Whatever you do, don’t trust Doros Kiriakoulis

Last year I wrote about how a single product, the GoKey, had made me give up on crowd funding websites. Badly delayed, something always seemed to come up when the deadline was imminent. However, it all appeared to be moving on and only a couple of weeks ago all the backers received an email so we could provide final confirmation details of our product requirements (for example, my phone connection has changed, twice,
since originally backing the product, so I needed a different connector on the GoKey).

This morning I had an email.

I sincerely regret to inform you that GoKey lacks the funds to complete the delivery of a viable product.  We ran into technical difficulties that we could not resolve.  There are no funds left to cover claims of suppliers and others or to offer refunds.  I have been exploring all avenues to raise additional funds so that we could complete and deliver the product, but we have been unsuccessful.

I honestly fought with all I had to do good at the end. Tried so hard to raise a round or form a partnership to deliver. And there have been times where a deal was looking 100% certain. But the age of the product, the liability and the negative cloud hanging over it always prevailed.

I am left with no alternative but to completely cease and shut down all operations and activities and consider filling for bankruptcy.

The company had burned through all the money and now had nothing left to provide us all with the final product.

This was a project that wanted just $40K originally but managed to raise $1.2 million. With the project now dead and no refunds available, people are out-of-pocket anything from $69 to the one person who paid $1150. The most popular version of the product was the $79 model, which I also paid an extra $10 for international shipping. It was funded in July 2014, nearly 3 years ago.

For most of the time Doros K, the person behind the product, was quiet with only the occasional update. But as time went on people became more and more frustrated at the delays, particularly as the technology in the product was becoming obsolete – even the built-in memory was no longer sufficient – and alternative products came on the market to do similar things.

There was talk a few months ago of beta testers with an anonymous video apparently evidence that this was happening…

There have also been images of large numbers of mouldings of the product.

Only 11 days ago Doro was still providing updates to backers, with no hint that the product was not going to be delivered. However, he also provided the following update to one backer which, with hindsight, may give hint to what was to come…

1,2 million are a lot of money to most people but when you count in all expenses like salaries for electrical, firmware, hardware, test engineers, iOS and Android developers, tooling, prototyping, outsourced services, molds, certifications, patents, materials one can see that the funds are actually barely enough.

Since the email today there are a LOT of angry people commenting on IndieGoGo about this. However, some of the information is intriguing.

so is arrow electronics no longer a partner on this? noticed their logo is now gone. I wonder if it’s because I sent them an email asking for an update and they realized you were using their name to scam folks?

It would appear one of the technology partners for this product is no longer mentioned. Whether backing away from what could be seen as bad PR for them or, simply, that they never were involved, we may never know.

But one thing is for certain – Doros is either incompetent on a massive scale or a scammer. We’ll never know if he just pocked the £1.2 million or whether he was genuinely given 26 times what he wanted and still managed to waste it. I certainly cannot believe that until 11 days ago he still thought the product was going to ship (what happened in the last 11 days that would have taken his budget from an ability to finish this to where he couldn’t?). Maybe the reality is somewhere in the middle – part incompetence and part scam. One thing is for sure, I would never recommend dealing with him again.

I am not a crook. I tried until the very end to get the funds and deliver. Up until the last update things were moving forward and looked like they will work out. Production was lined up. I honestly tried. I never wanted to scam you. I wanted to make good.

“I never wanted to scam you”. His words. Not “I didn’t scam you”.

If you are Doros Kiriakoulis and want to answer or correct any of the information in this post then please get in touch.

On top of this Doros is updating his online presence, removing his photo (and that includes the one for IndieGoGo) and even removing himself entirely, such as on Twitter. So, we don’t forget, Doros K is Doros Kiriakoulis, Polydoros Kiriakoulis and Doros Kyriakoulis. Here are some photos of him…

Additionally, further details can be found on the patent he filed.

He also did an interview, which is interesting, particularly where he reveals he did this with no up-front money…

9 responses

  1. Diez Milla avatar
    Diez Milla

    Polydoros KYRIAKOULIS seems to be his real name, sometimes Doros Kiriakoulis, sometimes Doros K. It seems that this guy is trying to hide his real identity. Thanks to post like yours and comments in video, we will try to not forget his name, and Google will be do the rest.

  2. Anonymous Engineer avatar
    Anonymous Engineer

    Hi David,…I met Doros in 2014. At the time I was doing freelance mechanical engineering design work. My friend referred him to me through one of his other colleagues. I had several introductory meetings with him concerning mechanical and electrical design of the goKey. The dude was in way over his head from the very start. His whole approach was to fake the hell out of it to get funded. By our second meeting I was fed up with what felt like him stringing me along trying to coax information from me without paying anything. I thought, “this guy is a fucking clown” and decided to quit dealing with him and let this lead go cold. Needless to say i was surprised when i found out a year later that he got funding.

    Whether or not he willfully scammed folks is impossible for me to say, but I will say that he was astonishingly unprepared to make a hardware product, unrealistic about what the product actually needs to do to be feasible and successful, and woefully ignorant about how designers/engineers/product people actually develop, test, de-risk, refine, and produce consumer electronics at scale.

    I regret not posting on the indiegogo campaign to warn folks that this guys is a complete pretender at best, or a criminal at worst.

  3. David, Forgive me for bringing back a zombie thread, but did anything ever happen to Doros? I also was one of the backers tat was scammed.

    1. Not that I’m aware – he appears to have disappeared since all this happened. His company is still active, though.

      It’s satisfying, though, to find that searching for his name on Google brings up this page as the first result – hopefully, he won’t be able to rip off anybody else in future.

      1. Any updates?

        1. Nothing – total radio silence since I wrote this, nearly 2.5 years ago.

          1.  avatar

            Hi David.I met Doros 9 months ago.He appears as a religious man,who made a big turn in his life and tries to forget his guilty past.He told me for a gokey,for some buckers,for that big crush he had etc.I tried really hard to define him as a person,but i can’t.When i found this blog,he begged me not to give address,ID, country and i won’t.He only told me,if he had your phone number would’ve have contact with you.He wants to apologise first and then to make na deal a with you somehow…i guess to recreate his reputation.Can i have your phone number David???

          2. Hi. No, sorry, I’m not going to provide my phone number to an anonymous commenter.

            However, your IP shows that you’re in Greece. When he ran the campaign, he was supposedly in San Francisco? Has he returned to Greece or did he never leave the country?

            I’m not sure how he can get back his reputation if, as you say, he admits his guilt – unless he’s planning on recompensing the 14,000 people who paid him money.

Talk to me!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: