Loopwheels now have followers in 69 countries!
I’ve just been looking at our mailing list: in the last six weeks, people in 69 different countries have signed up to receive news about loopwheels. For a small company in Nottinghamshire, England, that seems amazing!
The greatest number of subscribers are from the UK and the USA, but we also have a very big following in Italy. (Greetings to you, our southern neighbours!) I won’t start to list every country for fear of leaving some one out: we send you all our warmest regards and greet you all. Thank you for your support and interest. I’ll continue to send a newsletter about every month or so, or a little more often if there is big news to impart about our wheels with suspension. This is the round-up of the last two weeks, and a look ahead to June.
CNN International: Quest Means Business
We are in the news again: this time on TV on Thursday 30 May, 20.00 CET (19.00 BST) on CNN International in Europe / Middle East / Africa schedules. Richard Quest, CNN International’s business anchorman in London, filmed a piece with Sam in Regents Park last week. Sam will be in the studio to watch the programme broadcast, and is taking his Loopwheels with him . . . if you have cable or satellite TV, sit back and enjoy!
Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign
We ran a campaign on the Kickstarter website to raise funds to get loopwheels into production. We reached our funding goal on Sunday 28 April, just 12 days into the 30 day campaign. By the end of the campaign, on 15 May, we had raised 153% of our target. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1205277475/loopwheels-for-a-smoother-more-comfortable-bicycle So we raised the funding we need to take loopwheels into production – hooray! The funds come through to us in the next few days and we have already been busy making the arrangements for getting loopwheels into production and out to Kickstarter backers by the planned delivery date of August 2013 for loopwheels and loopwheels bikes. Clothing and prints will arrive with backers sooner, and I will be contacting backers separately next week to ask them to supply the information we need to fulfil their pledge rewards.
For people who missed the opportunity to pledge for loopwheels on Kickstarter, we’re really sorry you missed out. We will be selling loopwheels direct to customers from our website later this year. I will announce all the details via my newsletter, and on Twitter and Facebook.
Production plans progress
With the certainty of Kickstarter funding from our fantastic backers, and information about the number of bicycles and wheels we need to fulfil Kickstarter pledges, we have been able to begin progressing our production plans. Next week, Graeme Sharrocks joins the Loopwheels team to work with Sam on getting loopwheels into production. Our first priority is finalising the design of the production tool for manufacturing the loopwheel springs, and placing the order for that tool to be made. There’s also plenty to keep us busy in agreeing arrangements with all suppliers, and re-organising our premises from a development and test unit into a production facility.
In the first instance we shall be making the loopwheels promised to our Kickstarter backers: theirs will be the first production batch of loopwheels ever made. We’ll keep you in touch with the progress over the next couple of months. Running our first production on relatively small numbers this summer will help inform us about our capacity for “real-time” production when we launch loopwheels for sale this Autumn.
People have been asking us about applications for loopwheels other than bicycles. There’s plenty of potential and many benefits for different wheels with integral suspension, but we are focussing first and foremost this summer on 20″ loopwheels for bicycles. So stay in touch, and stay patient! (You could say that we’ve waited a long time for the wheel to be reinvented, so we hope some months more should be acceptable yet . . .)
We’re really pleased to be receiving enquiries about distributor opportunities, and other questions about when Loopwheels will be available now that our Kickstarter campaign has finished. This is our broad timetable:
- Kickstarter finished 15 May 2013
- June to August 2013: we are getting production started, concentrating first on fulfilling the pledge rewards placed via Kickstarter.
- From late September or October 2013: we shall be selling loopwheels direct from our own website to individual customers. We are also interested in selling via a small number of bike dealers (particularly in the UK) who have a particular interest in commuter and folding bikes.
- From 2014: We shall be looking at further distribution opportunities, in the UK and elsewhere.
If you want us to inform you directly about sales opportunities, please contact us via our email address [email protected]
Our very best wishes – sent from here in Nottinghamshire to 69 countries (and counting)
Gemma and Sam