Melbourne start-up, nura, has come up with a new invention – headphones that integrate unique soundwave technology to measure your hearing and adapt music perfectly for your ears. But an invention is one thing; whether or not it will ‘fly’ on the market is quite another. Fortunately though, some start-ups get to test the water in the best possible way, and nura is one of them, having officially broken a record to become the most funded Australian Kickstarter campaign ever.
With its world-first invention, nura has reached over $1.7 million in pledges from over 7000 backers. To put this in perspective, globally, less than one percent of Kickstarter projects reach funding of over US $1 million. And – this is 13 times what the inventors set out to achieve. This demand, surely a solid indication that this start-up is really onto something.
So having exceeded expectations and receiving probably the best product endorsement there is, there are a few questions worth asking of nura CEO, Kyle Slater.
First – why a Kickstarter campaign?
We wanted to share our passion with the community and Kickstarter was a means of doing that. It’s a really effective way of getting in front of people who are interested in your product and truly invested in seeing it succeed.
We launched a survey with our backers, and received almost 2,000 responses. It gave us some really interesting insight into not just what our backers loved about our headphones, but also the features they wanted in it. Because we’ve received the amount of funding that we have, we can now offer an integrated standard analog 3.5mm plug and wireless bluetooth capability at the same price we originally quoted.
How will your funding success change the way you launch the business?
The US$1.3 million we have raised will be used to bring the nura headphone to market - including tooling for mass production, regulatory certifications, sourcing materials and distribution. We’re also channeling some of that money to integrating a standard analog 3.5mm plug and wireless bluetooth function as requested by our backers. We wouldn’t have been able to make these changes to the product at this relatively late stage without the overwhelming support and funding we have received.
What do you think makes this product stand out among others?
When we say we’ve created the perfect pair of headphones, we mean it. Most people don’t realise that we each have a unique hearing pattern, and traditional headphones don’t take that into account. When they first put the nura phones on for the first time and hear the difference - it’s like you’ve just pulled your head out of water.
If Kickstarter didn’t exist, what might have been your alternative strategy?
One strategy we considered was to take the product directly to the music industry. We knew musicians and sound engineers would be interested in the nura headphones, and might be interested in backing it. That said, we’ve wanted to bring the nura phone to consumers from the get-go, which is why we went down the Kickstarter route.
Why do you think the Kickstarter program boosts innovation?
Without Kickstarter, I think a lot of projects like ours would never get off the ground. It gave us access to backers from around the world - including the US, Brazil, China and Australia.
I don’t think we would have had the same level of success had we used a different, or perhaps more traditional method of sourcing funding. Kickstarter has been great not just as a fundraising platform, but also as a means of surveying our backers to find out how we could improve the product.
What advice would you give to other innovative investors considering their funding options?
When you’re considering your funding options - think about the end user. Our end user was the average music-loving consumer - which made Kickstarter a fantastic option because it opened us up to people from all over the world.
Consider your options and see what path will get you the most exposure to investors and your end users.
Dan Jacobs is the Editor for ShortPress and an experienced business writer across a range of industry sectors.
If you’ve got a great new idea don’t be put off by funding, plenty of other great ideas have been successful in winning over investors. Check out all of our tips and advice on what to look for in investors, what they’re looking for from you, as well as the options available including how to run a successful crowdfunder.