When the Lily camera drone was announced in May 2015 it garnered a lot of attention for being one of the first drones capable of flying itself and tracking a user while capturing video footage for up to 20 minutes. As a consequence the company managed to secure $15 million in investment and an additional $34 million in pre-orders.

However, today the founders of Lily have announced in a letter and email to customers that the start-up is shutting down operations because it failed to raise additional funding to start production of its drone. The founders promise to reimburse all pre-order customers within the next 60 days.

"We have been racing against a clock of ever-diminishing funds," wrote the company's co-founders, Henry Bradlow and Antoine Balaresque. "Over the past few months, we have tried to secure financing in order to unlock our manufacturing line and ship our first units - but have been unable to do this. As a result, we are deeply saddened to say that we are planning to wind down the company and offer refunds to customers." 

The Lily drone was launched with a pre-order price tag of $499 and scheduled to ship in February 2016. Shipping was later delayed until summer and then again to early 2017. In the same time frame tracking drones from DJI, Zero Zero Robotics and Yuneec have all been brought to market successfully.