A pair of Australian entrepreneurs have reached $US1 million ($1.2 million) in funding for their business in the fastest time ever on crowdfunding platform Indiegogo.
Father and son partners Stuart and Cedar Anderson created a system which allows beekeepers to harvest honey on tap, without disturbing the hive.
After a decade of research and development, the Andersons launched their business, Flow, on the crowdfunding platform Indiegogo yesterday with an initial target of $US70,000 in 42 days.
The first 500 beehives priced at $US600 sold out within an hour and the father and son clicked over the $US1 million mark in a record three hours.
The Andersons have now released a further 1000 hives, along with a range of cheaper options.
The duo got an idea their business would be popular after a video of their invention on YouTube attracted nearly 1 million views in two days.
The amount of interest before launch means they were forced to switch from Kickstarter to Indiegogo as the crowdfunding platform at the last minute.
Kickstarter doesn’t allow charging in US dollars and the worldwide interest meant the Andersons realised they needed to cater for the US market and overcome exchange rate fluctuations.
The initial run of Flow hives will be made in Brisbane but the Andersons say due to the overwhelming demand they will aim to also manufacture in the United States.
A spokesperson for Flow told SmartCompany the success has “absolutely taken us by surprise”.
The Andersons’ invention aims to take the sting out of beekeeping by allowing beekeepers to collect honey without disturbing bees.
The system means traditional and more dangerous methods of harvesting honey such as smoking the bees or dismantling hives are redundant.
Their Indiegogo pitch describes the invention as “the beekeeper’s dream”.
“Turn the tap and watch as pure, fresh, clean honey flows right out of the hive and into your jar,” it states.
“No mess, no fuss, no expensive processing equipment without disturbing the bees.”
“We are excited to introduce our new invention that allows you to enjoy fresh honey straight out of your beehive without opening it. It’s far less stress for the bees and much, much easier for the beekeeper.”
Cedar Anderson told SmartCompany the crowdfunding success is “a total surprise”.
“After all these years of working on it you just can’t anticipate it,” he says.
“This means we will be very busy and we will be employing the best help we can get to deliver the hives to all our amazing supporters.”
Anderson says the pair are very fortunate their video took off in such an amazing way.
“We also happened to invent something that a lot of people really want,” he says.
The Andersons turned to crowd funding after struggling to attract funding from other sources.
“We did go for funding with Commercialisation Australia and as you would imagine it’s a long road of trying to get funding happening and the change in government sort of knocked it on the head a bit and we realised it would take too long,” Anderson says.