Are The People Who Invested $154k In This Wind Powered Phone Charger Out Of Their Minds?
As sure as night follows day it also follows that there will be shysters and frauds following the creative and the inventive.
So we thought we’d have a little test to see how astute, or gullible, the public and experts can be when faced with a real life campaign that was launched on Kickstarter last year.
Watch the following film and simply decide if the project was actually worthy of any investment. We’ll then tell you what happened in real life.
OK, you watched the film and maybe you’ve made your decision as to whether it seems to have great potential or is a crazed idea for the engineering or financially ignorant.
If you’ve made your decision as to whether it is a good or a bad idea … say so now.
In actual fact, Agust and Einar Agustsson, the two Icelandic brothers who ran the campaign for their company, Janulus Inc, took an incredible $153,431 for their ‘Trinity Wind Turbine’ off 248 backers – a figure which was three times higher than what they were hoping.
But, before you say, ‘I told you so’, it might be worth considering the following. Just because a project gets funded, doesn’t mean it is viable.
In this case, the Kickstarter campaign was suspended by Kickstarter after it became evident that one of the brothers earlier campaigns, also targeting small scale wind turbines, and which had raised $75,319, was not delivering its promised product.
Their Twitter feed stopped, emails became unanswered, and information became hard to find. Incredibly, their website, Janulus.com is still up and running and looking to take orders. As diligently as we could, we did a WHOIS check on their url and contacted the telephone number listed there only to be put through to a legal office in the USA who denied all knowledge of the company.
A glitch? Technical difficulties? Perhaps not. It was not too long before Iceland Magazine had a story about one of the brothers, Einar Agustsson, being indicted for fraud and embezzlement in his native Iceland.
Of course, for those real world investors who genuinely believed they were investing in a great new green product, none of this looks to be ending well. At least two of the backers invested $9,999 and there have been no reports of anyone being refunded.
Is there a lesson here?
As more money flows into wind power maybe its time that those involved in the industry should always be on the lookout for the scams and schemes – and speak up when they see something too good to be true.