A pop-up tent became one of the fastest-funded projects in Kickstarter history this week when it reached its funding goal in 16 minutes.
Described by its creator as “the ultimate pop-up tent”, Cinch! had 32 days to reach its £30,000 target, and go into production. As it turned out, it needed less than 0.05% of that time to get the thumbs-up from backers.
Other fastest-funded projects on Kickstarter include the Pebble Time smartwatch, which took 49 minutes to reach its goal in March 2015, and went on to raise over $20.3 million.
Project creator, Jake Jackson, is under no illusion that he’ll come close to the success of Pebble Time – but is awestruck at the response of the camping community, given the niche of its market.
“We had some interest in our new model prior to launch – mainly through our existing customers, who are our greatest advocates, and also through some brilliant coverage online – but we never dreamed it would be received so well,” says Jake.
Twelve hours after launch, Cinch! quintupled its target – passing the £150,000 mark.
It’s a far cry from the first incarnation of Cinch!, which Jake built for himself in 2009 because he couldn’t find a tent that met his needs for festivals and weekends in the wilderness. He built his first prototype in his mum’s garage in Lancaster, UK – and he recognised a business opportunity in the enthusiastic response of fellow campers. In successive years, Jake produced small runs of the tent, and refined the design each season based on feedback from his customers.
Now the Cinch! has a range of features that combine to merit its “ultimate pop-up tent” moniker. Each size tent – 2, 3 and 4-man – is the largest in its class, and the 4-man is the biggest pop-up tent on the market. There’s a solar power pack that charges mobile phones and USB gadgets. And there’s a heat-regulating black out canopy made from ultra-reflective material, that serves as a radiant barrier and stops the tent from absorbing heat on hot days.
The tent has two entrances, each with its own porch-cum-storage areas; LED lanterns and tent pegs, and luminous guylines, that make it visible at night; and fabric that’s three times the industry standard for waterproofing. There’s also an additional canopy that extends the living space by 75%.
Jake ran his first Kickstarter campaign in December 2014, which became the highest-funded camping project in the UK, doubling its target to raise a total of £97,928 in 30 days. That project reached its funding goal shortly after the halfway mark. This time around, it surpassed that figure in less than four hours.
This year’s Kickstarter project runs until 12am EDT / 5am GMT on 16 September 2016. Once it finishes, orders will go into production, and backers will receive their tent in February 2017.
Meanwhile, Jake is looking to secure angel investment for a stock-supported range in 2017.
“We’ve received loads of enquiries from people who want a Cinch! tent for festivals and camping trips this summer,” says Jake. “Often their event is weeks away – and they can’t wait until February for their tent to arrive. They have to buy a tent from a big manufacturer, and end up disappointed because it doesn’t cut the mustard.
“We want to start the 2017 camping season with a stock-supported range, so customers can receive their tent within days of placing their order. This is the final piece in the jigsaw for ensuring the total convenience and satisfaction of our friends in the camping community, and it’s a lucrative prospect for any investors who’d like to help us take it forward.”
Founder and CEO - Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson, 34, is an entrepreneur whose instinct for business has led him into successful ventures in fashion, travel and communications. With Cinch! he combines over a decade of start-up experience with a lifelong passion for the outdoors. He lives in Morecambe (Lancashire, UK) with his partner and family.
APAC Head of Operations - Danielle Dacunha
Creative Director - Ian Howarth
Kickstarter – how it works
Kickstarter is a crowdfunding website that provides start-up capital for creative projects through donations and pre-orders. Its users, known as “backers”, receive rewards in exchange for their support – often products the creator wishes to bring to market, at a discounted rate compared to their eventual retail value. Backers become early adopters, as they are the first customers to receive the product once it has been manufactured.
Kickstarter operates an “all or nothing” policy. Project creators set a financial target that they need to reach in order to start production, and a period of time in which to meet it. If the project doesn’t reach its target by the end of the funding period, backers are not charged and the creator gets nothing.
Since it launched in 2009, Kickstarter has raised $2.6 billion for over 100,000 projects, with the help of 11 million people.