Nigeria-born Silas Adekunle has shut down Reach Robotics, the Bristol, United Kingdom-based consumer robotics company, that he co-founded a few years ago.
One of the Co-founders John Rees confirmed that “the decision has been made to close the business and appoint administrators, effective as of 02/09/2019,” according to a report by therobotreport.com
Reach Robotics raised a total of $7.8 million, according to Crunchbase. It launched its MekaMon gaming robots in late 2016 that combines augmented reality (AR) and a four-legged toy robot, with Apple reaching a deal to sell the robot in all its stores in the UK and United States. Reach Robotics launched version 2 of MekaMon about 10 months ago.
Adekunle, in a post tagged “Reach Robotics – End of the Road” on LinkedIn, wrote: “Unfortunately, for Reach Robotics, in its current form at least, today marks the end of that journey.
“I am immensely proud of what we have achieved. Since founding Reach Robotics at the Bristol Robotics Laboratory, we made huge strides in our technology both in terms of our hardware and app development. We took MekaMon from prototype to market, introduce the world to the first gaming robot with seamless AR integration, launched in dozens of territories and developed a unique education offering that will live on through many initiatives.
“This simply could not have happened without the highly skilled and creative people that have been part of the Reach Robotics journey. I speak for myself and my fellow co-founders Chris Beck and John Rees when I say it has been a privilege and we have no doubt that they will continue to innovate and enrich the sector. Personally, I am grateful for the experience, lessons learnt, the connections and the opportunity to inspire young people from under-represented backgrounds in STEM and entrepreneurship.
“I am thankful to everyone who has been a part of this journey, from my co-founders Chris and John, who have been there through thick and thin, to members of the management team who were supportive in the most difficult of times, Jonathan Quinn, Kathryn Green, Philip Green just to name a few.
“Thank you to all of our investors, advisers, mentors, family and friends over the years. Special thanks to UWE, Bristol Robotics Laboratory, Pervasive Media Studio, SetSquared and so many others who have supported our growth. Reach Robotics began with the vision of creating advanced and accessible robotics to entertain, inspire and educate. I hope to carry that vision forward into the future.
“Following some travel and much-needed rest, the journey will continue in the Non-consumer Robotics sector and the STEAM Education sector.”
Reach Robotics launched a division in May 2019 aimed at the STEM education sector called ReachEdu. It is unclear if ReachEdu will continue as a business unit.
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Some update! Reach Robotics is closing down today due to tough business circumstances (Consumer Robotics space is tough). This is an ever-present, inherent risk when it comes to start-up companies, especially those in the consumer robotics space. I’ve always been comfortable with the fact that there will be some minor set-backs on this journey as an entrepreneur. It’s been a challenging, exciting and rewarding 6 years full of learning. To take MekaMon and the vision behind Reach Robotics from ideas in a note book, to touching many lives worldwide. A lot of the work and vision behind MekaMon and ReachEDU will continue through various channels. Personally, I am grateful for the experience, lessons learnt, the connections and the opportunity to inspire young people from under-represented backgrounds in STEM and entrepreneurship. Thank you to all my followers for your cheers, support and sharing! Following some travel and much needed rest, I’m looking forward to sharing some exciting new ventures in the Robotics Space in Europe and Education in Africa and the Middle East. For now, expect some content as I get back to nature and travel across Africa (multiple countries :wink:)