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Case Study

ForwardX Taps into Audience of Early Adopters to Crowdfund $1.3M

ForwardX Robotics, headquartered in Beijing, used crowdfunding to reach the global market. They raised over $1.3 million for the Ovis suitcase thanks to Indiegogo's global marketing reach and campaign amplification.

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Company

ForwardX was founded in 2016. They build intelligent and intuitive robotics that enhance people’s lives.

https://forwardx.com/
Headquarters

Beijing, China

Industry

Robotics

Founder

Nicholas Chee, former Head of SaaS Product at Oracle

CEO Nicholas Chee and his team at ForwardX Robotics needed to get Ovis directly to a global audience of early adopters -- a perfect fit for Indiegogo. They had never crowdfunded before and opted to get extra guidance from Indiegogo China: Your Fast Track to the Global Market, a special program for Chinese entrepreneurs. With help from Indiegogo China, ForwardX Robotics built a consumer electronics brand on a global level, with 3,392 Indiegogo backers from 18 countries.

By the Numbers: How ForwardX Found Global Success

$1.3M+ Raised

Ovis raised over $1.3M on the Indiegogo platform

36%

of Ovis’s revenue was driven by Indiegogo’s marketing

48%

of Ovis’s revenue was driven by a referral program managed by Indiegogo’s team

52%

of Ovis backers were already part of Indiegogo’s community

3,342

people bought an Ovis suitcase through Indiegogo

6000%

Ovis raised over 6000% of their original goal

A Chinese Company Goes Global

Back in 2016, ForwardX developed Ovis, a vision-powered, self-driving suitcase that follows its owners and allows for hands-free travel. Even while Ovis was in development, the team knew it had a strong product-market fit — so much so that they managed to raise $10M in venture capital to bring the Ovis to market. But the ForwardX team knew they needed more than just money to be successful.


ForwardX needed to:

  • Build buzz before putting the product in production
  • Hone their brand image through user feedback
  • Gain a foothold among their target audience in global markets


That’s when they began to see crowdfunding as the best way to accomplish these goals. But they were new to crowdfunding and didn’t know how to achieve their highly targeted goals. When they talked to Indiegogo, they realized it was the right fit because Indiegogo would partner with them to craft the perfect plan to meet their needs.

A Successful Crowdfunding Strategy

The Indiegogo China team coaches Chinese companies to create a comprehensive marketing and launch strategy. They maximize exposure to Indiegogo’s community of early innovators. Ovis worked side-by-side with the Indiegogo China team to improve their success in foreign markets. Ovis went on to raise over $1.3M from 3,392 enthusiastic, tech-savvy travelers from 18 countries.

“Crowdfunding is its own skill set. It requires lot of creativity and organization to succeed,” says Nicholas Chee, CEO at ForwardX Robotics. “It’s not just posting a picture or getting the word out. Every aspect needs to be taken seriously. We needed full campaign management to make it work.”

Where Were Ovis Backers Located?

Indiegogo helped ForwardX expand to reach a global audience. The Ovis suitcase found early adopters worldwide thanks to Indiegogo’s application tools, personalized content strategy and marketing reach.

Indiegogo helped with everything from building the landing page to project managing the campaign. They provided ongoing promotion assistance and introduced us to key resource partners. Indiegogo’s expertise has been invaluable.
Nicholas Chee
CEO, ForwardX Robotics

How Indiegogo Helped ForwardX Robotics

Used a Pre-Launch Page to Build a Community

Crowdfunding campaigns need to build momentum before launch. Indiegogo introduced a Pre-Launch Page to collect email addresses from people interested in the product. With support from Indiegogo’s crowdfunding experts, ForwardX acquired more than 38,000 email addresses before launch.

Expanded their Marketing

Indiegogo helped ForwardX craft a customized marketing and email strategy. ForwardX used digital advertising to target new audiences and A/B tested their ads to ensure that their strategy was driven by data.

Optimized a Referral Program

Indiegogo helped ForwardX optimize a referral program to reward backers for sharing the campaign with their friends. Indiegogo also helped foster cross promotion with other campaigns like GoSho.

Developed a Perk Strategy

Figuring out what to offer backers is a critical part of crowdfunding. Indiegogo consulted ForwardX on how many units to offer during their campaign and at what price point.

Broadened Community Exposure

Finally, Indiegogo shared Ovis with their community of early adopters. By featuring Ovis on social media and in newsletters and other email promotion, Ovis gained a strong footing among Indiegogo backers.

Indiegogo’s platform promotion was a huge driver of revenue, especially through Indiegogo’s newsletters... And the campaign strategy team was incredibly helpful in making Ovis an international success.
Nicholas Chee
CEO, ForwardX Robotics

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