The Peachy Printer had high hopes way back in 2013 when it first launched as a $100 3D printer that fits on your desk without breaking the bank. The project raised more than 600,000 Canadian dollars and promised to ship the gadget within several months. Now its co-founder is telling backers that more than CA$300,000 has been embezzled by a fellow partner, and is urging backers to contact the local police.
In a tell-all video on the Peachy Printer website, co-founder Ryan Grayston is explaining just what happened to all that money his company earned during the Kickstarter campaign nearly three years ago. Grayston explains that nearly half of the money had been embezzled by his business partner, David Boe, as early as 2014, failing to inform any backers until now.
After the Peachy Printer Kickstarter ended in late 2013, Boe and Grayston had nowhere to put all the money, so Boe deposited the money into his personal bank account until a new corporate account could be opened for the company to maintain. After that account opened, Grayston claims that Boe only transferred CA$200,000 of the money over, keeping the rest in his personal bank account. By March 2014, all the remaining money in Boe’s account, totaling more than CA$324,000, had been spent.
So where did all that money go? Well there’s a house in Saskatchewan right now that Boe built using money from the Peachy Printer Kickstarter. Grayston claims that Boe then promised to repay the CA$324,000 — with interest — so that the Peachy Printer project could continue development and ultimately fulfill its promise of delivering 3D printers to its backers. Grayston even posted a video of Boe admitting to embezzling the money, and his conversations with him to eventually recoup it so Peachy Printer could pay its staff and buy the parts needed to build the printers.
Now, two years later, Peachy Printer is out of money. Grayston claims that Boe has repaid CA$107,000 of the CA$324,000 he promised to pay, and is working through a lawyer to negotiate the remaining payments. Grayston decided to finally go public with this information to his backers, and urges them to contact local police.
So what now? For the backers who’ve spent between $100 and $500 on this Kickstarter, the situation is dire. Grayston has already received a family loan of CA$50,000, and government funding to support the Peachy Printer project, and plans to reach out to other investors to continue funding the project and eventually ship out the 3D printers.
So why didn’t backers hear about this sooner? Grayston states that his reasoning is grounded in expecting the money to be paid back sooner. After confronting Boe, he made payments through early 2015, despite also defaulting on payments promised through a legal agreement. Grayston only contacted police in October 2015 about the embezzlement, and even then waited nearly seven more months before telling his backers. All the while, it seems Kickstarter was not informed or aware of the financial difficulties, and Grayston continued to post progress updates without revealing any sign of trouble.
At best, Peachy Printer backers may (one day) see their 3D printers on their desk. They’ve already spent nearly three years waiting for it, and at worst the project looks dead in the water without serious financial assistance. Even if Peachy Printer finds other investors, it will need to make the money back selling its 3D printer while backers wait on receiving their rewards years after their investments.