Flit smashes Kickstarter target in five minutes
The Flit-16, a brand new generation of folding electric bike developed in Cambridge by an ex-Jaguar Land Rover engineer, passed its Kickstarter funding goal goal of £25,000 within five minutes on Tuesday morning (July 30).
By Friday the new campaign was 300 per cent funded with more than 60 backers and £85,000 committed. Designed over three years by Dave Henderson, formerly a Jaguar Land Rover engineer and Alex Murray, whose experience is in public policy and business, the Flit boasts a aluminium-enclosed battery built into the top tube. It weighs 14kg and has a range of 30 miles on a single charge thanks to a 250Wh battery using the latest generation of LG cells.
Business was brisk on Tuesday.
"Super early bird bikes sold out in two minutes, early bird bikes were all gone after 24 hours," Alex told the Cambridge Independent. "We still have bikes for the first batch available at £1,500 plus shipping, but these are now starting to go as well."
The success of the crowdfunding campaign delighted Alex, leaving the firm with the pleasant task of deciding where the investment goes next.
"The additional sales through Kickstarter are all treated like normal sales," Alex explained. "Most of the money raised goes towards making and shipping the ebikes, and running the company. Anything left over will be reinvested in R&D as we have a few more projects that we now want to develop.
"For us, the importance of the target was to get above the minimum order quantity thresholds of our suppliers. Reaching these thresholds now means that we can get started on the manufacturing process, which will take about six months, and prepare shipping, which takes about two months.
"We have taken this as a solid vote of confidence in what we are doing, so will be looking to grow in the future. Right now though we are 100 per cent focused on finishing this launch campaign well and delivering ebikes to the people who have shown faith in what we are doing."
The first Flits, which offer a robust - and significantly cheaper - alternative to the iconic Brompton brand, are due to be shipped in March.
"We're really looking forward to delivering that first ebike to a customer next spring," concluded Alex. "It's going to be a special moment!"
More by this authorMike Scialom