What do you do when you’ve created a product so revolutionary, no one has heard of the tech before? If you’re the makers of Lumen, you try to get it into the hands of early users as quickly as possible. So they decided to launch with a splash: by crowdfunding on Indiegogo, where they were able to get nearly 9,000 backers within 40 days and raise over $2.3M.Learn more about crowdfunding
Tel Aviv, Israel
Health and Wellness
Dror Ceder, Michal Mor, Daniel Tal Mor, Merav Mor, and Avi Smila
Lumen, which assesses metabolism by measuring breath, can help manage weight loss, increase energy levels, and improve athletic performance. The Lumen team was creating an entirely new product category, and they used the Indiegogo platform to explain the science behind their device, find an audience, and get early feedback.
Science and athleticism is in Lumen’s DNA. It was invented by Michal and Merav Mor, identical twin sisters who are both triathletes with PhDs in physiology. The pair wanted to measure their metabolism to improve performance — something that athletes have been doing for decades. But normally, metabolism tests could only be done in a clinical setting.
The sisters knew that metabolism changes daily, which limits how much clinical testing could help with training. They knew there had to be a way to make metabolism testing something they easily do at home. So they teamed up with entrepreneurs who had experience building large companies and spent four years developing Lumen, a handheld device that measures metabolic activity using CO2 levels in a user’s breath. It can tell the user if their body is burning fat or carbs to determine what to eat each day, with the goal of achieving metabolic flexibility — a state where you wake up burning mostly fat and then use food recommendations to switch between the two fuel sources.
When you have a product like the Lumen, you need to do some explaining before releasing it to the general public. “There’s nothing like it on the market,”says Merav Mor, Founder and Chief of Metabolic Research at Lumen. “Most people don’t know how their metabolism works. They don’t think of it as something that’s healthy or not.”
The team knew that crowdfunding was a perfect match for what they wanted to achieve. “This was the first time our company was putting a product out to the market, and we wanted to do it right. We wanted to make a bang,” says Daniel Tal, Founder and CEO at Lumen.
“Crowdfunding is such a wonderful way to introduce a product to the market. You typically get a bigger splash, PR and media-wise, as well as exposure, awareness. Indiegogo gives you a great megaphone for showing off your product,” says Tal.
The team knew that doing a crowdfunding campaign required a lot of work. “There are so many pieces that need to come together. It’s like conducting an orchestra — it’s my job to bring all these parts together to achieve something,” says Cid Carver, Marketing Director at Lumen. “Crowdfunding is so much more than having an amazing product. You need creative assets, and a landing page, and social media, and an email list, and all the things the team does during the campaign.”
But they knew that the work would be worth it. The product had hundreds of beta users, and the Lumen team was able to rely on their testimonials to back up their product and explain the science behind it. “We used the science and the beta users to help guide us,” says Michal Mor, Founder and Chief Scientist Officer at Lumen. “We quoted early users and featured them in our Indiegogo testimonial videos, which helped us a lot.”
In order to succeed, the team gave themselves ample time to get ready. “I’ve always viewed the run up to a crowdfunding campaign like a training plan for a race,” says Carver, an athlete herself. “The launch date is the race start, and if you have a fully-cooked product, it takes 12 weeks minimum of training before your race.”
Prior to campaign launch, the Indiegogo team helped lumen do user testing to better position the product, and tell a convincing story. “You can do pre-campaign user testing up to one month prior to launch to see how people react to your campaign before you put it live,” says Michal Tor. “When you’re a campaigner, you’re very close to your product, but maybe a potential backer doesn’t perceive it the same way you do. Being able to hear how people actually react and respond to the product is very helpful.”
The Lumen crowdfunding campaign was a huge success, raising over $2.3M with backers in 126 countries. They were able to get extra traffic to their campaign page from Indiegogo’s marketing, which gave them an extra boost. “It surprised us (in a good way) how well we did in Indiegogo’s newsletters,” says Dror Ceder, Founder and CPMO at Lumen.
Indiegogo gave them all the tools they needed to run a successful campaign, like tracking tools to understand how their advertising was performing and easily accessible customer service. “If you need customer support, with Indiegogo, you can receive it. They’re the more human crowdfunding platform.” says Carver, who worked on several blockbuster crowdfunding campaigns before joining Lumen. “And Indiegogo allows you to do a Facebook tracking pixel, and Kickstarter doesn’t.”
Now the Lumen team can get the early reactions they were looking for. “Doing crowdfunding gives you the opportunity to go to a large group of people at one time to get feedback,” says Avil Smila, CTO at Lumen. “Instead of selling 20 units a day, we were able to sell to almost 9,000 people in 40 days. Those people are all going to get the product in one go. That allows us to grow as a company and get immediate feedback.
After their campaign, Lumen was still available on the Indiegogo platform via Indiegogo InDemand, which allows crowdfunders to continue to find backers and take orders after their campaign ends. By continuing in InDemand, the team was able to raise an additional $600k while they got ready for a larger launch of their ecommerce site.
Now that Lumen has shipped to backers, the team is ready to launch their ecommerce site and grow their brand. Some takeaway advice for crowdfunders? “Don’t forget to prepare for post campaign logistics. Make sure you’re giving backers the right shipping and VAT quotes, for example,” says Merav Mor. “You have to be ready for what comes after you reach your goal.”
For anyone looking for a great way to make a splash and bring their innovative product to market, crowdfunding is the way to go. Says Carver, “Indiegogo is known for great crowdfunding campaigns.”
Want to start a crowdfunding campaign of your own? Launch on Indiegogo today to grow your business and find your audience.