MakieLab, a London-based startup that 3D printed and sold custom dolls, has officially shuttered, with a partial exit to Disney. TechCrunch understands that the U.S. entertainment company acquired MakieLab’s tech and assets as early as July last year, a story that I have tried but failed to nail down ever since. Until now, that is.
In a post on MakieLab’s official Facebook page published on the 18th of February (embedded below), the company confirms that it is no longer an independent entity but doesn’t quite go as far as disclosing the new “owner,” citing a non-disclosure agreement.
The company has already partially relocated to the U.S. after it got accepted into Disney’s startup accelerator,
“Makies technology and platform has been successfully acquired by a fantastic U.S. media behemoth, who we hope will do something wonderful with it very soon,” writes MakieLab.
“We tried to continue on the Makies world-takeover independently, but the dream had to end, for all sorts of 2016 – ewww -reasons. We hope our new owner can achieve what we couldn’t on our own for you. Thank you, new owner, you are our only hope!” it adds in what reads as a thinly-veiled reference to Disney’s Star Wars movie franchise.
You don’t need to see terms of the deal… These aren’t the acquirers you’re looking for.
According to two sources with knowledge of the deal, Disney is indeed the acquirer of MakieLab’s “technology and platform”. I’ve not been able to pin down how much money exchanged hands, though I’m told by one source that some money went to the founders. Whether or not seed investors, such as Sunstone Capital or Lifeline Ventures, saw much of a return is unclear but seems unlikely.
And as if it wasn’t obvious enough that Disney is the acquirer, according to her LinkedIn profile, MakieLab CEO and founder Alice Taylor is now Director, StudioLab at The Walt Disney Studios.