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Wado: the most financed start-up in our country through crowdfunding

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Wado: the most financed start-up in our country through crowdfunding

We spoke with Marta Llaquet , CEO of the company , to learn first-hand how she has turned her personal project into the most important fashion Cyprus Phone Number List in the history of crowdfunding at the state level.

1- Why did you decide to finance Wado through Kickstarter ?

After considering several options, we bet on this platform because it is the number one crowdfunding platform worldwide: so far it has hosted more than 400,000 projects. In addition, we were clear that we wanted to publicize our product internationally and the fact that Kickstarter is an American company, which has a community of users around the world, helped us to achieve that goal.

2- How do these types of platforms work?

The way Kickstarter works is very simple: you have to publish the project on your website and offer rewards to future sponsors to invest in it; in this way the financing objective is achieved.

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In Wado’s case , the rewards were obvious. We offered packs of our sneakers , from a pair to ten pairs, at a cheaper price than the one on the market. For example, a pair of sneakers cost € 59 on Kickstarter instead of the fixed price, which was € 99.

We set ourselves the objective of obtaining € 11,000 of financing in one month to start Betting Email List. If in the period of time that you set on the crowdfunding website you equal or exceed the financing goal, the platform gives you the investors’ money and, if you do not get it, it returns the capital to them.

We recommend setting the project launch time period at one month, since we consider that 30 days are enough to test its acceptance in the market and, at the same time, we advise setting a low economic goal to be able to achieve it quickly. In these platforms it is essential that potential investors see that a project has successfully achieved its purpose in a short time. This fact makes future sponsors feel attracted by the good reception of the product in the community and encourages them to invest. Therefore, it is preferable that the financing is obtained quickly even if the amount of money that is obtained is limited, since this triumph will become the hook of the next buyers.

3- What aspects would you highlight as the most positive of this way of attracting investment and which would you mark as negative?

These platforms provide you with the opportunity to start a business with sales numbers from the beginning, with which the entrepreneur does not have to suffer any financial risk. In addition, they allow the first market test to be carried out to see the reception of the product and generate brand identity from the beginning, without the need to have started production. In our case, we launched the campaign only with prototypes of the shoes, which did not have the final design details.

In contrast, Kickstarter does not offer any advice. In fact, we did not receive any help from you during the entire time that Wado was active on the web. However, the crowdfunding company I ndiegogo, through which we currently sell, does have a consulting service.

4- What are the steps to follow for a project to reach its goal on Kickstarter?

First of all, a well-thought-out campaign structure is needed . A key point is the video that must accompany the definition of the product on the web . This has to be simple and collect all the information that future sponsors want to know : who we are and the reason for the brand, the product, our values, the reasons why they should invest and, finally, we must also teach scenes of the project development.

It is basic to raise pains, needs that society has and that you can solve with your product, the gains . In this way, your article is shown as the salvation to an existing problem and this is what the main crowdfunding consumers are looking for : real solutions to real problems. In our case we highlighted pains such as deforestation of the planet, the fact that 90% of footwear is manufactured in Asia under terrible working conditions and the harmful effects on worker health and the environment of the use of chromium during production. The solutions that Wado It offers with its product the planting of two trees for each sale, the manufacture in Portugal respecting ethical working conditions and fair wages and the production of chrome-free footwear.

In addition, the project must always be accompanied by its own website where future investors can see the extra information they want. In this way, trust and transparency are generated towards them.

5- How did you achieve the goal of € 11,000 in financing on the first day?

In our case, we set the following strategy: we made the product launch event at the Be de Francesc Macià store coincide with the first day of the campaign on Kickstarter. In this way, many family members, friends and acquaintances invested in the shoes during the event, thus managing to add these sales to those of the unknown sponsors of the platform.

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6- What is promised is debt, so with the necessary financing, it was time to produce. How did you manage the investments, converted into sales, that came to you through Kickstarter?

