Kickstarter has suspended the popular crowdfunding campaign for a shaver that promises to cut hair with lasers instead of traditional blades.
In a move that once again highlights the inherent risks of backing a crowdfunding campaign, Kickstarter on Monday suspended the Having a working prototype of a product is a requirement for all Kickstarter projects, so the site banned the project even though it had raised over $4 million on its initial $160,000 goal in less than three weeks.because it doesn't have a working prototype, according to emails sent to backers.
In a statement provided to CNET, a Kickstarter spokesperson said that "we encourage creators to bring early-stage and ambitious ideas to Kickstarter, as those are often the ideas that are most in need of support. But we require that, from the beginning, backers are given a realistic sense of where the project stands in the development process."
The company did show off a crude prototype of a device that was made free-hand in the team's lab, though that model was barely able to cut through a few pieces of hair on the demonstrator's wrist. Skarp says the reason the demo video looks so bad is that the lab-based prototype is meant to be only a proof-of-concept, but the project requires rigidly mounted fiber that can be achieved only through mass production. You can see the video below and judge for yourself.
Despite the suspension, Skarp's founders appear to be undeterred. Less than a day after the Kickstarter ban-hammer came down, a new campaign for the Skarp Laser Razor surfaced on Indiegogo, and has already raised over $100,000 (about £65,500, AU$137,500) toward its goal of $160,000 (about £105,000, AU$220,000) with 13 days to go in the campaign.
Indiegogo has "been incredibly helpful [and] they believe in the Skarp Razor as much as we do," reads the Skarp company's Facebook announcement for the new campaign.
"A prototype is not required to use Indiegogo; however, it is highly encouraged," Indiegogo's policies read.
Neither Indiegogo not Skarp immediately responded to CNET's request for comment.
Unlike the company's Kickstarter campaign, Skarp's Indiegogo project is a flexible-funding campaign, so the company will receive all dollars raised even if it doesn't reach its fundraising goal.