The Neptune Pine “all in one smart watch” closed on Kickstarter yesterday having raised an astounding $801,224 from 2839 backers. In the halls of crowdfunding fame this places Neptune Pine in the top 100 but no where close to the poster child of crowdfunding, another Smartwatch, Pebble (which raised over $10Million from another Canadian entrepreneur Eric Migicovsky).
The Pine watch in many ways is far superior to what Pebble led with on their campaign. The Pine today will include Shock Resistance, 64GB of storage, Water Resistance, Tougher Glass, a CDMA version, NFC, Screen Protectors, shoots 720p video, boasts great battery capacity and – of course you can make and take calls. In their comparison chart, Pine even stomps on the Samsung Galaxy Gear (which has been widely panned by critics).
The Montreal based company set an initial goal of raising $100,000 but that was easily hurdled. Stretch goals were set and sequently surpassed with the final stretch being set at $700,000. The crowdfunding campaign is more of a pretail strategy as the sample production run is scheduled for December 2013 (now) with volume production and rewards shipping in January 2014. If you missed the crowdfunding deadline and you are interested you may pre-order the Pine now on the Neptune site.
Neptune was founded in 2012 by Simon Tian who was born in Montreal, Canada in 1994. After one year at Marianopolis College where he was studying applied Sciences he left college to start Neptune with the intent on creating innovative products which enrich lives with the power of technology. The 19 year old entrepreneur figured out he could compete with the big guys by offering a better product, keeping costs competitive and running a pretail crowdfunding campaign to generate needed working capital to build the Pine. Apparently the seed funding came from friends and family.
Early bird rewards were quickly scooped up. 500 backers pre-purchased the Pine for $199 CAD. Pre-orders on the Neptune site are now available for $335 CAD. While some critics have indicated the Smartwatch is too large for a wrist, try explaining that to the Pine’s committed supporters. It appears that Tian and his team are on to something big. Crowdfunding continues to astound as to what is possible with a solid idea. I would suspect Tian’s success would have not been possible without the aid of crowdfunding and the community created by Kickstarter.
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