Tile – the item finder device – a product that ran a self-crowdfunding campaign and became one of the trailblazer’s in the new world of hardware startups, is now shipping their product. In an email to backers Nick Evans, CEO and Co-founder of the young company shared that early backers have already received notice of shipping confirmation and later backers should be receiving emails soon to confirm delivery addresses. Volume shipments & deliveries will begin next week.
The original pretail crowdfunding campaign signed up just under 50,000 backers representing about $2.7 million in orders. The presale of Tile allowed the creators to immediately gage demand while providing the necessary working capital to complete product development and manufacturing. Tile is emblematic as one of the growing number of hardware crowdfunding campaigns in the new maker ecosystem where product development from ideation to final sales has been compressed to months – a process that previously took years.
The efficacy of technology combined with fast market validation has engendered an entirely new process for aspiring makers. The funding ecosystem – from crowdfunding platforms to Angel / VC investors have recognized this new paradigm and are now building structured processes to further streamline and build upon this new model. Tile is one of the earliest examples of this new path and is unique in the fact they decided to launch a self-crowdfunding campaign, using Selfstarter, as opposed to launching on a well known global platform.
The item finder did experience production delays as they originally targeted shipping for the Winter of 2013/2014. Multiple copy-cat products have since entered the market both as crowdfunding projects and available for direct purchase. Tile is expected to benefit as an early mover as they will begin with a widely distributed user base. Tile becomes more effective the more people use its app. Daisy-chained iPhone’s and Android devices act as relay points to broadcast BLE signals when the Tile is not within range of the user’s own smartphone.
Tile went on to raise additional capital from Bessemer Venture Partners following their popular success.
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