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Will.i.am's smart home plans might be fizzling as Wink funds reportedly dwindle

A report suggests a stalled deal in Dubai could topple the Black Eyed Peas frontman's tech enterprise.

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Rapper and tech businessman Will.i.am


Victor Chavez

Wink, the smart home platform owned by Will.i.am's tech company i.am+, is reportedly running out of money. The Verge says it obtained emails, documents and testimonies from current employees that reveal Wink's questionable financial state and that workers' haven't been paid in seven weeks. In addition, the office in Schenectady, New York, has reportedly been temporarily closed. 

I.am+, which the rapper founded in 2012, originally made expensive iPhone cases, wireless earbuds and a smartwatch. It acquired Wink in 2017

Wink users are reporting issues with third-party devices on social media platforms like Facebook, Reddit and Twitter. One Reddit user said that the customer service line wasn't accepting calls. When CNET tried calling, an automated message said that Wink was experiencing a high volume of calls and to try back later. In addition to product issues, Twitter users also report a lack of response from Wink Support on Twitter. The account's last post was Sept. 17. The main app's Twitter page hasn't posted since Aug.19. 

A deal with Majid Al Futtaim (MAF), a Dubai-based retail giant, is in a nine-month standstill, according to The Verge. The deal, which Will.i.am announced at the beginning of 2019, hoped to launch i.am+ and MAF to the retail level of Amazon.

Wink, i.am+ and MAF didn't immediately respond to request for comment.

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