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Cozmo and Overdrive firm Anki ‘to lay off entire staff and close down business’

Anki, the robotics company behind the likes of Cozmo and Anki Overdrive is laying off its entire staff and shutting up shop, according to reports from The Verge and Recode.

In a meeting on Monday morning, CEO of the US company, Boris Sofman told staff that all jobs would be terminated on Wednesday and that close to 200 employees would be paid a week severance.

Sofman had told employees earlier that the company was scrambling to find more money after a new round of financing fell through at the last minute. This was despite Anki having raised over $200 million in venture capital.

Anki had previously stated in autumn last year that it “approached $100 million in revenue in 2017 and expected to exceed that figure in 2018.” It also said that it was fielding acquisition interest from companies like Microsoft, Amazon and Comcast.

However, this week it has told media that it was left “without significant funding to support a hardware and software business and bridge to our long-term product roadmap.”

A company spokesperson added: “Despite our past success, we pursued every financial avenue to fund our future product development and expand on our platforms. A significant financial deal at a late stage fell through with a strategic investor and we were not able to reach an agreement.

“We are doing our best to take care of every single employee and their families, and our management team continues to explore all options available.”

Recent years have seen Anki attempt to move from just robotic toys to become a more developed robotics company based on artificial intelligence.

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