British smartphone maker Wileyfox falls into administration

British smartphone maker Wileyfox falls into administration

Homegrown smartphone producer Wileyfox has gone into administration after its main source of funding from Russian banks dried up.

Administrators Quantuma have been appointed to slash costs at the ailing firm and around 20 of the company’s 30 UK staff have been made redundant while a buyer is sought for the business.

Quantuma partners Andrew Andronikou and Andrew Hosking were brought in on Monday 5 February to see if there was a way out of administration for the firm.

What went wrong?

In a release, Quantuma revealed that Wileyfox “hit major funding issues with its Russian parent company”.

Wileyfox no longer has access to enough working capital because its main bank’s cashflow has been temporarily suspended by the Russian government.

Because of cashflow issues, the administrators say that a resolution “could be some way off”.

WileyFox’s holding company was primarily funded by Russian bank Promsyyazban (PSV) which was bailed out by the Central Bank of Russia in December and put into special measures that restricted lending outside of the country.

- Andrew Andronikou: Partner, Quantuma

Who were Wileyfox?

Wileyfox was founded in London in 2011 by former Motorola and Microsoft executives.

The intention was to manufacture affordable Android phones that could compete with the likes of Google’s Pixel and Samsung’s Galaxy lines but at much lower entry prices.

It began selling products in 2015 and its most popular smartphone is the 32GB Swift 2 X, which is still on sale for £219.99.

The Wikipedia entry for the company has been amended to say that Wileyfox went into administration on 6 February 2018.

It’s not yet clear what will happen to to customers who have warranties with the company, nor those who are waiting for phones to be repaired or upgraded.

MAIN IMAGE: Richard Lewis/CC BY 2.0

By:

Tom is a tech journalist and Editor at SimOnlyDeals.co.uk.
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