Brydge, the company that made some of the best iPad keyboards on the market, has gone out of business.
Brydge once competed with Zagg and, ultimately, Apple. The company’s products were well-reviewed and provided a way for customers to convert their iPads into something of a touchscreen MacBook.
Unfortunately, according to 9to5Mac, the company has gone out of business, leaving orders unfulfilled and staff unpaid. The outlet’s sources say the company’s two co-CEOs — Nicholas Smith and Toby Mander-Jones — bear much of the blame.
Multiple former Brydge employees described both as having large personalities, pride, and inflated egos. Some Brydge employees interpreted this as a passion for the company and growth, which would benefit everyone. They might not be the easiest people to work for, but Brydge was successful, and the pay was good.
Other people, however, said this led to a very hostile work environment. Multiple employees particularly pointed to Smith as being extremely difficult to work with and overbearing, with an unhealthy management style that spread down to lower-level managers and employees. Mander-Jones, on the other hand, was equally as passionate and prideful of himself and Brydge but was largely viewed as the “good cop” compared to Smith, multiple former employees said.
Sources told the outlet that the company’s goal was always to be acquired, but after multiple acquisition attempts fell through, the company simply didn’t have the cash to stay open.
Brydge provided the following statement to 9to5Mac’s inquiry, blaming the pandemic for its demise:
Brydge Technologies LLC (“Company”) announced that the BRYDGE brand and intellectual property has been acquired by a third party via a foreclosure process initiated by its senior lender. As a result the Company is ceasing operations.
Brydge was born out of a desire to create tablet and computer peripherals that could be design-focused, innovative and high quality. Starting with turning the iPad into a genuine laptop replacement, Brydge went on to create leading docking stations. From there Brydge grew rapidly and became a disrupter in the productivity sector, winning multiple awards.
Recently, Brydge has experienced financial challenges stemming from the delayed effects of COVID-related supply chain distributions and retail store closures coupled with higher freight costs. Combined with the recent economic conditions and the slow down in market activity, this led Brydge’s lenders to initiate a foreclosure process which has resulted in the sale of the BRYDGE brand and intellectual property.
It’s a sad end to a company that created some truly great products.