Healbe comes to America, poses for pictures with Indiegogo CEO, still doesn't let anyone test their device
Following the success of their $1.1m Indiegogo campaign for a scientifically impossible, calorie-counting wristband, Healbe CEO Artem Shipitsin and Managing Director George Mikaberydze took a trip States-side last week.
The two Moscow-based entrepreneurs made a whistle stop tour through New Hampshire, San Francisco and New York. But despite promising they'd soon be sharing their miracle device with the press, their grand tour was remarkably light on media appearances.
While Healbe and its PR-representatives, the Greenland, New Hampshire-based MicroArts Creative Agency, didn’t return any request for comment, a series of pictures posted to Facebook by Mikaberydze, and to Healbe’s company page, affords us an outline of their itinerary.
After stopping through MicroArts’ New Hampshire office on Wednesday to supply President Brian Blanchette and Project Manager Meghan Donovan with Healbe T-shirts, Mikaberydze was photographed the next day in San Francisco, beaming next to Indiegogo CEO Slava Rubin [above]. He also sat for an interview with a Russian-language show, Silicon Valley Voice.
The photo of Rubin and Mikaberydze standing together like old pals is another nail in the coffin in Indiegogo's claims that they're a neutral platform which doesn't actively support or endorse individual claims. As Pando reported previously, it was Indiegogo’s head of hardware that gave Healbe the undisclosed donation that took them over $1 million. Shortly afterwards, Indiegogo's head of marketing publicly thanked Healbe contributors for their support.
“Indiegogo welcomes both campaigners and contributors to our offices all the time. It is a regular occurrence,” an Indiegogo spokesperson told Pando this morning. She did not answer questions about whether Indiegogo were treated to a product demonstration of the GoBe device.
In Rubin’s one public statement during the Healbe campaign he talked up Indiegogo’s position as a “platform without judgment or gatekeepers.” Indiegogo received complaints about Healbe before Pando had written a single word, and said that it investigated Healbe and cleared them. As complaints and concerns mounted, it refused all requests to clarify why it had given Healbe the green-light. With each public endorsement and cheerful picture, Indiegogo sure looks like a platform with judgment, and one which has judged it totally fine to stand grinning beside hucksters who have just taken over a million dollars from Indiegogo users for a device which every single medical expert we could find has confirmed can't possibly work.
The trip continued...
Mikaberydze and Shipitsin were spied in New York on Friday, sitting for an in-person interview with the tech site Digital Trends, who’d previously covered the Healbe GoBe after its launch in March in its weekly “Awesome tech you can’t buy yet” wrap up.
Digital Trends’ Editor-in-Chief Jeremy Kaplan confirmed that the meeting took place and said that the site was vetting Healbe’s claims for a story that will run tomorrow. He called Healbe’s story “eye-opening to say the least,” but would not confirm if he’d seen a product working as described. "It's our scoop," Kaplan said.
Perhaps Kaplan will be the first journalist to report having actually tested Healbe's miracle device, and will be able to offer some comfort to the thousands of supporters are are eagerly awaiting delivery of their GoBes next month. We'll start hitting refresh on Digital Trends at midnight tonight and update this story with whatever we learn.