When we saw the economic volume that we were raising, we began to have many doubts about how to manage it in financial terms. Initially, I linked my bank account to the web and when the donations turned into large amounts of money I realized the legal and even judicial problems that this could entail for me in a personal capacity. It was at this point that we decided to officially establish the company. We had many advisory problems, given that this system in Spain is a bit immature and we could not find the entity that could advise us on how to declare this money or what taxes we should pay, for example.
Another problem we have faced when managing orders is the following: both on Kickstarter and Indiegogo, the consumer cannot choose the size or color of the shoes when making the purchase. This limitation of the sales channels means that we have to resort to platforms such as Crowdox, which allow us to send massive surveys to our buyers, in which we ask them both questions. Although the use of these tools to communicate with customers slows down the sales process, it in turn enhances up selling, which usually represents an increase of between 10 and 20% in company sales.

7- What are the processes that must be carried out before, during and after a crowdfunding campaign?

We believed that it was essential to create a community before the launch on Kickstarter, to try to achieve the maximum possible dissemination on social networks. For this reason, during the previous months we had already published on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin , we raffled off the sneakers with influencers … In addition, we sent an email to our database two days before the launch and another on the same day of the start of the campaign .
But initially, above all, we spent a lot of time educating our followers about how crowdfunding works: we explained that we would launch a campaign without having the product manufactured, we told them that as soon as they bought it, it would take two months to receive it, etc.
Later, during the month that the launch lasted, it was essential to update the information that had been published on the platform to generate credibility with the evolution of the project. In our case, we reported on the progress in the production processes and on the evolution of the campaign.
Another essential process was to set stretch goals (rewards that are unlocked when a goal is met) to incentivize sales. In the case of Wado, we decided that if we reached € 25,000 in collection we would launch a new color line and, if we achieved € 250,000, we would give an extra toteback to each buyer.
Once the month of promotion on Kickstarter is over, we migrate to another crowdfunding platform: Indiegogo, to the In-Demand mode, which works like an e-commerce. Here we do not set a financing objective, we only sell our product.
In addition, at the end of the campaign, we disseminated our results in the national media and began to work on creating our own online sales channel, a project that we still carry out.

8-What Marketing actions did you carry out during the crowdfunding campaign? Which ones worked best for you?

We advertised on social media , specifically on Facebook and Instagram . We hired Backercamp, an agency specialized in Facebook ad campaigns for crowdfunding projects. We chose them because they advertise directly to the audience that buys on these websites and, thanks to their strategy, we were able to multiply each euro collected by eight. The last days of the campaign, which are the most complicated in terms of collection, we get € 40,000 more through advertising. In addition, thanks to these announcements, we began to attract the first customers who were not part of our circle of acquaintances.
On the other hand, they also convinced us because they only take 11% of each sale we receive through their ads and, most importantly, because they advanced the initial capital investment in Marketing shares.
In addition, they were in charge of guiding us with the advertising strategies and we made the launch plan together.

9- What impact did being funded on Kickstarter have for Wado?

The company exists thanks to crowdfunding, if we had opted for another type of financing strategy, it is most likely that we would not have gotten that far in such a short time and, furthermore, we would be in debt . We would not have been able to count on 5,000 pairs of sports shoes sold in the first month, which were equivalent to a capital inflow of € 360,000, nor have we achieved a turnover of one million euros in eight months., with 200,000 shoes sold on demand around the world. In addition, by using this international platform we were able to bring the product closer to its real target and make sales beyond our borders: in fact, 95% of the sneakers have been bought in foreign countries. Of this total, the Dutch market represents 20% of sales and the German 17%, compared to 5% of the product marketed in Spain.

10- What advice would you give to students who, like you before, are currently developing an entrepreneurial project?

First of all, I would recommend following a clear and defined project strategy first and foremost and not leaving anything to chance.
Another important point is to have a good human team that complements each other when carrying out the tasks. It is very important that each member of the work group is specialized in one of the areas of action and that people do not overlap in their work.
But, the most important thing during the process of creating a project is not to get discouraged. I remember that, before launching the campaign on Kickstarter, we spent eight months working at Wado: designing the product, looking for suppliers, creating content for social networks, preparing the shooting …During that period, in which we still couldn’t launch the sports shoes and we didn’t make a single euro, it was very easy to get disappointed and throw in the towel. That is why I emphasize that the best advice I can give is to maintain the enthusiasm for the project in all its stages.

By: Marta Bueno

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