Crowdfunding Case Study:Goji Smart Lock

gojiMatthew Modawell – Nov. 15, 2013 – The Goji Smart Lock brings modern technology to the everyday deadbolt lock. It allows you to grant access to your home—even when you aren’t there—and provides real-time photo alerts of visitors, all via your smartphone. For instance, you could unlock your door so the neighbor kid could walk your dog and lock the door again when he finishes—all while you’re relaxing on the beach.

However, Goji ran into the problem most product start-ups encounter: insufficient capital to fund production. Unfortunately, Goji was not successfulin going straight to angel investors and venture capital firms. Potential investors (including venture capitalists) expressed concern for limited“proof of concept” and encouraged Goji to utilize a reward-based crowdfunding portal.

After being rejected by Kickstarter, Goji created a campaign through Indiegogo with a threshold of $120,000. In spite oflittle marketing effort, Goji was able to raise $313,457 of preorder sales—slightly in excess of the target. After the campaign, Goji was almost immediately approached by investors (like venture capitalists and angels). CEO and founder Gabriel Bestard Ribas explained, “I never picked up the phone to make a call for more investors. Ever since crowdfunding, everyone started to call me.”

Goji now has now signed with iControl[1], Control4[2], Savant Systems[3], The Home Depot[4], and Verizon Wireless[5].  It is also in the process of creating an agreement with Wal-Mart.

The success hasn’t been without hiccups, though. Gabriel had to turn down Amazon.com when it called because it wanted to fix his price. Another problem arose when signing with big-name distributors because they were not able to insure their product.To date, there still is no production capacity of the Goji Smart Lock.

On a more positive note, Goji will sign with a super-angel investor in the coming weeks. Also, Fundable, an equity based crowdfunding portal, approached Goji, and Gabriel says he has agreed to run a campaign in the near future with them.

Goji’s success just goes to show that crowdfunding can actually open the doorway to additional investment opportunities and success.

 

 

Matthew Modawell



[1] Service provider for firms like Comcast and ADT Security Solutions

[2] Leading provider of personalized automation and home-control solutions

[3] Developer and manufacturer of software and hardware solutions for residential and commercial automation

[4] Largest home-improvement retailer in the United States

[5] Largest mobile network operator in the United States

 

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