Melbourne start-up iLID turns to Kickstarter for funding
Start-ups shouldn’t rely on crowdsourcing platforms to generate traffic, according to Melbourne-based start-up iLID, which is raising funds on Kickstarter for its iPhone-inspired product.
iLID was founded by Darren Inglis and Simon Dunn-Vaughan, who claim to have created the world’s thinnest iPhone wallet, complete with a money clip, card holder and key holder.
The device, which is only 17 millimetres thick and clicks to the back of the iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S, also has a hinged back, allowing users to transform it into a display stand.
“You take your phone, wallet, key, ID and your credit care everywhere. That stuff gets bulky,” Inglis says.
“With the iPhone bringing the world to our door, what better way to keep it all together than in one protective case?”
Inglis and Dunn-Vaughan met last year in the Philippines whilst on a shipwreck diving trip together, although the business opportunity didn’t present itself straight away.
“Six months later, we caught up for a beer in Melbourne. His girlfriend had just got him an iPhone case, and I’d seen some weird story on the internet about a wallet you could hold on your wrist,” Inglis says.
“We thought, there’s something in this, so we started knocking it up and throwing some names around... We went to some industrial engineers and knocked up some designs.”
After investing $20,000 of their own money, the pair decided to approach US-based online crowdsourcing platform Kickstarter to raise additional funds.
Kickstarter is a funding platform for creative professionals, allowing users to post their projects and find funding for them from the Kickstarter community.
It is powered by an all-or-nothing funding method, so projects must be fully-funded or no money changes hands.
“I’d followed a few projects on Kickstarter earlier. I saw the success they had, and it’s got such a good market, so we decided to go with them,” Inglis says.
To be eligible for Kickstarter, you must be a US resident. Inglis used a contact in the US to get around this.
"We were lucky enough to have a good friend in the US who was able to help us," he says.
Inglis believes people’s perceptions of crowdsourcing platforms are beginning to change, which is good news for start-ups.
“With all the trusted payment gateways, such as Amazon and PayPal, a lot more people are willing to support these things,” he says.
“Our Kickstarter campaign finishes on the 12th of December, and we just reached 37% of our funding target [of $10,000].”
“Ninety percent of the projects on Kickstarter – once they pass 30% of funding – go on to be successfully funded.”
The company is gearing up for its first worldwide shipment in January, identifying Australia, the United States and Canada as key markets, with distributors in the US showing particular interest.
“We had 20,000 hits on our website this week. 60% of that came from America and then it was an even split between Australia and Canada,” Inglis says.
While Kickstarter has helped to raise the profile of iLID, Inglis says start-ups shouldn’t rely solely on crowdsourcing platforms for traffic.
“We’ve been using PRWeb, and we’ve submitted ourselves to StumbleUpon, Facebook and Google Adwords. We’ve been writing to blogs and publications as well,” he says.