WHAT IS CARUCA AND HOW'S IT BETTER?
The Caruca is a Patent Pending, single rider, electric cart, on which the rider stands to operate.
It's main purpose is to be used on the golf course as an alternative to a traditional golf cart, but there are many other possible uses. Riding the Caruca is so much fun that you will want to take it everywhere.
Comfortable platforms to stand on, front and rear independent suspensions, and an adjustable steering column, all make the Caruca an incredibly smooth ride.
Safety was a top priority when designing the Caruca, too. We know standing to ride a vehicle like this may be intimidating for some. We built the Caruca with a wide base, low and centralized weight distribution and plenty of room for the rider to stand in different positions to make sure anyone who gets on it is safe.
Less weight means less damage
Let's face it. Course maintenance is a never-ending battle. Golfer damage, weed control, and seasonal changes all play a factor in your course's condition. The average course spends a large amount of their annual budget on course maintenance alone. Because the Caruca is just one-third the weight of a traditional cart, and rides on tires specifically designed for the course, you can expect those maintenance costs to be significantly reduced!
Reliability, Strength, and Safety
The Caruca features an industrial grade electric motor, controller, and drive. These parts were designed to provide high power, and long term reliability even under the multitude of conditions seen on the course each year. There is plenty of power to get the rider up hills, and the safety to ensure they are in control on the way back down. When the rider comes to a stop, there is no need to compress or lock a brake. The motor does all the work, and automatically locks itself preventing the Caruca from rolling away, even on steep hills. The on-board motor brake also makes the Caruca extremely safe and easy to step off, and get set up for your next shot!
The next generation of golf cart is here!
Conceptually, golf carts haven't changed a lot in the last 50 years. They are heavy, rough on the course, and are designed for multiple riders.
The high weight and rough ride create high maintenance costs for courses. This results in higher greens fees for golfers, and often, the dreaded "cart path only" rule.
Additionally, carts requiring two golfers to ride together, chasing each of their golf balls around the course results in a slower-than-ideal pace of play. A pair of golfers spends time trying to find a ball hit well to the right into the woods, and then have to drive back across the fairway to search for the cart mate's ball that was hit well left.
We set out to solve these problems and create a better option!
Well over two years ago, we started on our journey to create a new and exciting option for golfers; a single rider cart, that weighs significantly less than a traditional cart, that is better for the course, and is more enjoyable for the golfers.
The Caruca transforms the way we think about golf carts. A sleek, modern body design cleverly hides a powerful motor, front and rear independent suspension for a smooth ride, and an adjustable steering column to accommodate riders of all size.
Early on, our goal was simplicity.
We wanted to create a very basic, single rider cart that was functional. Those were the only real criteria we considered.
We have come a long way
We listened to our potential customers and went back to the drawing board to tweak our design. Although we achieved our goal of creating a functional product with our first prototype, we realized it was seriously lacking. It took some time, but after doing some additional surveys and interviews, we know the new version of the Caruca is just right. It solves the problem we set out to solve, and gives riders a truly unique experience that leaves them wanting to come back for more.
The American golf market, generally speaking, is massive. Some 24+ million U.S. golfers helped the industry generate $69 billion in revenue in 2011, according to the most recent data from SRI International. That number has only continued to rise since then. For our specific market, we believe we can split the industry into two sub-categories: the individual consumers, and the golf courses. Although the two markets pose different opportunities and threats, we ultimately feel both have reasonable room for penetration. To better understand the opportunities in both markets, we must look at them separately:
- There are approximately 24 million U.S. golfers.
- Golfers spend $3.7 billion per year on golf equipment alone.
- Total economic impact (including travel, greens fees, golf apparel and equipment) reaches $69 billion.
- The hot demographic is golfers age 29-49. This group is also quick to adopt new technology and leading-edge equipment.
- There are 1.5 to 3 million new golfers each year.
- There are approximately 15,500 golf courses in the U.S.
- Golfers played nearly 500 million rounds in 2012. This number continues to rise.
- 37% of courses report working with an expanded budget this year, 34% report working with a stable budget and 29% will be working on a reduced budget. All 3 areas offer unique sales opportunities.
