Skarp Technologies, Inc. is a US company (registered on August 12, 2015, no. 201522510335) based in Irvine, California. Co-founded by Morgan Gustavsson and Paul Binun, the company gained public attention in October 2015 when it launched a Kickstarter campaign to promote the Skarp Laser Razor. It gained more than 4 million dollars worth of pledges in less than three weeks. However, on October 12, the campaign was cancelled by Kickstarter, who alleged that Skarp acted in violation of their rules. A new Indiegogo campaign was launched within hours of the Kickstarter suspension, and it subsequently raised over $500,000 US with a claim that the device would be released to backers in March 2016. According to an update from Skarp in June 2019, the razor was still under development and had not entered production.
Skarp Laser Razor
Skarp Technology is currently developing the Skarp Laser Razor. The razor is claimed to be able to cut hairs by targeting the chromophores in hair by transmitting it through an optical fiber. This differs from laser hair removal treatments that target the hair follicles. According to Skarp Technologies, the razor is to be powered by a AAA battery which will last for a month, the device will be waterproof, and the size will be consistent with that of a disposable razor.
As of February 2020, the product has still not seen any official release.
In September 2015, Skarp started a Kickstarter campaign for their product, the Skarp Laser Razor, asking for $160,000 US. The campaign rapidly passed the target amount, hitting over $700,000 in eight days, and reaching over $4,000,000. However, before the funds were due to be collected, Kickstarter cancelled the campaign, stating that Skarp were in violation of their rules for failing to provide a working prototype of their product. At the time Skarp Technologies had claimed that they had initial agreements with manufacturers in place, but while they had demonstrated part of the functionality, it was deemed to not meet Kickstarter's prototype requirements. Skarp countered by saying that they did have a working prototype, but that it had encountered performance limitations due to the very thin filament and problems with mounting it on the razor, which would be overcome once higher quality materials became available as part of the manufacturing process. CNET investigated Skarp Technologies' claims, and found that they did have a laser filament that was capable of cutting single hairs, although they noted that the filament was fragile and prone to breaking, and that it could not cut more than one hair at a time. Nevertheless, CNET also noted that the prototype did not meet the description provided in the Kickstarter campaign, as "Skarp showed off a razor that seemed to contain a laser and a battery and promised a close shave, but had only yet constructed a loose optical fiber and laser assembly that can cut one or two hairs at a time".
After being cancelled on Kickstarter, Skarp moved to Indiegogo where they launched a new campaign for their product. This was successful, and Skarp were able to raise over $500,000 using Indiegogo's "flexible funding" model, while offering the same shipping date of March 2016. Having failed to meet the release date, in July 2016 CENET reported that Skarp Technologies was running behind schedule, but had engaged Will King as chief marketing officer and adviser. At the time, the release date was put back to "at least the end of 2016". This release date was subsequently missed, and in May 2018 Skarp Technologies reported that the razor was still in development and had not yet entered production.
- "The Skarp Laser Razor: 21st Century Shaving (Suspended)". Kickstarter. Retrieved 12 May 2017.
- Tan, Alicia Marie. "Shaving will never be the same with this laser razor". Mashable. Retrieved 12 May 2017.
- "The Skarp bladeless razor has raised over $2 million on Kickstarter". Fortune. Retrieved 12 May 2017.
- "This futuristic razor shaves your hair with an actual laser — and it's already raised over $650,000". Business Insider. Retrieved 12 May 2017.
- Vincent, James. (13 October 2015). "$4 million laser razor campaign banned from Kickstarter is already on Indiegogo", The Verge. Retrieved 11 September 2018.
- Hollister, Sean. (1 July 2016). "What happened to the Laser Razor?", CNET. Retrieved 11 September 2018.
- Gustavsson, Morgan (19 May 2018). "The Skarp Laser Razor: 21st Century Shaving: Updates". Indiegogo. Retrieved 12 May 2017.
- Limer, Eric. (15 October 2015). "The Skarp "Laser Razor" Is Going to Be Total Flaming Garbage", Popular Mechanics. Retrieved 20 September 2018.
- Williams, Lauren. (15 October 2018). "A laser razor? Irvine startup Skarp jumps to Indiegogo after getting kicked off Kickstarter, losing $4 million", Orange County Register. Retrieved 20 September 2018.
- Rockman, Simon. (29 September 2015). "Find shaving a chore? Why not BLAST your BEARD off with a RAYGUN", The Register. Retrieved 20 September 2018.
- Hollister, Sean. (23 November 2015). "We tried the laser razor so you don't have to", CNET. Retrieved 11 September 2018.
- Rundle, Michael. (13 October 2015). "'Non-existent' laser razor hits Indiegogo after Kickstarter boot", Wired. Retrieved 20 September 2018.
- Tucker, Emma. (14 October 2015). "Laser razor removed from Kickstarter after failure to show working prototype", Dezeen. Retrieved 20 September 2018.
- "The Skarp Laser Razor: 21st Century Shaving". Indiegogo. Retrieved 11 September 2018.
- Hollister, Sean. (2 July 2016). "What happened to the Laser Razor?", CNET. Retrieved 11 September 2018.