Quirky To File For Bankruptcy: Wink Connected Home Business Already Has A Buyer

Quirky's own wifi-enabled piggy bank is empty.

Quirky’s own wifi-enabled piggy bank is empty.

Quirky began in 2009 as a community where anyone could design a product and get paid once it went to market. This led to easily-mockable products like piggy banks and egg trays that connect to your smartphone, but also some valid products, like the Pivot Power power strip. The company is selling its Wink smart-home connection system for $15 million, and also plans to sell off its name and maybe even its product-development and the community that goes with it.

It’s impressive that Wink is worth $15 million to someone, since the consumer experience of the product ranges from “flaky” to “non-functional.” (Warning: justifiable swear words in the headline of that article) The company teamed up with GE to make a “smart” air conditioner that seemed like a really great idea until customers actually tried using it.

The company has spent a lot of money on things like commercials where their CEO is tied to the front of a train, and not enough on developing a sustainable business model or stuff that people actually want to buy.

In its bankruptcy announcement, the company said that it has a $15 million bid from electronics manufacturer Flextronics for the Wink business, and during the Chapter 11 process, another bidder could come forward and bid more. The Quirky brand name and product-development system will also be for sale.

Our condolences to the employees at Quirky, and maybe all parts of the business will be acquired by someone who can actually make this model work.

Quirky Files for Bankruptcy, Agrees to Sell Smart-Home Platform [Bloomberg]

How a quirky 28-year-old plowed through $150 million and almost destroyed his start-up [Business Insider]
How the invention factory at Quirky almost imagined its way out of business [The Verge]
The Rise and Fall of Quirky — the Start-Up That Bet Big on the Genius of Regular Folks [New York]

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