If you backed a Meyer Optik Görlitz lens on Kickstarter and are still waiting for your reward to arrive, there’s some bad news for you: it never will, and your money is now gone. net SE, the company behind those lenses and other vintage brand reboots, is dead.
This news comes less than two months after we reported on the nightmare happening behind the scenes at the company, which launched new Kickstarter after Kickstarter in order to fund existing lens projects already promised to backers.
In early August, net SE announced that founder and CEO Stefan Immes had gotten into a serious traffic accident and would no longer be involved in the company for the foreseeable future. Around the same time, the company delisted its shares from the over-the-counter market in Germany and filed for bankruptcy.
photoscala reports that insolvency proceedings have been opened on the remaining assets of the company, which is the final nail in the coffin — one that means there’s no hope of Kickstarter backers ever seeing the products they’re still waiting for.
In addition to Meyer Optik Görlitz, net SE also attempted reboots of vintage brands that include Emil Busch A.-G. Rathenau, Oprema Jena, C.P. Goerz, Ihagee Elbaflex, and A. Schacht.
Kickstarter’s history is littered with much-hyped projects and products that ended up never seeing the light of day, leaving backers angry and without anything to show for the money they eagerly put toward the campaigns. The sad story of net SE is the latest such case at the intersection of crowdfunding and photography.