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Slovenian startups Lumu, ONDU, and MUSGUARD, which are aiming to develop various hardware products, have raised tens of thousands of thousands of dollars. In the cases of Lumu and MUSGUARD, the projects have raised hundreds of thousands in funding for product development and to cover manufacturing costs. We don’t often have an opportunity to write about Slovenia, especially since Vox.io closed down, and we don’t typically write about hardware projects, but we decided to write about these projects which have each wildly exceeded the funding goals set by their founders.
With regards to funding, the campaign that Lumu has run has unquestionably been the most successful thus far. The team obtained just over $154,000 (117,800 euro) from 1,645 backers and the total has continued to climb as I’ve sat here and written this post. With 16 days remaining in the campaign, the team could conceivably wind up with a far more impressive amount of funding. We aren’t the only ones to write about their campaign, though, as there was already an article in TechCrunch 9 days ago about the project. It’s possible that this pre-campaign bit of publicity spurred them on to greater heights than they might have otherwise achieved, but I imagine that they would have nevertheless raised a hefty sum.
The project itself is to create a light meter which can be attached to an iPhone and which will assist photographers in capturing the perfect shot. It can be plugged into an iPhone running iOS 5.0 or later and which can measure any degree of brightness or darkness. In addition to the meter, the team has been working to develop the companion app and a special protective case. For now, the project is available on iOS, but they are working on bringing it to Android.
Like Lumu, ONDU Pinhole Cameras involves photography, but that’s where the similarities end. Created by Elvis Halilovic, the campaign will provide the bulk purchase of wood and equipment for the mass-production of wooden pinhole cameras. Unlike Lumu, which makes use of iPhones, Halilovic intends to use the fund to create very basic and durable lens-less cameras. According to the campaign’s page, the team behind the project intends to create an online store for ONDU after October, which will allow for the purchase of the pinhole cameras.
In the case of ONDU, the campaign has already come to an end. Halilovic set a goal of $10,000 (7,700 euro) for the project, but managed to wildly exceed expectations with just over $109,000 (83,700 euro) raised. According to Halilovic, the money raised will be specifically set aside for buying parts in bulk. Although Halilovic says that he and his brother (his partner in the venture) can make the cameras in the woodworking space that Halilovic owns, they need better equipment if they are going to build it into a larger business.
Finally, the team behind MUSGUARD recently completed a campaign to raise funds for the development of removable and rollable bicycle fenders. Designed with cyclists in mind, the fenders are designed to be easy to transport and yet useful for protecting riders when travelling over wet or muddy roads. Although the campaign that MUSGUARD ran was not as successful financially as the previous 2 campaigns mentioned, they did well on their own, raising slightly under $45,000 (34,600 euro) from 1,756 backers. According to their campaign page, the team behind this project intends to use the funding for further development of bicylce-related accessories.
Although Kickstarter tends to be geared more towards art, music, and other creative projects, obtaining backing through crowdfunding seems to have become trendy in recent years. In addition to well-known AngelList, there are sites like Fundable, StartupValley, and recent Russian venture SmartMarket. However, as with any business venture, there can be pitfalls and founders who lack the guidance of mentors may encounter difficulty. Still, those who know what they are doing and can overcome the obstacles that they will face in building their business can clearly raise a healthy amount of investment with a solid concept and team. Whether by applying to an accelerator, growing by sales alone, or opting for crowdfunding, there are a number of options for taking a startup and building it into a success.
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