First and foremost, Happy New Year and for those of you that celebrate, also a very happy Lunar New Year! Hope everyone is doing well as we move into the second month of this new year. In this update, we have some good news and some bad news to share with you.
Let’s start with the bad news:
While we have been working tirelessly (7 days a week) trying to ensure all the bulbs are being manufactured and shipped out, we regret to inform you that we missed our target of getting all of our bulbs shipped out prior to Chinese New Year (1/31). It has been a record breaking month as we have shipped out bulbs to about 3000 backers however we were about 700 backers short of finishing all of our shipments. For those that have not received an email with a tracking number, we truly apologize for the delay once again but rest assured that we haven’t forgotten about you.
There are two reasons for the delayed shipment of these last 700 backers:
1. We use a custom developed shipping program to extract information from our database about each backer's reward and send to our courier service. Some backers may have indicated that they may move, filled out an address with special characters, wrote some extra instructions in the notes of the KS surveys. This caused our shipping program to place these backers on hold status. We needed to go through these backers' information manually to update whatever needs to be updated before being able to send these rewards out. We are working on these, but they are taking a bit of time to go through. There were also some May backers that may not have received their bulbs due to some bugs in the program earlier on, so if you have not heard from us please send us a message to expedite things. Otherwise, we will be running another program to find those May backers we have missed later on next week.
2. It was a really stressful time for our suppliers as it always is before Chinese New Year when many customers, not just us, place extra orders to fill the gap during the two week long shut down. For several item variations, we ran out of stock for the required LED's. Despite our best efforts (and a little bit of bribing), there were some parts needed to make the the black color LEDs & 1800Lm chips that the suppliers could not deliver to us in the timeframe needed in order to complete all the backers’ orders. The supply chain is tough to manage because no one likes to hold stock. It’s just dead cash sitting around. As we’ve discovered, the problem gets exasperated in the weeks before the Chinese New Year holiday.
Unfortunately our manufacturing facility has shut down for the next two weeks due to the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday. The Nanoleaf team will continue to work through this holiday, but we will not be able to begin production of these final bulbs until after February 10th with the bulbs shipping out shortly after that.
Going forward, to mitigate these types of inventory & material control problems, we have decided to invest some funds into creating a stock so that we always have product available & ready to ship out on demand. We are truly sorry to those backers that are still waiting and we really appreciate your extended patience.
And now for the good news:
1. We started this Nanoleaf light bulb project about a year ago with a goal of introducing a super energy efficient light bulb to the market and showing the world that innovation has no bounds. We launched on Kickstarter with the hope of raising a fairly small amount ($20k) so that we can get 1000 lights out there. Little did we know just how amazing this crowd of backers that eventually came to support us would be. Just like many Kickstarter projects, the launch of an unproven product that requires an upfront payment long before it has even fully materialized takes a certain kind of person to commit into. You guys, our backers, are true supporters. Backing us with so much support and patience through our good and bad times… that is touching and very much a demonstration of the greatness of humankind. Thank you for believing in us and supporting us! We have just passed the one year anniversary of the start of our little project on Kickstarter, it has been an exhilarating ride, and we have you guys to thank for making everything possible. So… a year later, what has all that work materialized into? It turns out that Nanoleaf has caught the eyes of some major game changers…
For those of you who follow our Facebook page/Twitter, you may have heard the news already. We are now partners with Mr. Li Ka-shing's (Asia's business magnate, investor, philanthropist known for his very generous efforts and billions in donations covering the entire world, and a very prominent figure in Asia) Horizons Ventures, as well as Silicon Valley's Kleiner Perkins. This is a huge new step for us at the Nanoleaf, because it is perfectly in tune with everything that we stand for and believe in, and this also means that we now have the resources we need to grow our R&D and equally importantly scale up our manufacturing! In a couple more months, we will have the scale we need to fulfill orders at a much faster speed, and on a much larger scale. We are truly grateful for you, our backers, for helping us get to this point! Without you guys we would not be here right now, so thank you again for always being so supportive and being there with us through all of the growing pains. It is a very exciting time and we really look forward to this year and beyond as we grow, hire new staff, release a few more products, and generally bring a lot more green oomph.
2. In terms of R&D, our genius scientist Tom has been quite busy in the last few months. As a result, we now have a working prototype of the dimmable version of the Nanoleaf bulb! This required a complete re-design of our existing circuit, but we have managed to maintain the same level of efficiency while creating dimming functionality in a very unique and "intuitive" way. We still have some bugs to work out but we’re confident that our dimmable bulb will finally see the light of day by the middle of this year!. We also have several additional technology innovations included in this bulb! Stay tuned for more info on this!
(On a related note, we are looking for a few stellar technologically talented engineers to fill some specific roles on our team. If you feel like you have the skills/experience, and believe in our cause or know someone who shares our passion for green technology and may be a good candidate, please message us to get more details).
One of our creative backers - Michael Morris - posted this picture on our Facebook page, and we felt that it is just too awesome to not share with you guys. :)
That's all for now. 'Til next time, keep living green and stay classy everyone. :)