Lily Next-Gen

Lily drone is back — with none of the cool features originally promised

Still have your heart set on getting a Lily drone? If you’re still hanging onto the prospect of getting one, your dreams are about to come true.

Lily Next-Gen launches next week and will be available in the fourth quarter of this year.

The only problem is, your dreams — if they weren’t already crushed by Lily’s failure to launch after a wildly-hyped Indiegogo campaign — are probably going to get crushed a little further.

The Lily Next-Gen drone launches without two of the most hyped features of the original designs: it won’t be waterproof, and it won’t have the ability to fly after being tossed in the air.

According to the creators, those two features “would have added significant cost and reduced performance.”

Instead, the Lily Next-Gen drone launches with features similar to pretty much every other drone on the market –4K video, 13 MP photos,  follow-me mode and object tracking to follow the user or another person. It has 18 minutes of flight time, and has features like geofencing and automatic return to home.mota lily next gen drone

All of that for $699. That’s more expensive than the massively popular DJI Spark — but  based off the description (Team Drone Girl hasn’t actually flown it yet) — it doesn’t seem to be any better.

For the uninitiated, Lily launched to much fanfare in 2015 on crowdfunding site Indiegogo, raising $34 million in pre-orders. The promo video showed a sleek drone that took off when thrown in the air and could navigate around objects — something no drones were able to do at the time.

The Wall Street Journal put Lily on its list of products “that will change your life,” and the drone’s cofounders were named in Fortune’s 30 Under 30.

(Drone Girl has a policy against reporting on Kickstarter and Indiegogo campaigns because there is little to no guarantee the drones will come to production in the form they were promised.)

After a series of delays and hundreds of angry customers, Lily’s creators eventually admitted they couldn’t finance production and said they would give refunds to backers.

In January 2017, Mota Group, which at one point filed for IPO, bought the tarnished brand name of Lily.

But Mota thinks it can revive the company. Mot, headquartered in San Jose, Calif., has been in business since 2003, currently making primarily toy drones that cost less than $100.

For Mota’s part, its leadership doesn’t seem to think highly of Lily’s management practices.

“What Lily did, I don’t want to compare it to Enron, but they took $34 million in preorders and now they are calling off their product and facing a lawsuit,” Mota Chief Financial Officer Steven Siegel said in an interview earlier this year.

And Mota seems confident that its products will deliver as promised.

“I’m just not going to show you a product until we have it and can prove we can get it from A to Z,” Mota spokesperson Jason Jepson said during the same interview.

Lily is available for preorder for a discounted rate of $499.



  • I think there is very little chance of this succeeding? I mean, what’s the point, why would you want it anyway? If they could at least made it waterproof it would having something different going for it, but without that it’s just, well, meh.

    • ekai says:

      Seriously. The 2 features that sets the original Lily apart from any other consumer drone on the market was “throw and fly” and it being waterproof and able to fly out of water. That was why they raised $34 million. Having the gall to release something that doesn’t even match up to the existing competitive landscape AND not offer either of those features AND expect to overcome massive backer hostility is the textbook definition of hubris.

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