Decentralized wireless network Helium does not have partnerships with two well-known firms whose logos it prominently featured on its website, based on two separate reports from Mashable and The Verge.
While Helium had displayed the Lime and Salesforce logos on its website until Friday, the articles indicate that neither company is currently using its technology.
Helium (which recently rebranded as Nova Labs) is the company behind the Helium Network, which its FAQ page describes as a "global, distributed network of hotspots that create public, long-range wireless coverage for Internet of Things (IoT) devices." Helium has its own blockchain and native token called HNT, which hotspot owners can earn for tasks like validating coverage. Axios reported in February that Helium raised a $200 million Series D round at a $1.2 billion valuation, with Tiger Global and FTX Ventures joining as new investors.
Mashable first reported on Friday that a highly-publicized relationship between Helium and transportation company Lime does not exist, despite Helium making “numerous mentions of this partnership on its website” and featuring the Lime logo.
Lime is best known for offering electric scooters and bikes for rent through its smartphone application. Helium claimed for years that Lime was using its technology for geolocation, Mashable reported.
But a Lime spokesperson told Mashable that it hasn’t had any contact with Helium since a brief, initial test in the summer of 2019. Lime had also asked Helium not to use their name in promotional material as a condition of that trial, he told the tech news outlet.
Lime has not taken legal action against Helium, but it appears it could soon.
“Now, however, Mashable has learned that Lime is preparing to send a cease and desist to Helium over its use of Lime's name and logo on its website, and in its marketing,” Mashable reported.
In a follow-up article posted later on Friday, The Verge separately reported that Salesforce was not using Helium's technology either.
“Now, Salesforce, whose logo appeared on Helium’s website right next to Lime’s, says that it also doesn’t use the technology,” The Verge wrote. A Salesforce spokesperson told The Verge that “Helium is not a Salesforce partner” and that the graphic with the logo was not accurate.
The article featured a graphic pulled from Helium’s website, showing the words “Helium is used by” followed by a list of logos from companies including Lime and Salesforce.
Helium’s website still shows a list of 12 logos from various entities, but no longer lists Lime or Salesforce as customers. It removed Salesforce and Lime from the lineup sometime at the end of the business day on Friday, according to The Verge.
Axios reported Helium's raise and valuation not long after the New York Times featured the company in a February 6 article. Axios also named Khosla Ventures, GV, Multicoin Capital, Munich Re Ventures and FirstMark Capital as existing investors in the company. Helium declined to comment on that raise when The Block reached out.
"Since the Network launched in 2019, we’ve worked with a variety of companies on various applications and pilots," a Nova Labs company spokesperson told The Block on August 1. "In the case of the brands mentioned in recent articles, we had approvals to talk about the use cases but we’re going to be much more rigorous now about the logo approval process going forward to avoid any confusion. Both Nova and our partner the Helium Foundation have removed the reference."
Editor's note: This story was updated on August 1 to include a statement from Nova Labs.
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