That’s why Viktor Sommer founded the Munich-based e-mobility startup Black Tea. During his studies at TU Munich, he built the first prototype at MakerSpace. With a peak performance of 5 kW, a maximum speed of 80 km/h and a 70-km range, the Black Tea e-moped is suited for commuters and outdoor excursions. The removable battery can be charged at home.
Black Tea: 200.000 euros on the campaign’s first day
To finance production, the founder started a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo. On the first day, the 100.000-euro hurdle had been cleared by double the amount. By the end, Black Tea Motorbikes had raised more than 640.000 euros from 260 backers – an impressive outcome.
Munich Startup: In many crowdfunding campaigns, the focus is not only on financing, but also on market validation or marketing. How was it for you?
Viktor Sommer: Financing of course had priority. But I still wanted to find out if customers would pay more than 2.000 euros for an e-moped that wasn’t street-legal yet and was being built by a very young startup. That is a huge risk for them, because in the worst case scenario, their money would just be gone. We are incredibly grateful to have that trust from our customers and want to deliver an impressive product.
Book tip for successful campaign planning
Munich Startup: What was the most useful tip you received while preparing your campaign?
Viktor Sommer: The best thing you can do is inform yourself properly and learn from people who have already run successful campaigns. I would recommend the book “Crowdfunded: The Proven Crowdfunding System For Launching Products.’ You can read it in a day and it shows you how to start a successful crowdfunding campaign step by step.
Munich Startup: What recommendation do you have for other founders who are thinking about starting a crowdfunding campaign?
Viktor Sommer: What I hadn’t expected was the huge responsibility that suddenly weighs on your shoulders as soon as your product has been funded. That’s something every founder should be aware of. Hundreds of people will put their trust in you and your product! You need to be able to handle that pressure and keep cool, because everything that could go wrong will.
Munich Startup: What was the biggest challenge during the campaign?
Viktor Sommer: From the very beginning, I had basically always worked on Black Tea Motorbikes on my own. That means I also prepared the campaign on my own. It got difficult as soon as I needed to take pictures and make videos. That meant I needed a photographer, filmmaker, moped riders and someone to drive a car. It often turned out to be difficult to find the right people who all had time on the same day.
Honest feedback from the community
Munich Startup: How did you benefit from the crowdfunding support from the City of Munich?
Viktor Sommer: The support was a huge help, because it enabled me to find a photographer quite quickly who took pictures of my product. That allowed me to build an impressive website and campaign page. Impressive, high-quality photos are the most important thing for a hardware product.
Munich Startup: What about the campaign makes you particularly proud?
Viktor Sommer: It’s unbelievable to me that so many people have put their trust in Black Tea Motorbikes. That’s what will ultimately make it possible to finalize the product and start working on making it street legal. Our community always gives me honest feedback and useful tips for finalizing the product.
Munich Startup: We wish you all the best with what lies ahead!