One has confirmed to us that Navdy has not been in touch before or since sending out the liquidation notice to customers.
What’s still not completely clear is if the company is completely shutting down, or about to embark on a pivot of some kind and this is a move to clear the decks.
On November 20, the company’s Twitter account replied to a customer who couldn’t get a response to multiple attempts to contact the company, saying that it was in the middle of a reorganization.
It’s been a long journey for Navdy. The company got its start on Kickstarter in 2014, when its campaign to fund its heads-up display went viral.
The company later moved into more traditional VC fundraising, picking up just under $42 million from investors that included Harman, Qualcomm, Upfront Ventures, Kima and many more.
Its heads-up display eventually launched priced at $799 in 2016, later dropping the price to $499. You can read our full (mostly positive) review here.
But the heads-up display market is very crowded — see the 15 best heads-up displays — and even more so, considering that this isn’t a mainstream product today. Indeed, for many the jury may still be out on whether a display on your windscreen is less or more distracting than other kinds of displays and interfaces. Together, all this makes for a tricky product/market fit.
What Navdy does have is an interesting team of technologists and lots of research and work, and so hopefully this will not be the end of the road for the startup.
We’ll update as we learn more.
Full note sent to customers below:
To whom this may concern:
Navdy, Inc. (“Navdy” or the “Company”) has undertaken an assignment for the benefit of creditors (“Assignment”) as of October 26, 2017 and appointed an Assignee.
“Proof of Claim” notices are a required formality of an Assignment process
Under California law, the Assignee is required to send a notice regarding the Assignment, along with a “Proof of Claim.” These can be found via the link at the bottom of this e-mail for your review and possible response. This notice is a required formality within 30 days of the start of an Assignment in California to determine monies owed by the Company. The Assignee is required to provide a mechanism for any party who may potentially have a claim against the Company to file their claim. That mechanism is a “Proof of Claim”.
Why you were sent a Proof of Claim
A Proof of Claim is being sent to all parties who have interacted with Navdy during the last few years to ensure that, if they believe they have a claim, it is accounted for. So if you purchased products or interacted with Navdy within the last few years, you are being sent this notice. It is not confirmation that you necessarily have a claim.
Proof of Claims are exactly what they sound like. If you believe the Company owed you money prior to October 26, 2017 (Assignment date) and has not paid you, you’ll need to fill out the form and return it per the instructions, before April 24, 2018. The language on the Claim Form is formal and legalistic, but it is a necessary part of the process as we work to resolve the situation.
To review the POC Notice, please click here: Navdy POC Notice – eSubmission
Navdy (assignment for the benefit of creditors), LLC