Cardboard’s Indiegogo Launch

Izhar Gafni

Here at Ayoba Innovation, we are following the launch of Cardboard Technologies’ cardboard bike closely. Just after 8 am EDT this morning, I received the following email regarding Cardboard Technologies’ Indiegogo launch:

Cardboard IndieGogo

As of 6:30 pm EDT, Cardboard’s pitch to “Ambassadors” had resulted in 55 funders committing a total of $7,784 to the project, or $142 per funder. Five funders purchased the full-sized bicycle. The funding page reveals some interesting details about the project:

    • Their stated goal is US$2M, which, if successful, would make the cardboard bike the largest campaign in Indiegogo’s history. Using the initial indicator of $142 per funder, it will take over 14,000 funders to reach the goal. On a typical Indiegogo campaign, you pay a 4% fee if you make your funding goal, and 9% if you fail to reach it. So I am curious as why Cardboard (or anyone else) would set such an aggressive goal. Why take that risk? Perhaps they have a special deal with Indiegogo given the worldwide pre-campaign buzz related to the project. (And perhaps that’s why they switched from Kickstarter to Indiegogo late in the game: they got a better deal. Pure speculation on my part.)
    • The entry price point for the cardboard bike is US$290. In early press reports, the company had proposed a game-changing retail price of less than US$100. I wonder if this price increase is a reflection of high projected manufacturing costs–particularly with respect to direct labor–that they had not previously anticipated. And if that is true, does that negate the game-changing nature of the bike that got everyone so excited in the first place.

  • The video, while a little slow to get to its point, plays to the longer-term appeal that the cardboard bicycle is merely the first application of a manufacturing technology that can be applied to building wheelchairs, baby carriages, and other items, anywhere in the world. They are asking funders to buy into their long-term vision, not just the immediate bicycle product. Personally, I thought their first video was much more effective at hyping the bicycle itself. But perhaps they are adjusting the marketing message to compensate for the higher price point of the bicycle. We’ll know in 45 days how well that works.

The Indiegogo widget below shows the latest status of the funding campaign. Click on the widget to visit the project page at Indiegogo.

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