At Helium.com, the company website for a much-talked-about Web3 startup, the section under the header “HELIUM IS USED BY” included 14 logos yesterday, but there are only 12 such logos today. The missing logos, for the cloud-based software company Salesforce, and the e-scooter rental giant Lime, were both mentioned in a report on Friday by Mashable’s Matt Binder.
The status of Helium’s partnership with Lime was seriously in doubt after Russell Murphy, Lime’s senior director of communications, told Mashable, “Beyond an initial test of its product in 2019, Lime has not had, and does not currently have, a relationship with Helium.” Lime indicated that as of Friday it was preparing a cease and desist letter addressed to Helium.
In a statement to Mashable, Nova Labs, Helium’s parent company, acknowledged Friday that Lime and Helium had grown apart after that 2019 product test. “Lime has since restructured and the team members we worked with are no longer employed there,” the statement read.
Lime’s supposed status as a client was not trivial, but part of what appeared to be a core part of Helium’s marketing pitch. Helium bills itself as a decentralized network of Internet of things (IoT) devices, capable of providing their own connectivity where existing internet service providers can’t or won’t. Helium’s hardware is, in a sense, only as good as the network of users keeping it functioning — except there’s a bonus value proposition: the devices also mine a cryptocurrency, $HNT, whenever the network is used. And as long as major tech companies are customers, there is, in theory, plenty of crypto to be mined.
In a New York Times story from February, the use of the Helium network by Lime is cited as evidence that Helium is “a real product used by real people and companies every day.” In fairness, the Times story also mentions that Helium is used by the Victor mouse trap company as well — apparently for its line of IoT-enabled mouse traps — and the reality of that partnership does not appear to be in dispute at this time.
However, as of yesterday, Salesforce, the other company associated with a logo now missing from Helium.com (and from the site’s “Enterprise” page as well) had not commented publicly on its relationship with Helium. Mashable reached out to Salesforce for a statement about the logo’s removal, but at press time, had not heard back.
Mashable also reached out to Helium but had not received a comment as of this writing. We will update this story if there are further developments.
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