It’s been a long road for Australian smart helmet startup Forcite Helmets. The brand unveiled its helmet concept in May, 2019, but the first 1,000 units didn’t make it to customers until October, 2020. At $1,599 AUD (≈$1,150 USD), the special-edition, carbon fiber smart helmet didn’t deter customers with its price.
In November, 2021, all of Forcite’s MK1 helmets are already spoken for, with the previous 70 available slots selling out in just 25 minutes. With that type of following, Forcite is looking to grow rapidly in order to meet current demand.
“Demand for our smart helmets has exceeded our expectations and supply since we launched, with over 1,300 units selling out rapidly across two campaigns,” noted Forcite in a prepared statement. “We are now looking to scale up in order to fulfill that backlogged demand here in Australia, and fast track our entry into larger, untapped international markets such as the United States and Europe.”
While the company is turning to customers to forge a new path, Forcite previously secured funding from Australian research and commercialization fund Uniseed and Atlas Advisors Australia. Those contributions account for $1.2M AUD (≈$870,000 USD), but the new options allow Forcite owners and investors to get in on the action.
“Equity crowdfunding excites us, and it should excite you too,” stated Forcite in a press release. “Equity crowdfunding is a new way of investing. It enables Australians over 18 to invest in early-stage companies they’re passionate about in exchange for equity. It’s simple and quick to invest, highly regulated, and means you become a shareholder in Forcite, standing to profit and share in our success as we continue to grow.”
With a camera integrated into the chin bar along with an internal lighting and audio system, the MK1 alerts riders to potential hazards. The brand hopes to develop predictive AI software and a computer vision-equipped camera in the future. The new investment and crowdfunding options will allow the company to meet current, but also pursue those future innovations.