What a Launch! And What’s Next
By Marco Salvioli, Co-founder & CEO of Volata Cycles
It’s been a while since our last blog post, and I thought this would be the right time to share how we’ve spent the past few months, and how we’ll be spending the coming weeks.
We launched our reservation campaign about 3 and a half months ago. No doubt, these have been the most exciting, intense and productive months of our lives. We focused the launch on the US, and the response we got from the media and market has been unbelievable. Volata has been featured on the top Tech, Bike, Design and Lifestyle media in the US, and the news has flown everywhere in the world: Europe (especially Italy, Germany, UK, Switzerland), Japan, Korea, China, and more. Among other recognitions, BBC has nominated Volata as one of Top 10 Most Beautiful Bicycles of 2016.
Most media have considered Volata the most advanced bicycle ever invented.
Reservations started rolling in pretty fast. Our video went viral on the web and we’ve received plenty of emails. Although we’ve decided not to disclose the number of reservations received, we’ve exceeded our expectations and decided to boost our production schedule and allocate more resources into manufacturing.
One thing we are particularly proud of is that most of the traffic we’ve generated online came organically, especially through people excited about our product who shared our content and helped us spread the word about Volata. This proved to us the passion we’ve received from the public and we couldn’t be prouder.
While handling the turbulent weeks which have followed the launch, our R&D team has been hard at work with the development of both hardware and firmware of the Volata. Release after release, we’re getting closer to kicking off the manufacturing with our suppliers, and managing the transition from beta prototypes to pre-production bikes that will be used for consumer product safety and compliance testing. Considering that most of the bike hardware features (frame geometries, bike components, etc.) have been frozen before our launch, some of the R&D activities where we spent most of our time in the past few months are relative to engineering for manufacturing:
- Optimization of the front lights, tail light and stem-LCD display for waterproofing
- Optimization of wiring harness for easier assembly
- Optimization of frame thickness at the rear end of the top tube
- Optimization of the painting process and testing of different paints to reduce the aging of the Ice White color (this actually happens in every white-painted product)
We’ve also had the chance to visit Eurobike in Germany, and Interbike in Las Vegas (respectively the biggest bike trade shows in Europe and US). We visited some of our amazing suppliers who gave us the chance to showroom Volata at their stands (Fizik, Crankbrothers, Carbon Drive). The sentence we’ve heard the most is “this is the most innovative bike I’ve seen this year in the show”, and we were humbled to hear that everybody in the industry already knew about us.
Witnessing the leaders of some of the top bike companies in the world become speechless after seeing the Volata has been an indescribable reward to our hard work.
We also made some adjustments to our website to answer most of the frequently asked questions and concerns. You can visit our website here.
So, what’s next?
We didn’t just work on what you’ve already seen. As you may know, we’re hard at work on the development of four bike extensions, specifically designed and developed by Volata, for Volata:
- Carrier rack with an expandable, easy-to-remove everyday bag
- Frame bag
- Water bottle with smart-fastening mechanism
This, however, isn’t everything. In fact, we’re about to unveil a pretty exciting product update, and some straightforward sales and distribution partnerships. Be prepared for an unusually hot winter this year.
Again, thank you for your support. Stay tuned.