SIRIN LABS, the hardware startup aimed at developing a blockchain-compatible smartphone, is considering a pivot to software. SIRIN LABS raised $158 million in an ICO last year, with the promise of shipping a smartphone that is designed for the blockchain ecosystem. More recently, however, the company's CEO, Moshe Hogeg, said that it only has enough funds for 6 - 12 months. Just one year ago today, the company announced that Lionel Messi, the Argentinian superstar soccer player, joined as a partner. On November 29th, an advertisement for FINNEY was released on Sirin Labs' YouTube, featuring Messi. (Source: Bloomberg)
UPDATE: SIRIN LABS writes...
"Regarding the Bloomberg article on December 6th, Moshe Hogeg’s quotes were taken out of context.
SIRIN LABS raised a little over 200,000 Ether, which is currently approximately $16m. We managed our risk efficiently by converting enough Ether to develop an amazing phone (for example, the Google Pixel camera module budget cost around $200 million to develop). I believe we have enough money to make SIRIN LABS a profitable company, even in today's market, even though our task is more challenging these days, unfortunately.
Regarding abandoning hardware production, he was asked about what would happen if FINNEY™ did not have enough buyers, and he answered that if there were not sufficient sales, then our focus would shift more into the software for other phone manufacturers.
It’s also important to recognize that our vision and business model has always included the promotion of SIRIN OS™ to be used within other OEM devices, and we are already in talks with several OEMs to do so.
Thankfully, we currently have more orders than we initially expected, with over 100,000 orders for phones from distributors alone.”