In March, we wrote about how our community was going bananas over the Roccbox portable pizza oven. In the first 72 hours of their campaign, they raised more than $400k, averaging about $100 per minute. Their campaign wrapped up 30 days later, bringing in over $1.2M in funds. This week, we sat down with one of the Roccbox campaign owners and production managers, Marcus White, to find out why they used Indiegogo and what they learned from raising funds:
What is the Roccbox and how did you come up with the idea for it?
Roccbox is a portable wood and gas fired stone floor oven that was designed by our founder and CEO, Tom Gozney. Tom already owns and runs ‘The Stone Bake Oven Company’ and ‘Gozney Ovens’, providing high quality pizza ovens for domestic and commercial use. However, he identified a gap in the market for those instances where a full-sized, built-in pizza oven is not financially or physically viable. Being available at an affordable price and weighing in at just 20 kg, Roccbox can fit in the back of your car and be used almost anywhere.
How do you translate your passion for this idea to the backer community?
With Roccbox, translating the passion for the product to Indiegogo’s community was easy because we ourselves were so passionate about the product we’ve developed over 3 years. We come from a family of businesses centered around stone bake ovens of all shapes and sizes. Those ovens, and perhaps more the amazing food they create, is the best way for us to demonstrate our passion. We utilise imagery and video content to do this.
What did you raise funds for?
Once our product (Roccbox) was ready for market, we found ourselves in a position that many young businesses find themselves in; we had a product that was ready for market without the capital to fund our first productions. We had our supply chain in place and everything ready to go, but lacked the funds to ‘push the button.’
Why did you choose crowdfunding?
While looking at various solutions, crowdfunding kept entering the conversation and we quickly realized that this was the best option for us. It allowed us to raise the funds we needed much faster than traditional methods would allow and gave us an opportunity to reward those who had followed Roccbox’s development, patiently waiting for us to bring it to market.
What were your biggest challenges?
Managing the sheer level of communication you’ll get from backers was a challenge. When someone has the confidence to voluntarily contribute their money to your project, they have a level of involvement beyond that of a simple customer. They want to know updates, they want the in’s and out’s of what’s happening – and rightly so! We are a small UK-based team and, with 2,500 backers, would at times receive hundreds of emails a day. Managing this and making sure that no one falls through the cracks is difficult, especially when the production delays start (and believe me, they’ll start!) and you find yourselves with a community of understandably frustrated backers!
Can you tell us about life after your campaign?
Life after the campaign ended has been a whirlwind. We began production of our product immediately (actually during the campaign) and were subsequently hit with delays. Since then, we manufactured and shipped over 2,000 Roccbox’s and are still working towards fulfilling the remainder of our outstanding orders, all the while addressing quality control challenges and working on new content and recipes to keep our community engaged with Roccbox.
Is your product now on the market?
Yes! We currently sell directly from our own ecommerce platform here in the UK while actively in discussions with distributors to help us bring Roccbox to territories further afield.
Would you crowdfund again?
If we are in the same position we were in for Roccbox, yes! It’s been the key we needed to bring our product to market. I personally would likely do some things slightly different though, given what we’ve learned throughout the entire process. For example, we would clearly stipulate the situation regarding refunds on our campaign page by making it clear when your backers can get their money back and if it’s time dependent (i.e. once production starts they can’t). I also recommend extending the shipping timeline. Whatever you think is a reasonable timeline, add considerably more time to it! The delays you face will almost always be much longer than you anticipate. It’s better to have a longer timeline and deliver earlier than deliver late!
Looking for more tools and resources to learn from Roccbox’s experience? Download our Field Guide to Crowdfunding today!