As its crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter was taking a bad turn, the Philadelphia-based company Beacon & Lively announced it was officially canceling its project that combines jewelry with technology. Originally launched in July, the company set out to raise $120,000, but only end up reaching $24,701 from 176 backers.
According to Technical.ly Philly, CEO Dave Becker stated in an email, “People have heard of Kickstarter, but they really don’t know what it is/means. They don’t understand the concept of being a backer, making a pledge and following the campaign. Our customers just want a “Pre-order” button… which is what [competitor] Ringly did (more successfully than us).”
Also addressing the cancelation through the website’s blog, the Beacon & Lively team shared, “Although we raised over $20K in just a couple weeks, we just didn’t reach enough people. People don’t know about Beacon & Lively (yet), pure and simple. So like any good company, we’re adjusting our strategy based on lessons learned over the last couple of weeks.”
“First and foremost, there is a market for smart jewelry. Ringly, fresh off an infusion of 1M in funding, launched their connected rings a week earlier than us and reportedly sold $100K in 24 hours. We’re the David to their Goliath. No VC funding, no fancy PR machine. Just a talented team of passionate people that have almost brought Beacon & Lively to life, mostly through the support of REALLY loyal and excited fans like you!”
“We believe that we are ready to launch Beacon & Lively and stake a claim in the wearable tech and jewelry markets. We have patents pending, a beautiful brand, and an initial product design that is fashionable and chic. In short, we believe that we will succeed.”
In regards to what they took away from the campaign, the team noted they had learned a few things from the Kickstarter experienced, which are:
- Press is critical: They always knew that PR would be crucial to their success, and they insisted on hiring a “prestigious” PR firm from NYC. Unfortunately, they just never made traction, and the project had 1000’s of views instead of 100,000 of views. They are currently evaluating new PR firms that will closely share the company’s passion, goals, and spirt.
- Pre-orders vs. crowdfunding: Going forward, the company will look at alternative platforms for pre-funding that allow us to control the look, feel and simplicity for their backers.
The company refuses to feel down about the campaign and has applied to the NYC-based R/GA Accelerator, along with a new prototype out and has been meeting with angel investors/venture firms.
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