Update 04/19: The apparent ‘exit scam’ was more of a publicity stunt to – according to Savedroid – bring awareness to the unregulated environment surrounding ICOs. Click here for follow-up coverage.
The founders of cryptocurrency startup Savedroid appear to have exit-scammed investors following the conclusion of its initial coin offering (ICO).
On Wednesday, the website for the German company unexpectedly went offline and has since been replaced by a single image — the “Aannd It’s Gone” meme, which first originated on South Park.
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And in case investors still did not get the message, Yassin Hankir, the project’s founder and CEO, published a Twitter post that showed him in an airport and later on a beach, holding a beer.
“Thanks guys! Over and out…#savedroidICO,” he wrote.
— Yassin Hankir #savedroidico (@YassinHankir) April 18, 2018
According to German-language business news outlet WirtschaftsWoche, the Savedroid is estimated to have raised approximately 40 million euros, or about $50 million, through its ICO as well as external funding.
Purportedly, the company was building a savings app that would use artificial intelligence to help users automatically invest in curated portfolios of cryptocurrencies and related derivatives. Savedroid also said that it would produce a cryptocurrency-funded credit card, a claim that has proven to be quite common among ICOs that later turn out to be scams.
Savedroid’s social media accounts were still online at the time of writing. The most recent post is from April 15, and it advertises a social media marketing internship with the company. Moreover, Hankir had live streamed a Q&A session less than a week ago, highlighting how unexpected the incident was for investors.
Nevertheless, barring the off chance that this is a morbid and ill-conceived publicity stunt, it appears that Savedroid has become the latest startup to exit scam at the conclusion of its ICO, now that it has customer funds in hand.
As CCN reported, such incidents have unfortunately become quite common. Recently, Bitcoinn2Gen, along with brand ambassador Steven Seagal, completed one of the industry’s more bizarre exit scams, issuing a press release to announce their “exit” from the project following its ICO.
Another scrubbed its website and disappeared after observers realized that the photo of one of the team members was actually a picture of Hollywood heartthrob Ryan Gosling.
Featured meme from Savedroid.