- Courses list “equipment costs and replacement” as their second highest expense (behind only employee salaries) each year.
- “Slow play” was ranked the second highest risk for course health, second only to lack of marketing.
- Courses look to make significant upgrades in their equipment, devoting over 50% of their annual budget to golf carts and equipment.
Golfers Have Spoken
Below are the results of a web survey taken by golfers.
Caruca is the answer!
Golf is a great game with strong traditions. If something doesn't change, more and more courses are going to continue to struggle and unfortunately be forced to close. The Caruca isn't going to solve every problem, but we have proven that golfers are craving it, and it makes a lot of sense financially for courses. This is the change that we need, to get a younger demographic more interested in the sport, and help courses make more money.
We created the Caruca for a couple of reasons:
- As we started getting older and having families, we realized that our priorities were changing. Being around the house and spending time with the family quickly moved to the top of the list. We still wanted to be able to do things like play golf. Being that we have more demands on our time, it became clear that playing a round of golf was taking longer and longer. So we took some time and figured out where the biggest problem is. As we stood on the tee box, constantly waiting for the people ahead of us to hit their shots and get out of the way, the answer became clear. Two riders in one cart driving all over the course, looking for their golf balls, was taking too long. We thought there had to be a better way, so we created a product that will help speed up pace of play.
- Our second reason for creating Caruca was directed at golf courses. More and more are going out of business, raising greens fees, and are struggling to pay the bills. They are all competing over the same group of golfers in their local market, and don't really have a way to differentiate themselves from the other courses in the area. Well, we surveyed over 100 golfers which showed a few things that will solve a lot of these problems for courses. Golfers said they would pay a higher cart fee to be able to ride the Caruca, and they would be more likely to go to a course that has a fleet of Caruca's than a course that doesn't.
Your Hard Earned Money
First of all, thank you for considering donating your hard earned money. We really appreciate it, and think it's important to tell you what we plan on doing with that money. So here's the plan:
Goal #1 - "Minimum" $20,000
We have set a Kickstarter goal of $20,000 because that is the amount of money we need in order to pay for the tooling and setup of our manufacturing. These are costs we need to pay before we can even produce one single unit. That said, to get initial orders filled and produce extra units to have ready to sell, is going to take a lot more money.
Goal #2 - "Get us going" $50,000
This goal will cover our manufacturing setup costs, as well as allow some money to fund our initial production run. We set some aggressive delivery goals for our first run, and want to do everything we can to hit those goals. In order to do that, and fulfill initial orders quickly, we will need the capital up front.
Goal #3 - "First run" $120,000
This will be a huge milestone for us! We will be able to pay for everything required to produce and deliver our first run of Carucas. Hitting this goal will allow us to purchase everything needed up front. No delays, no extra financing, and no extra costs. That would mean no delays in getting our product to our customers! Everyone wins.
Goal #4 - "Grow the business" $200,000+
We have spent a significant amount of time trying to plan out everything needed to grow the business. Aside from production costs and ordering multiple units, there are other things our business needs to really take off. One big focus for us will be on marketing and sales. Once our initial production run is funded, we will switch our focus to obtaining new business. We already have PGA Tour players interested in a partnership, as well as reps ready to start selling. Both of those things cost money that we just don't have right now, so hitting this goal would be huge for the future success and growth of our business.
The claims made are based on research completed in preparation for this campaign. That doesn't mean as we move forward with production, those claims will remain unchallenged. What is true of the market one day, may not be true the next.
Risks and challenges
As with any electric vehicle start up, we will deal with the same challenges surrounding our electric components, batteries, etc. There is no doubt we will do everything in our power to address potential issues in the initial phase of manufacturing to prevent end users having any problems. That said, there is always the possibility that these issues slow us down and push back our timelines.
We have spent a significant amount of time in the prototyping stage, in efforts to make sure our transition to full-scale manufacturing goes smoothly. Every part of the design was meticulously created with the end user's comfort and safety in mind.
Additionally, we already have interest from potential buyers, but many prospective clients want to see finished products on their course for their patrons to demo. This is one of the most important reasons why we are here on Kickstarter. We need to raise the money for our initial production run, so we can start getting some demo units on courses.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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