An Autel Robotics X-Star drone with a FLIR Duo module is shown during the 2017 CES in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., January 6, 2017. The module is a compact dual-sensor thermal and visible light imager. Reuters/Steve Marcus

The Lily camera also known as the selfie drone has been cancelled by its designers despite having an almost US$34 million (AU$45.4 million) of pre-orders since going on sale in June 2016. However, the cost of development has continued to outpace the speed of raising the funds. Antoine Balaresque and Henry Bradlow, Lily's founders, confirmed the product cancellation.

Balaresque and Bradlow informed the customers that the company was unable to secure financing to manufacture and ship the products leading to the shutting down of the company. They said that they were delighted on the advancement of their product but they have been racing against the clock to gain sufficient funds. They promised refunds to customers.

The drone's selfie features allow the camera to follow its owners through a tracking device and automatically film or take their picture. It has a 1080p video camera and 12-megapixel still camera with a 20-minute battery life. The pre-order price was US$499 (AU$667) and it was charged immediately to interested buyers. The pre-order was charged to help the company reduce risk.

Balaresque and Bradlow wrote that they were very sorry and disappointed for not delivering the flying camera. In the email they sent on Thursday, they said that customers would get their refund over the next 60 days. They assured that there are no actions required from customers in acquiring the refund. The company will initiate the refund and it will take 14 days for the refund to appear on the customers' bank statement. An online form is available for expired card holders.

The company did not use crowdfunding platforms to raise funds which Zano drone did. The British nano drone has raised £2.3 million (AU$3.7 million) on Kickstarter and has released 600 of 15,000 pre-sold drones. However, the company declared bankruptcy and technical errors were reported by users.