Panono Quickly Jumps on Companisto. Easily Beats € 100,000 Minimum Raise in First Day.
Panono has made the leap from Indiegogo hit to equity crowdfunding success. All within a matter of months. Berlin, Germany based Panono raised $1.25 million in a rewards based campaign this past January and remains one of the top funded campaigns of all time on Indiegogo.
The panoramic ball camera caught the attention of tech media around the globe helping to boost the campaign as over 2600 backers supported the project – many signing up to receive one of the first Panono cameras. Indiegogo campaign backers were originally expected to receive the first Panono’s in September 2014, but as with many crowdfunded products the creators have announced delays and now expect first shipments to occur in the Spring of 2015. While some Indiegogo backers have been frustrated with the delay and requested refunds the majority are staying the course.
Panono was founded in Berlin by Jonas Pfeil, Björn Bollensdorff and Qian Qin. The startup was the genesis of an idea formulated in 2007. While on a trip to Tonga in the South Pacific, Jonas struggled to capture the majestic scenery of the vibrant landscape with now ubiquitous panoramic photos from a smartphone. Upon his return to Germany, he developed the idea into taking a panoramic picture from up in the air. This idea became the basis for his thesis at the Technical University of Berlin. In 2011 he presented his prototype at SIGGRAPH Asia, creating a YouTube video of his product that went viral with over 3 million views. He then joined with classmates Björn and Qian and incorporated the company in 2012. Today Björn and Jonas are co-CEO’s of the company with Qian acting as Chief Technology Officer.
The dramatic success of this rewards based crowdfunding campaign continues developing the theme that crowdfunding has the potential to generate products and launch companies – smarter, faster, cheaper. Panono has gone from a cool concept with an elegant solution that captures interested users thus creating a company with a solid growth trajectory. While the company was incorporated back in 2012 – the year of 2014 will be one of significant public awareness augmented by a crowdfunding capital raise.
The investment opportunity on Companisto is for a young company now with a pre-month valuation at € 12,000,000. The share offer, at €5 / share, is for a maximum of €1 million or 200,000 shares. Investors also may receive perks or benefits by becoming a shareholder in the company. These begin with t-shirts and move up to actual cameras and more. The camera perk kicks in at a hefty €10,000 and as of today 2 investors have signed up at this level of commitment. Panono decided to skip the traditional VC funding round wanting to give their supporters the chance to be a part of their success. Unfortunately for US based backers you are out of luck as the offer is not available to US citizens. Panono joins a growing number of equity crowdfunding offers that see the power in investor engagement where those holding the shares are also committed users of the product and thus extended brand ambassadors.
Panono wants to play a “decisive role” in the “paradigm shift in photography” with their new approach to photograph. Think about it. The most recent evolution for photography has been the ubiquitous nature of the mobile phone camera – each one a suped up device with millions of pixels, LED flashes and idiot proof technology. Panono is a new approach and one that cannot be subverted by the iPhone.
Toss the ball like Panono in the air and 36 different cameras take a 360 x 360 degree photograph – at the highest point as gauged by the accelerometer incorporated in the device. The user can take a picture of everything surrounding them – at the moment – with a resolution of 108 megapixels. Images are easily transferred to your smartphone via wifi. While it is not suggested you drop the device, the casing is described as sturdy enough to withstand a miss from normal throwing heights. Cords are only necessary for charging up the device. No video today but one would expect that will be forthcoming sometime in the near future. The Panono team has created a cool gallery of examples. A quick view will make just about anyone interested in owning the camera of the decade.
Panono while still working on shipping to early backers has stated they are already generating solid revenue from ongoing presales from thee Panono site. The camera is not inexpensive at €549.00 before taxes and shipping. The company states they have received approximately 3000 pre-orders worth €1.3 million with additional orders generated approximately €45,000 per month – without any promotion outside of the Indiegogo campaign (and associated earned media).
Panono is part of a growing group of young companies that are leveraging the step stone process of product validation via rewards based (or pretail) crowdfunding and then raising the next stage of capital via the crowd. While still very much in the early stages of this new approach to capital raising there are clear benefits for Panono to use Companisto – or for other products to go the equity crowdfunding route.
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