BioLite, it would seem, has found a formula that works for them.
After raising more than a million dollars on Kickstarter with the debut of of the company’s BaseCamp stove in 2014, the company has now raised more than $400,000 in just a week on Kickstarter with its new BaseLantern, a battery-powered lantern that can hold its charge for up to 54 hours, or charge your other devices.
Kickstarter has become, in tech circles, the new way of introducing a hardware product to market. Entrepreneurs are using it not only to sell their product, but also to build up a base of consumers loyal to their brand. There is something about being the first to be in on something and helping it get off the ground that seems to attract people.
The other part of BioLite’s business is to supply stripped-down versions of their gadgets to the developing world. The company’s stoves can produce heat and electricity, and this light can store power and charge other devices. That means BioLite is attempting to provide decentralized utilities for people for whom the state doesn’t reach.
“With all the things your municipality does for you with electricity and water, what would it look like to reinvent that infrastructure on a personal level where people can own it?” cofounder Jonathan Cedar said in an interview with Technical.ly Brooklyn.
To that end, the company has distributed more than 15,000 of its stoves in the developing world.
“We hope to take that model [and implement it] across all technologies,” Cedar said. “Lighting, power storage, charging, clean water. How do we reinvent these things?”
When it comes to Kickstarter, there have been a few very successful Kickstarter campaigns to come out of Brooklyn recently. The knife company Misen, started by a 24-year-old knife enthusiast, raised more than a million dollars last fall.
“One of the main reasons we want to do Kickstarter is to build a community,” Misen founder Josh Moses said at the time. “We also need the money to do the production. Getting the mold made for these is a very expensive piece of equipment.”