Volansi files Assignment for the Benefit of Creditors?

Word has reached me that delivery drone company Volansi filed Assignment for the Benefit of Creditors (ABC) last Friday the 29th of June 2022.

From Cornell Law School

Assignment for the benefit of the creditors (ABC)(also known as general assignment for the benefit of the creditors) is a voluntary alternative to formal bankruptcy proceedings that transfers all of the assets from a debtor to a trust for liquidating and distributing its assets. The trustee will manage the assets to pay off debt to creditors, and if any assets are left over, they will be transferred back to the debtor. 

ABC can provide many benefits to an insolvent business in lieu of bankruptcy. First, unlike in bankruptcy proceedings, the business can choose the trustee overseeing the process who might know the specifics of the business better than an appointed trustee. Second, bankruptcy proceedings can take much more time, involve more steps, and further restrict how the business is liquidated compared to an ABC which avoids judicial oversight. Thirdly, dissolving or transferring a company through an ABC often avoids the negative publicity that bankruptcy generates. Lastly, a company trying to purchase assets of a struggling company can avoid liability to unsecured creditors of the failing company. This is important because most other options would expose the acquiring business to all the debt of the struggling business. 

Apparently, nobody has been laid off but the doors have closed and noone is getting paid. Folks are asking about jobs. The talent pool of properly talented drone engineers is so small that word soon gets out when the good ones are looking again.

Very sorry to see them go, as ever in these times I turn to Glassdoor for insight.

The company had a round of layoffs in November because they could not raise funding, they got rid of key technical people and are ill-equipped to hire replacements.

Lots of new senior management hires have come in and ruined the company culture. Very authoritative, top down and miserable place to work. The leaders are all non-technical.

Company is executive and management heavy now, very few people doing actual real work. Despite a lot of meetings, nothing actually gets done and progress isn’t made.

Many non-startup company people in the organization who don’t know what they are doing, lack of relevant technical skills, don’t have the first clue on how to fix any of the problems so the resort to playing political games to mask their incompetence.

They sold the Concord hangar, the Hayward office is completely empty. They can’t afford basic equipment like testing equipment for the aircraft, not even electricity drops in the Hayward office. They have stopped investing in the actual tech. The seat of all power in the company is in Bend, the bay area is treated like an afterthought.

If you are a talented engineer, there are a lot better places to work and promising startups in drone delivery tech. Don’t waste your time. If you do decide to work here, make sure you have a good therapist because you will need it.

On November 4th 2021 volansi laid of 40% of its employees because they could not get funding. Also, they sold their building in Concord so that they could get more money. Don’t be fooled by their web site; they currently have no UAV platform that doesn’t crash. They have nothing to sell and they are bleeding money.

  • Poor communication and organization. It is often brought up, but it has not been sufficiently addressed. People’s responsibilities are not clear, and so people are not held accountable.
  • Poor goals and standards. Critical work is frequently done right before a deadline, and requirements as well will shift all the way up until launch. This should not be acceptible in an industry that needs to have safety and reliability at the forefront.
  • Not great employee care. Many feel unheard or neglected. I think this is a combination of the “pro” of having a lot of bright and ambitious people and the “con” of poor goals and organization, resulting in efforts from employees that go unnoticed, unnused, or at least unappreciated.

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