An unbelievable revelation occurred overnight when Rylan Grayston, CEO of Peachy Printer, revealed his business partner apparently stole over USD$300,000 to build a house.
The revelations have placed Peachy Printer, the producers of the world’s first USD$100 printer, in grave jeopardy. Their bank account is dry and the company has laid off their entire staff.
The gory details are explained in full on Peachy’s website, but here’s the synopsis: The CEO, Rylan Grayston, had partnered with David Boe (image at top) to launch the company. Boe owned 50% of the company, Peachy Printer. In their frantic launch of three years ago, it seems that they were not entirely set up properly and had to use Boe’s personal bank account to receive the USD$650,000 raised from their successful crowdfunding launch, which by the way, collected funds through both Kickstarter and Indiegogo.
Of the monies collected, only a portion, approximately 40%, were transferred to a subsequently created bank account for Peachy Printer. The rest, USD$324,716.01, remained in Boe’s personal account.
Which he spent building a house.
Grayston was unaware of this for more than a year after the crowdfunding campaign concluded, as his focus was on the challenging technical aspects of the project, while Boe was to handle administrative and financial matters.
Apparently Boe believed he could “borrow” the money to quickly complete the house, after which he could take out a mortgage and repay the “loan” before anyone noticed.
But he screwed it up most royally, and the house wasn’t completed and could not be mortgaged. Thus, no repayment.
Meanwhile, Peachy Printer discovered the problem and confronted Boe, who insisted he would repay. As of this point, he has repaid over USD$100,000 to Peachy Printer, but this is insufficient and the company has run out of cash. They’ve been forced to lay off all staff, while Grayston is attempting to somehow develop a solution to go forward and deliver the 3D printers promised in the crowdfunding launch years ago.
This is a chart explaining where the funds went:
At this point, Grayston is not sure how that’s going to happen, but that is his intention.
What I find most fascinating about this reveal is how it was done. Grayston has gone to incredible lengths to be entirely transparent about the matter, posting very lengthy explanations and a couple of videos. Videos you must watch.
The first video explains the problem and even includes a segment in which Boe ADMITS HE TOOK THE MONEY!
You might be wondering why someone would admit to such theft ON CAMERA, but apparently when it was recorded, Boe believed he would have no issue repaying the “borrowed” funds. Peachy Printer saved the video, promising to publish it should the amount not be repaid.
And so it is published.
In a second video, Peachy Printer reveals the issue to actual backers, live and in person to capture their reaction. Incredible.
There’s so much more that it’s a bit hard to comprehend. There are images of bank statements, audio recordings, videos, documents and more. It’s as transparent one could possibly be, unlike many crowdfunding projects that simply fade away anonymously.
Peachy Printer has listed all the actions they’ve taken so far, according to Grayston:
- Removed David’s access to company accounts
- Asked for and received David’s resignation from the company
- Collected incriminating evidence against David including bank statements, phone call recordings, and camera footage
- Filmed an admission interview with David for release to you, my backers
- Peachy’s lawyers created a contract with David including an admission-repayment agreement (with interest on late payments). David signed this agreement, and defaulted on 2 of the 3 payments.
- Absorbed David’s shares back into the company
- Conducted an internal audit to determine the true amount of funds stolen
- Raised funds from other sources to continue development, and move towards shipping
- Tried many ways to fix the problem before it affected our ability to ship such as a repayment agreement, investors, loans, blanket orders, etc.
- Reported the crime to the police
- Worked extremely hard to provide you with this detailed, and honest look at what happened with your money.
They’ve even asked backers to contact the local police, who are investigating the matter.
Peachy Printer has been diligently developing their product for several years now, and while it is long overdue, I certainly appreciated the regular updates provided by the company to demonstrate they were actually continuing to work on the technical issues, which apparently at this point are resolved and the product is ready to be shipped – if they had any money to do so.
Clearly, things are very bleak for Peachy Printer at this point, and it is unlikely any of the over 4,000 backers will receive their Peachy Printer kit anytime soon, unless Grayston can pull off some magic to re-fund the company.
There are possibilities for the project to continue. Another company might choose to invest in the project and continue – as it is quite an innovative idea that should be brought to market by someone. It just might not be Peachy Printer.
Can Grayston do this? I’m not sure, but I can say that having met and spoken with Grayston several times, I believe he is an honorable person with good intentions. Hopefully he can make this happen somehow.