Arist Coffee Brother Quits, Yet the Scams Continue

arist coffee brothers continue to scam on crowdfunding sites

Since my post earlier this month about Nbition, the crowdfunding scam artists, two new stories have come to light about their founders, brothers Nelson and Benson Chiu. Brother Nelson is attempting to recruit new partners possibly through speaking engagements at Hong Kong universities. And, just last week, brother Benson publicly announced he has left his brother and their company – providing some insights into their company operation.

To recap so far, the Chiu brothers can be connected back to at least six projects (more unconfirmed) on Kickstarter and Indiegogo that have never delivered a finished product. Each project follows a formula of offering something almost too good to be true, at an irresistible early-adopter price. They tend to be very technical products, marketed at non-technical people.

Nelson Chiu Speaking at Hong Kong University

After my last post on this subject, a reader sent in a flyer from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST). The title was “How to get funded in the first 24 hours for your Crowdfunding Campaign.” The speaker? None other than Nelson Chiu himself. The bio on the flyer consists of a mere two paragraphs.

nelson chiu event at hong kong university of science and technology canceled

The first paragraph claims Nelson is an “expert in Digital Marketing and Crowdfunding Campaign [sic].” The bio also attributes “a dozen successfully funded campaigns” to Nelson, starting with the Arist coffee maker. The bio fails to mention that none of these dozen projects have successfully been brought to market. The only thing he was successful in, in regards to those dozens of projects, is scamming millions of dollars from backers around the world.

The second paragraph outlines his talking points for the evening: how to select and target an audience, how to achieve 100% funding in one day, and how to rise to the top of Kickstarter. All of these points support the idea that these projects are never meant to bring a product to market. There is no mention of product research, development, or testing. Just how to raise money fast.

The speaking engagement was suddenly and mysteriously canceled by the university. Not much information can be found online besides screenshots of the original postings. From the people I have talked to, there was an uproar from students and the general public.

Benson to Leave Brother and Arist Home

Out of nowhere this past week, a post was made on Medium by Benson Chiu announcing he resigned from the Arist Home company back in October. He claims to have learned a lot from the process and the company grew quicker than they could keep up with. There is no mention of Nbition or any other projects in his post. About half way through is where it starts to get interesting. Benson says, “I won’t allow myself to work in a world full of deception and [I’m] determined to say goodbye to all ‘lies.'”

At the end, he goes on to say, “be careful to choose your partner. If your partner can’t share the same goal, beliefs and values with you, or you don’t have a same “dream”, please don’t work with him together.” While he is not being transparent in what happened between he and his brother, it is clear that he is trying to distance himself from his brother and the lies that have been told over the last 2+ years. As of publication, he has not returned my message and has not made anymore public statements.

Hopefully in the coming months, more details will be released about what really happened at Nbition.

8 thoughts on “Arist Coffee Brother Quits, Yet the Scams Continue

  • I m from Hong Kong and I hate these brothers who made our city notorious in KS. I have followed their story for a while and have some belief :

    1. They may finally made a product that is manufacturable (maybe 50 % of its original design) but they are running out of cash. You guys can easily check out that they raise around USD 700000 and they have hired around 20 staff. Each month they need to pay around USD 60000 as salary and plus other overhead. It is now 30 months since they have raised in KS. So they used 60000 x 30 = 1800000… Already exceed what they raised. So they may have used some money from Znaps but if they need to make the machine…they are short of money. Thats why they can post their product video and attend CES as they want to get new investment to produce the machines.. But as their story are so well one dare to invest.

    2. If they cant get new chance this machines will be produced.

    3. There is a guy Markus comment on their section n always speak good words for them..This guy is their staff.

    I dislike people who cheat and hate people keep on cheating and cheating

  • Oh my lord!!! You are such a hero. I am actually one of the victim of another startup and writing the blog about what I have been through and go public is what I am doing right now. What you are doing is EXCELLENT and I should speed up my blog too..Good Job!

    • Hello Edith, thank you for taking the time to read my blog! People need to be aware that this is happening and news outlets should be investigating these groups. These are highly organized and deliberate operations.

      Please share and spread this information so others do not make the same mistakes we have…

  • Thank you for keeping these scammers from from hiding !!

    I’m still pretty upset that Kickstarter lets these guys get away with stealing from so many trusting people.

    • Thank you!

      Please share and spread this information so others do not make the same mistakes we have…These are highly organized and deliberate operations.

      People need to be aware that this is happening and news outlets should be investigating these groups.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *