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Backtracker by iKubu

$127,400 raised of $194,500 goal

0 days left

Campaign Ended

Campaign goal was not reached by September 24th, 2014 – See more projects

The Glass Remains Half Full!

September 24, 2014

There be dragons!

When we started this crowd funding campaign, we were super excited about the adventure of entering uncharted territories - it was clearly a case of "there be dragons!"

And what a journey its been! When things started off we were running around like headless chicken trying to field all the calls, get going on social media, and get conversations going with the press. The response was just completely overwhelming. Our team quickly moved from being product focused to being completely zoned in on the market, and after a few weeks we were running like a well oiled machine.

It was certainly a roller coaster ride, and even though we didn't reach our funding goal, we still feel that we've achieved huge success. Let's walk through it:

Objective 1: Increase Network

One of our strategic objectives of the campaign was to increase the reach of our professional network.  We realized that Backtracker is a way of showing the world what we are capable of, and establishing strategic relationships for other tech projects gong forward. Thanks to the assistance of Dragon Innovation, we were able to meet up with some amazing tech folks in Boston and NY.  People like Scott Miller, Piet Morgan, Jenny Fielding, Bre Pettis, Marc Barros and Steve Cheney (and many more) were incredibly generous in giving advice and support. Objective 1: CHECK!

Objective 2: Get Backtracker "out there"

We are a bunch of Geeks locked away in a basement somewhere on the southern tip of Africa.  We had no idea of who's who in the cycling industry zoo, and nobody knew about the existence of Backtracker.  We felt that we needed to find the right strategic partners to take Backtracker to market.  In stead of us going out to find them, a crowd funding campaign would allow them to find us. And it worked! We had 40+ distributors from all over the world talking to us about the distribution of Backtracker. Possible OEM partners came to the fore, and interesting collaboration opportunities surfaced.  We had excellent press, from DC Rainmaker to TechCrunch. Objective 2: CHECK!

Objective 3: Learn from the market

So a big question when you want to take a product to market is: "Do they actually want it...and are they willing to pay for it?" Our backers were out biggest allies in this regard. We received excellent feedback ranging from what people love, to what they dream of, to what they hate. It was highly instructive to say the least! Thank you to everyone that took the time and effort to provide some form of input. But don't get too excited...the next version of Backtracker will not be equipped with flame throwers! Objective 3: CHECK!

Objective 4: Reach our funding goal

I guess this feels a bit like your boss sugarcoating some really nasty feedback. So lets face it: We did not reach our funding goal. We extended the campaign half way through, and we also decreased the target, but we were still unable to get close to it. I think that the whole team worked really hard and did an excellent job. There is really no single mistake we can look back on as a seminal moment. What we have however learnt is that you should really keep your funding threshold very low! It's a lot easier for people to back a project that has already succeeded, than backing a project that is still a long way off. Objective 4: BEEP!

A Massive Thank You!

The support that we've received has been overwhelming. Family, friends and like minded people all over the world got behind us for the journey. We know you are disappointed, but we also know that many of you simply backed the project because you were backing us...not because you are necessarily a cycling enthusiast! We are specifically grateful to distributors who were willing to take the risks with us - I hope we'll be able to make it up to you some day. We salute all of you!

...Just one more thing

In the final weeks of the campaign we were considering lowering the threshold to pull it through, but we held back for strategic reasons. Our egos made the decision a difficult one, but you sometimes have to give up, to go up. Backtacker is pretty awesome, but we want to take it to the next level. We'll keep you posted!

Franz, Nolan, Denho

and the rest of Team Backtracker

The (whiskey) Glass is Half Full!

September 5, 2014

Finishing Strong

Thanks for all your amazing support. We've reached $100,000 this week, and that takes us over 50%!! The glass is certainly half full. The beauty of having reached 50% is that we can now reach our target if each backer is able to get one more backer on board. So I'm going to put the challenge out there: help us reach our goal by convincing a colleague, a friend or a family member to come on board and get a Backtracker!

Challenge Accepted

We've been given an interesting incentive by a business partner: He will buy each member of the Backtracker team a Johnnie Walker Blue Label if we are able to ship in December. I think that's an awesome challenge! We are in the process of getting everything ready - its a helluva tight schedule, but we are 110% committed towards making it happen. Dragon Innovation also put a lot of up-front effort into the review of our hardware. This is a great risk reduction step, giving us peace of mind that we've covered all the bases.


We are in the process of certifying Backtracker for the US, Canada, EU, UK, Australia, Japan and a few more territories.  Its an expensive process, but we welcome the scrutiny of third parties to appreciate the quality of our micro radar platform.


We've had a few excellent reviews!  You can use these reviews as a point of reference when you're trying to convince your colleague at work to get a Backtracker:






Our team recently won the top prize in a local accelerator program.  It is a great honor for us to be recognized for our work and our passion. We are inspired to continue churning out ground breaking products that super charge our sensory abilities!  Here's a pic of the founders after we received the exciting news.

Thank you for your ongoing support

Franz, Nolan, Denho

and the rest of Team Backtracker

Exploring Synergies

August 15, 2014

Coming to Eurobike and Interbike

The bicycle industry has two mega trade shows every year: Eurobike and Interbike. We've extended the campaign to coincide with these events. This will give us an opportunity to talk to distributors, and hopefully pull through a few bulk deals. Let us know if you're going to be at either of the events - would love to thank our backers in person, and give you a product demo!

Integrating with Hammerhead?

Hammerhead is an awesome bicycle navigation product that was also crowd funded on Dragon Innovation. We are excited to announce that we've been talking to them about the possibility of integrating Backtracker with Hammerhead. This would allow Hammerhead users to get the benefit of Backtracker without using our front unit.

What do you think...is this a good match?

We value what you have to say

Let us know how we could improve our chances of success. Tweet, post or email us with your suggestions.

Thank you for your ongoing support

Franz, Nolan, Denho

and the rest of Team Backtracker

Our Journey So Far

July 17, 2014

$40,000 and counting...

In about 20 days, we've achieved just under 20% of our $226 000 funding goal.  This isn't bad, but we will have to step it up!  We are approaching the crowdfunding challenges in the same way we would solve any other Engineering problem.  We're learning quickly, and we are confident that we'll get it over the line!

Taking Backtracker to the USA

It's road trip time!  We're visiting Boston and NYC during the next two weeks.  We want to show people how awesome Backtracker is through physical demonstrations.  Get in touch if you want to see a demo, or if you have any ideas on how we can maximize our exposure during this time!

Shaking things up!

Our small team of engineers very quickly moved from being 100% product focused, to being completely zoned in on the market. Crowdfunding focuses the mind! It's been a steep learning curve, and we've been doing a lot of experimentation along the way. A few things we've been looking into:

  1. Many cyclists rate their own ears and mirrors very highly! We're trying to simplify our communication and answering their FAQs in detail. Lots of education and consumer psychology.
  2. We've been experimenting with digital demos by filming Backtracker on the roads of our hometown, Stellenbosch. We're also in the process of making a short explainer video.
  3. We've created a great discount offer for cycling clubs and organisations. Now the challenge is getting clubs to sign on!
  4. We're signing on bulk deals with serious distributors and partners that are willing to pin their colors to the mast.

We value what you have to say

Let us know how we could improve our chances of success. Tweet, post or email us with your suggestions.

Thank you for your ongoing support

Franz, Nolan, Denho

and the rest of Team Backtracker

Your support means everything to us

July 3, 2014

We appreciate your contribution towards our crowdfunding campaign.

Our journey is far from over, and we wanted to take the time to thank you for showing your belief in our team and our product. Thanks to you, we are that much closer to changing cycling forever.

You've already made a huge difference to our campaign! Since you're clearly rooting for us, we'd appreciate any further momentum you could generate on this journey with us. Your opinion matters to a lot of people!

What you can do to help us even further:

Share our story with other cyclists, or family members of cyclists. Nothing beats word of mouth!

Connect with us on social media and make some noise!

Thank you for your ongoing support

Franz, Nolan, Denho

and the rest of Team Backtracker