To Helium.com, the company’s website for a much-talked-about Web3 startup, the section under the “HELIUM IS USED BY” header included 14 logos yesterday, but there are only 12 such logos today today. The missing logos, for cloud-based software company Salesforce, and electric scooter rental giant Lime, were both mentioned in a report Friday by Mashable’s Matt Binder.
The status of Helium’s partnership with Lime was in serious doubt after Russell Murphy, Lime’s senior communications manager, told Mashable, “Beyond an initial test of its product in 2019, Lime hasn’t not had, and currently does not have, a relationship with Helium.” Lime said that starting Friday, she was preparing a cease and desist letter to Helium.
In a statement to Mashable, Nova Labs, Helium’s parent company, acknowledged Friday that Lime and Helium parted ways after that 2019 product test. “Lime has since restructured and team members with who we worked for are no longer employed there,” the statement said.
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Lime’s supposed status as a customer was not trivial, but part of what appeared to be a central part of Helium’s marketing discourse. Helium presents itself as a decentralized network of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, capable of providing their own connectivity where existing Internet service providers cannot or will not. Helium’s hardware is, in a way, as good as the user network that keeps it running – except there’s a bonus value proposition: the devices also mine a cryptocurrency, $HNT, each time the network is used. And as long as big tech companies are customers, there is, in theory, plenty of crypto to mine.
In a New York Times story as of February, Lime’s use of the Helium Network is cited as proof that Helium is “a real product used by real people and businesses every day”. In fairness, the Time The story also mentions that helium is also used by mousetrap company Victor – reportedly for its line of IoT-enabled mousetraps – and the reality of this partnership doesn’t seem to be in dispute at this time.
However, since yesterday, Salesforce, the other company associated with a logo now absent from Helium.com (and from the “Companyalso) had not publicly commented on its relationship with Helium. Mashable reached out to Salesforce for a statement about the logo removal, but as of press time had not heard back.
Mashable also contacted Helium but had not received a comment to date. We’ll update this story if there are any further developments.