DURHAM – Organic Transit, led by former auto industry executive Rob Cotter, has filed for bankruptcy, according to a news report.

Once one of the Triangle’s most promising startups, Organic Transit developed and manufactured solar and pedal powered vehicles.

An Organic Transit ELF (Organic Transit image)

The bankruptcy filing came Thursday.

Triangle investor and entrepreneur Scot Wingo, who once served on the company’s board, reacted to the news. “I actually transitioned off the board a couple of years ago, so am not privy to what happened.

“Starting disruptive companies is a high-risk undertaking,” he added. “Most venture capitalists plan for 80 percent-plus of their companies to fail.”

Earlier this year, he wrote about the firm in his “Triangle tweeners” report on promising companies. He called Rob Cotter “an ex-auto industry guru who is looking to disrupt the transportation industry and guide the future of urban transportation.”

At the time, the firm seemed healthy with 10-50 employees, around $2.5 million from investors, plus additional money from a Kickstarter campaign.

“It’s always sad when a promising startup fails, but as you know, the failure rate of startups is very high, so it does happen,” said Wingo.

As a whole, however, he believes the Triangle’s startup ecosystem remains strong.

“We’ve seen the Samanage, School Dude and Prometheus acquisitions and the Pryon funding all recently, so I don’t think this is some indication of a wide-spread problem impacting Triangle startups. It seems isolated to Organic Transit.”

The Triangle Business Journal first reported the filing

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