Mar 27, 2018

Light-field camera pioneer Lytro is shutting down

The original Lytro camera. Photo: Amazon.com

Lytro, which pioneered a new type of camera, is shutting down after being unable to find a financially viable market for its light-field technology. Many employees are heading to Google, but it's unclear exactly what they will be doing.

Why it matters: The company debuted to huge fanfare and raised a ton of money, but several pivots failed to lead to a sustainable business model.

In a blog post, Lytro said it is preparing "to wind down the company" and has stopped taking on new production efforts. Most recently the company has been focused on using its technology for high-end production.

History lesson: Lytro's first product was a point and shoot camera that could refocus images after they had been taken. A successor aimed at the "prosumer" market with a more SLR-style camera. The company had raised more than $200 million over the years, per Crunchbase.

It has been an honor and a pleasure to contribute to the cinema and Virtual Reality communities, but starting today we will not be taking on new productions or providing professional services as we prepare to wind down the company. We’re excited to see what new opportunities the future brings for the Lytro team as we go our separate ways.
— Lytro statement

A Google representative confirmed to Axios that some of the Lytro team is joining Google but declined further comment on what team or teams they are joining and what they will be working on.

A Lytro representative was not immediately available for comment.

Go deeper

Centrist Democrats beseech 2020 candidates: "Stand up to Bernie" or Trump wins

Bernie Sanders rallies in Las Vegas, Nevada on Feb. 21. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Center-left think tank Third Way urgently called on the Democratic front-runners of the 2020 presidential election to challenge Sen. Bernie Sanders on the South Carolina debate stage on Feb. 25, in a memo provided to Axios' Mike Allen on Saturday.

What they're saying: "At the Las Vegas debate ... you declined to really challenge Senator Sanders. If you repeat this strategy at the South Carolina debate this week, you could hand the nomination to Sanders, likely dooming the Democratic Party — and the nation — to Trump and sweeping down-ballot Republican victories in November."

Situational awareness

Warren Buffett. Photo: Daniel Zuchnik/WireImage

Catch up on today's biggest news:

  1. Warren Buffett releases annual letter, reassures investors about future of Berkshire Hathaway
  2. Greyhound bars immigration sweeps
  3. U.S. military officially stops offensive operations in Afghanistan
  4. America's future looks a lot like Nevada
  5. Centrist Democrats beseech 2020 candidates: "Stand up to Bernie" or Trump wins

America's future looks a lot like Nevada

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Today's Nevada caucus will foreshadow the future of American politics well beyond 2020.

Why it matters: The U.S. is in the midst of a demographic transformation, and the country's future looks a lot like Nevada's present. Today's results, in addition to shaping the 2020 race, will help tell us where politics is headed in a rapidly changing country.