Sheer Wind Inc., a startup that was developing a funnel-shaped wind-power system, has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
The Chaska-based company reported $3.7 million in liabilities and no assets in a Dec. 29 bankruptcy court filing. Its largest unsecured creditor is Plymouth-based contractor Bauer Design Build, which is owed $2.34 million.
Other large creditors include QRDC — an Excelsior consulting firm run by Sheer Wind founder Daryoush Allaei — that is owed $454,000 and Pewaukee, Wis.-based VJS Construction, which is owed about $170,000.
Allaei started SheerWind in 2010 and went on to develop Invelox, a system that used funnel-shaped wind turbines to generate power. The company landed several licensing deals, including one in 2015 with Slagelse, Denmark-based E-Venturi.
In 2015, the Michigan National Guard said it would spend $1.5 million to buy Sheer Wind's products for a project at its Fort Custer Training Center.
Neither Sheer Wind nor its attorney could immediately be reached for comment on the bankruptcy.
In 2016, the company generated about $1.47 million in revenue, according to court filings. However, from the start of 2017 through Dec. 29, its sales had fallen to about $4,500.
In an August blog post, Sheer Wind said it faced setbacks resulting from a series of technical challenges, which it blamed partly on equipment provided by vendors. In addition, angel investors could longer provide it with sufficient funding, the company said.
“We need an infusion of meaningful capital instead of just enough for boot-strapping the company,” Sheer Wind wrote in the post.
In a regulatory filing, Sheer Wind reported raising about $1.25 million in equity financing in 2013. It had 42 investors, according to the blog post.
Among the company’s creditors is the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, which provided capital to the company through the state’s loan program for angel-investor-backed companies. The state is owed about $95,000, according to court documents.