Lessons learned from the Levante Kickstarter Campaign
I often find that having a conversation about a subject really helps me to clarify and solidify my own understanding of it, a sort of ‘internalizing’ process. So I thought it would be a good idea to go through that process with our recent Kickstarter campaign . Hopefully you’ll get some interesting takeaways too!
As you may know, Levante’s mission is to create a positive impact in the world by creating clean energy solutions. We are now at the stage of pre-selling our Origami Solar Panel, currently being finalized for production.
Our decision to choose Kickstarter as our crowdfunding platform aligned perfectly with our values. Kickstarter’s focus on creativity and mission to “help bring creative projects to life” resonated deeply with our commitment at Levante, to be the change we wish to see in the world.
Funded in under one hour!
I am thrilled to share that our Kickstarter campaign was a real success! In under one hour after launch, we surpassed our funding goal of $10,000. and in total, we raised an incredible $94,022 . Of the total 77 supporters who backed our campaign the overwhelming majority come from the US; not surprising as the Kickstarter platform is US based and has a large US audience. We have some backers from Canada and the remainder are mostly from Europe: The Netherlands, Germany, UK and Italy ranking highest.
Now, as we move forward, we are excited to be able to continue pre-sales on the Indiegogo platform on our way to establishing our own ecommerce platform.
So what did we learn from the campaign…?
One of the key factors contributing to our success was the collaboration with social media influencers who share our values. Our strategic partner, YouTube channel Sailing Uma, played a crucial role by exposing our early prototypes to their audience. The credibility and support and trust that Kika and Dan have built up among their audience over the past 10 years has added an incredible level of trustworthiness to our product and provided valuable social proof. The majority of backers who are supporting us have come from the Sailing Uma audience. The Uma Nation as Dan and Kika would call it, added to the strong US base of the backers.
A better understanding
We now better understand our customer journey from discovery to purchase. The Origami Solar Panel being a premium product and at the higher end of the price spectrum. Our future customers need time to evaluate the product’s features, advantages, and understand the suitability for their applications. It is a technical product and so it requires time for evaluation and comparison.
Experts make the difference
It was incredibly valuable to have experts managing the campaign. Big thanks for the success go to our key partners including Andrea Baldereschi’s team at the Andrea Baldereschi Crowdfunding Agency who were instrumental in managing our Kickstarter campaign. Evergreen Design House who produced stunning visuals, with an amazing campaign shoot in Liguria, Italy. Eventys Partners and Jellop helped wrap up the campaign successfully in the US. CARO Communications enhanced our media presence with multiple publications both online and in print; notably in The Guardian, The Cool Hunting, Design Week, Innovation and Tech Today, PV Magazine and Designboom.
The community is the future
One of the key milestones we have reached during the Kickstarter campaign is building the foundation of a community. Our backers, with their belief in our product and mission are an essential part of our future at Levante. A community who are contributing to our vision of a more sustainable future, where adventures are driven by clean and efficient energy. We can’t wait to get these solar panels into their hands, to hear their stories, to watch their adventures and to continue improving and innovating together. In order to keep our backers updated and to start building a close and transparent relationship with them, we are creating monthly video updates with the latest news, milestones, challenges and successes on the way to delivering the first production run.
The right stuff…
So to summarize: having the right partners contributing in the right roles was key to our campaign success. If we had chosen to go it alone and tried to execute the campaign ourselves, I’m not sure it would have been the same success story.
There is of course a critical element not to be forgotten; identifying and engaging the right partners. I am sure I speak for the whole Levante team when I say that having values by which to evaluate decisions makes the process much more manageable; if not always particularly easy.
PS Sara and Kim were recently interviewed by Roy Morejon from the Art of the Kickstart podcast about the journey from idea to the Kickstarter campaign. It’s a good summary of how Levante came about and how we ended up launching on Kickstarter.