gopro karma drone nick woodman

More bad news for GoPro Karma drone after hundreds of layoffs

Another round of layoffs has reportedly hit action camera maker GoPro, and it is primarily set to affect the GoPro Karma drone.

GoPro is laying off around 200-300 employees this month, according to a report from TechCrunch, largely concentrated in the company’s drone team.

According to TechCrunch, the company relieved impacted employees of duties on Jan. 4 but would keep them on the payroll until February 16, likely planning to hold the news for after CES and perhaps tie it to an upcoming earnings report as in past instances.

Related read: GoPro CEO Nick Woodman discusses Karma drone on Reddit

The GoPro Karma drone has had a rough go since its inception. The drone was initially announced to be released in the first half of 2016, but was then delayed until the 2016 holiday season. Shortly after Karma’s launch, GoPro  announced it would lay off 200 employees after recalling its Karma drone because they were falling from the sky. The company cut 270 more jobs in March of 2017.

35% of Amazon reviews for the GoPro Karma drone gave it one star, saying it has “nothing but problems,” “lacking technology” and even stating “the worst part is dealing with customer service.”

But GoPro isn’t the only company to struggle to match DJI in the drone industry. Yuneec laid off as much as 70% of its U.S. staff in March of 2017. In September of 2016, 3D Robotics laid off 150 members of its staff. Parrot announced in January 2017 a plan to reduce its drone team of 840 employees by 290 people—about one-third. Autel saw layoffs in February 2017. Widely anticipated drone maker Lily failed to execute on its crowdfunded campaign, only to end up refunding its customers and selling its name to toy dronemaker Lily. Reviews for the Lily drone — now made by Mota — are just beginning to surface (including Drone Girl’s own) and they’re not positive.

Meanwhile, multi-billion dollar Chinese dronemaker DJI continues to dominate the drone industry with an estimated market share as high as 85%.


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