Aussie light bulb start-up LIFX powers past Kickstarter funding goal

Australian start-up LIFX has smashed its $100,000 funding goal three days into its Kickstarter campaign, having already raised more than $500,000 for its smartphone-controlled light bulb.


LIFX, pronounced “lyfex”, is a WiFi-enabled, multicolour, energy-efficient LED light bulb that users control with their iPhone or Android.


The LIFX team consists of RefreshHQ founder Phil Bosua and his father John Bosua, AngelCube co-founder Andrew Birt, Dave Evans, Andy Gelme and RetailMeNot co-founder Guy King.


On September 15, LIFX launched on US-based crowdfunding platform Kickstarter, with a funding goal of $100,000.


Just three days in, LIFX has raised more than half a million dollars from almost 4,000 backers. The LIFX team, known as LIFX Labs, could not be reached for comment.


However, Bosua said on the Kickstarter website the team has big plans for its invention.


“We began life in a Melbourne garage in Australia and have since expanded the vision and moving to the Bay Area,” Bosua said.


“Between us we play inventor (myself), Andrew (marketing), Dave (operations), Andy (engineer), Guy (product) and Ben (UI/UX).”


Kickstarter donors who pledge $69 to LIFX will receive one light bulb, while a deal to receive two bulbs for $99 has already sold out to 1000 backers. For $5000, would-be distributors receive a pack of 100 bulbs.


The estimated delivery for the bulbs is March next year. LIFX Labs said it has spent “countless hours” designing, redesigning and reimagining LIFX during the past six months.


“LIFX gives you unprecedented control of your lights, reduces your energy costs, lasts up to 25 years and delivers an amazing range of experiences,” it said.


“Simply replace your existing bulbs with LIFX smartbulbs, download and install our free app from the App Store or Google Play, and you’re good to go.”


LIFX isn’t the first Australian start-up to achieve success on the Kickstarter platform. In February, hardware and web service platform Ninja Blocks smashed its target in one weekend.


Ninja Blocks, led by Marcus Schappi, launched its Kickstarter campaign with the goal of raising $24,000. With 25 days left to go, the start-up had doubled its target.


“Kickstarter was a great way to fund our product and do so in a way that meant we didn’t give up any equity,” Schappi told StartupSmart.


However, Schappi pointed out the Kickstarter platform isn’t available to Australian start-ups, at least not directly.


“As an Australian company, you cannot get on [to Kickstarter]. It’s a killer. Find an American that can be a proxy for you,” he said.


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