Vicis Enters Receivership, Looking for Funding
Even with some high-profile users and big-name investors, football helmet manufacturer Vicis announced in late December that it is entering into receivership after facing serious financial troubles.
“This is a difficult but necessary step that gives us the best opportunity to secure a buyer for the company with the goal of ensuring maximum return to shareholders,” Vicis board chairman Bruce Montgomery said in a statement. “We know this is heartbreaking news for Vicis customers, employees and investors who placed their trust in our products and believed in our mission. Our employees in particular dedicated their time and talents to building a great company that did great things, and we are thinking about them and their families during this difficult time.”
Vicis started in 2013 and the company launched its first helmet for NFL and college players in 2017. Among its investors are NFL quarterbacks Russell Wilson and Aaron Rodgers and former players such as Roger Staubach and Doug Baldwin.
VICIS had also launched a youth version of its helmet and a soft headgear for flag and 7-on-7 football.
But the company ran into financial trouble last year and CEO Dave Marver stepped down in November. Geekwire.com reported Vicis laid off more than 100 employees in early December. At the same time the New York Times reported that Vicis was “running out of money.”
The NYT reported that, “The company expects to lose $26 million this year, according to internal Vicis documents. With its cash dwindling, it has struggled to fulfill some orders. The delivery of a few hundred helmets ordered by the upstart XFL has been delayed. The new league is hoping the helmets will arrive by the start of training camps early next year, according to an XFL official with direct knowledge of the transaction, who spoke on condition of anonymity to preserve the league’s relationship with one of the few helmet manufacturers.”
The bad pres also included a comment from Ralph Greene Jr., who took over as the new chief executive. “Our employees are currently furloughed and we need to raise capital in order to continue operating, or we may have no other option but to wind down all operations.”