Technology

Bankrupt PC builder Artesian Builds is auctioning off almost $1 million worth of stock

In context: Artesian Builds, a PC-building company that recently declared bankruptcy following a controversial livestreamed raffle in which its CEO made some very questionable decisions, is auctioning off swathes of hardware tomorrow on Zoom.

PC Gamer reports that the parts from the company’s California and North Carolina sites include many graphics cards, CPUs, PSUs, storage devices, motherboards, and even partially built PCs. The lots are being sold off as combined purchases with bids in minimum increments of $5,000 or more—Artesian Builds is said to have held $917,595 of stock at the time of its closure—so the auction is likely to attract other PC-building firms rather than everyday consumers.

A former employee said Artesian Builds is closing with hundreds of outstanding orders for prebuilt gaming PCs—its balance sheet puts the figure at $1.37 million—and some customers are struggling to get their money back. How far the sale of inventory will go in addressing this issue is unclear.

The auction also includes Artesian Builds’ intangible assets: its business and domain names, an influencer list of around 1,000 names and emails, and a trademark. It’s also selling a customer list of about 10,000 names and emails of buyers from the last three years, though this is “subject to requirement of appointment and review by a consumer privacy ombudsman.”

Things went rapidly downhill following one of Artesian Builds’ PC-building livestreams when it announced a small-time affiliate streamer called Kiapiaa as the winner of a PC giveaway. However, CEO Noah Katz decided to withhold the prize because Kiapiaa’s total social media follower count was fewer than 5,000. He then “purged” the streamer from the competition as “this person has had three months of ambassadorship and not a single click.”

Katz eventually apologized following the backlash and offered Kiapiaa the PC, which was refused, but the damage had been done. It wasn’t long before Artesian Builds announced it was examining a potential employee-led buy-out of the company and freezing all activities.

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