Martian Watches, a smartwatch maker that consistently pushed the technological envelope, is the latest wearable developer to announce that it’s shuttering operations.
As reported by Android Police, the company sent a letter to backers on May 22 that detailed the dire situation. Martian was in the midst of completing its Martian mVoice G2 hybrid smartwatches, which it crowd-funded through a Kickstarter campaign. But the total investment wasn’t big enough: “It is with great sadness and regret that we have decided that we have no other choice but to shut down operations and close the company,” reads the letter. “We truly believed, as did you, that we had a great project in the Martian Watches brand, and we were very close to completion in order to distribute the Martian G2 watches.”
Through Kickstarter the company raised close to $300,000 for the G2 project. And in April the company shipped 480 units from its “pilot production batch” to backers who selected two of the G2 styles—the Sky and the Lunar.
But resources at that point dissipated. “Unfortunately, we are unable to come up with the total investment needed to complete the project,” reads the letter, which further details the ways in which the company tried to raise money—which included trying to corral $15 million in venture capital and attempts to license the company’s G2 intellectual property as a turnkey solution to other companies. None were successful.
Martian plans to liquidate its remaining assets—mostly intellectual property rights—for distribution to creditors on a pro rata basis.
The brand debuted in 2007, early in the life cycle of wearables, and specialized in solidly built, high-tech smartwatches. Among its many milestones is the fact that Martian was the first company to integrate Amazon Alexa into a smartwatch.
The wearable industry has been progressively consolidating since 2016, and over the past two years we’ve seen the closing and acquisitions of several once-promising wearable companies, including Jawbone and Pebble.
Martian’s letter to its investors ended with an apology: “It has been a great journey working with all of you, our backers. We could not reach where we are at without any of you. Thank you, and we are sorry that we were not able to complete this project. Martian.”