The Ubuntu Edge is an audacious attempt to crowdsource the next smartphone advancement. Canonical, the company behind the Edge and Ubuntu itself is seeking an exorbitant $32 million to make it happen, and gave itself only a month to raise those funds. Now, Bloomberg LP has come forward as its first major corporate backer, with a lump $80,000 contribution in exchange for 100 Ubuntu Edge devices and enterprise workshops and technical support.
Bloomberg is the first backer at the “Enterprise 100″ campaign backer level, and that’s good news for the Ubuntu Edge, and would smash the initial targets of most hardware crowdfunding campaigns out there on its own, but the Ubuntu Edge isn’t just another crowdfunding campaign. That $32 million goal is looking mighty distant, having added only $1 million or thereabouts in the past week of its campaign, as noted by The Verge. A single $80,000 injection definitely helps things, but it doesn’t put the project on pace to reach $32 million by the end of the month, even if Bloomberg or other corporate backers were to plug $80,000 into the project daily on top of the current pace.
In fact, even being generous and projecting that Canonical manages to nab an even $10 million by this evening (unlikely), that gives it two weeks to raise an additional $24 million, which works out to $1.7 million per day. That’s a lot, and given that it earned $1 million in the past week altogether, not a very realistic expectation.
Bloomberg says in a statement that it’s excited about Canonical’s vision of converged computing with the Edge in particular. “Ubuntu’s goal to offer a single-device solution for enterprise convergence and mobility is an exciting prospect and one that complements our vision for open development on the mobile platform,” says Bloomberg LP’s Head of Web Architecture Justin Erenkrantz in an official release detailing the news, noting that cross-platform, seamless performance is a chief goal of Bloomberg’s in terms of what it provides for its clients.
Canonical better have some considerable Hail Mary plays up its sleeve if it hopes to make that goal, and LastPass Premium bundled subscriptions and Bloomberg support, nice as they both are, just aren’t going to cut it. We’ll have to see if Canonical’s ambitious vision in this case ends up being an utter daydream, or if there’s some kind of buzzer-beating offensive play left in place to get funding back on track.