Otto gets “so close,” but shuts down operations before shipping first smart lock

The digital smart lock company revealed its $699 smartphone-connected lock only 4 months ago. Now, they’re donezo.

January 3, 2018

Digital smart lock company Otto has shut down just 4 months after unveiling its flagship product: a $699 smartphone-connected lock that founder and CEO Sam Jadallah described as a “love child” between a “Swiss watch and a Volvo.”

Otto’s team of 35+ had planned to see the first revenue from the lock in just 4 weeks. Instead, according to Jadallah’s Medium post titled “So Close,” Otto is over — and their prized product is sitting in a warehouse with no one to ship it.

So, what happened?

According to Jadallah, it was a case of runaway funding. Otto signed an agreement with a larger firm to acquire them on December 11th, which “restricted [their] ability to solicit other bids or fundraise” in the interim.

But when December 11th came around, the firm backed out of the deal, leaving Otto with “no Plan B,” and no way to sustain operations.

We’re left with some pretty big questions

Namely, who was the mysterious firm that left Otto high and dry? And why did they get cold feet?

Jadallah says that the device’s lofty price point, which had been met with skepticism by some critics, wasn’t a factor, but rather chalks it up to the boom and bust of Silicon Valley life.

“The life of the startup is a binary thing,” he wrote. “To go from what could be an incredible high to crushing low in a matter of hours is what we do.”

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