Combimouse Funding

This blog discusses how funding for the Combimouse requires a combination of an investment and crowdsourced funding such as Kickstarter.

Investment is required to cover startup costs, including completion of the design, IP costs, emission standards testing, tooling(very expensive) and other costs. Angel List will be used.

When all these startup activities are completed we can then raise funds on Kickstarter. Kickstarter would only cover costs to purchase components for a production run and other costs related to manufacturing including, labour, transport etc.

 

There is a lot of interest in the Combimouse. The website has been viewed over 200,000 times and a Google search generates about 50,000 results.

In the past we have used Indiegogo for crowdsourced funding. On 27 August 2013, Kickstarter announced that they will be expanding to Australia soon. Research has shown that projects are more likely to succeed on Kickstarter and projects raise about 6 times as that raised on Indiegogo.

We have completed the proof of concept phase and are looking for investors to help us get to the manufacturing phase.

We are looking for an investor to fund startup costs.

We can only go into production once the startup tasks are completed. Startup costs include funding to complete the design, cover emission standards testing(FCC and CE costs US$30K), pay for tooling (tooling is the custom manufacturing equipment to make the plastics and custom keyboard – these costs need to be confirmed but are currently about US$90K) and other startup costs.

Only when the design is complete will we have an accurate manufacturing cost.

We require about US$250K for the startup costs.

This excludes manufacturing costs. Manufacturing costs include cost for purchasing components, labour costs and costs to distribute the product. Manufacturing costs will be raised via Kickstarter.

When the design is complete and we are ready for manufacturing we will have a good estimate as to the manufacturing cost. We will then launch an Indiegogo or Kickstarter crowdsource funding campaign to cover the manufacturing costs for the first production run.

So for the Combimouse project, Kickstarter can only fund production costs.

So Kickstarter is useful in that it significantly reduces the amount that is required from an investor.

Crowdsource fund raising for hardware projects is not suitable for covering development and startup costs as pledges have to be kept low. So pledges should be priced to  cover the manufacturing costs with a small profit. The full profit should not be priced in at this stage as the product has not yet launched and there is some risk to the contributors.

For example, if the pledges are priced with a $30 profit then we would need to get 250,000/30 = 8,300 pledges to cover startup costs. This is probably too much.

According to Kickstarter “To date the most popular pledge amount is $25 and the average pledge is around $70.”

The manufacturing cost is expected to be higher than $70 and and so for a successful campaign it is not realistic to price the pledges much higher than the manufacturing cost.

It is important to wait until we know what the manufactured cost will be before we launch a Kickstarter campaign. This will ensure, that we don’t make the first production to fulfil the Kickstarter pledges at a loss.

13 thoughts on “Combimouse Funding

    1. admin Post author

      Not sure what you mean exactly by a predecessor touch keyboard. I think the keys must be tactile for touch typists. I don’t think that it is worth experimenting with touch keyboards.

      1. John

        By predecessor I mean a cheaper to produce unit, which might not have the full capability of the final vision but would do a good job at testing the concept “in the wild” and making it more popular.

  1. John

    Just noticed there are no Combimouse pages on Linkedin and Angel.co. It would be good to establish presence there, this would increase popularity and might potentially attract investors.

    1. admin Post author

      I didn’t realise that Companies could have a Linked In page. I will look into that. Thank you.
      We will be listing on Angel.co. I want to first wait until the development is complete which should only be another say 2 to 3 months. It will then be a lot more attractive to investors and I can personally fund this development phase.

      1. John

        Yes, companies can have pages and individuals can follow the page to receive updates. E.g.: http://www.linkedin.com/company/4328 . Apart from angel.co, you can also list on http://gust.com/startups and http://www.vbprofiles.com, they are similar. By the way, these are not platforms just for crowdfunding. They serve to allow general exposure of innovative concepts and create communities of support around them, so you need not wait to publish a profile. The more profiles you have, the earlier, the more popularity you get. :)

  2. John

    The project plan says: “Proof of concept, ergonomics and external mechanical design – Complete”. I would like to read more about this. What makes you certain the concept is proven? Can you show us side by side comparisons of CombiMouse to all other known ergonomic solutions?

    This is extremely important, because if you are 100% sure that CombiMouse is an excellent ergonomic solution things are much easier. Just give corporations samples, demonstrate how it would increase productivity and expect them to pre-order large quantities.

    But if you are not 100% sure the model is ripe yet, then focus on producing few and expensive prototypes, show them around/ lend them to users and then invite users to crowdfund the project. Or something like that.

    1. admin Post author

      I agree with what you said. The project plan is a simplification. We have planned to verify the Combimouse by a university. I have updated the plan to reflect this.

  3. Mateusz Tarnaski

    I’ve been stalking the combimouse progress for quite some time now, I wish I could help you more than what I contributed during the first indiegogo campaign. Alas, I can only watch how you’re doing with my fingers crossed :(
    Good luck, I’m sure you will succeed with this amazing concept, I’m dying to see a combimouse on my desk! :)

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