In 2019, the Montreal born startup SmartHalo launched their new Kickstarter campaign for their latest product: SmartHalo 2.
They gained a tremendous amount of popularity in 2015 with the launch of their first Kickstarter campaign. SmartHalo quickly became a staple in the realm of smart devices for cyclists. Their product, a small smart biking device that turns your bicycle into a top of the line smart bicycle.
Their first product came as one of the largest successes coming out of the Montreal startup scene. SmartHalo raised over 500’000$ during their first campaign. It is the first product originating from Kickstarter ever sold in Apple Stores.
The second generation of this product: SmartHalo 2, offered even more possibilities and features. It raised over 130’000$ in the first 4 hours of the campaign. That’s their goal of 75’000$ almost doubled.
Xavier Peich, co-founder and CEO of SmartHalo, confided in us during the SmartHalo 2 launch party.
SmartHalo, your startup in a few words?
We make a smart device for urban cyclists. It is a small device that you install on the handlebars of your bicycle and is connected to your phone via Bluetooth. It gives you turn-by-turn navigation instructions. It’s also an alarm system to protect your bike, as well as a built-in light, so it offers a lot of features to make the cyclist’s life easier.
Have you participated in an incubation program?
Yes, we participated in a program put in place by the JCCM. They offer a program for young entrepreneurs to help them get a better start. This happened at our very beginnings, in 2014. Then we went on to do another one in Toronto called Next.
What were your biggest challenges?
It was a challenge to produce our units. We sold them on Kickstarter initially, but only had the prototype. So we had to finish the development of the product, come up with the commercial aspect of things, and find out how to ship them around the world.
What was your experience of the Montreal ecosystem?
From the beginning, there were really a lot of people who wanted to help, even when we had nothing, even when we had just started. So many people came and gave us their opinion, their advice, their ideas and all of that for free. So it really was a great experience.
About SmartHalo 2
It helps you discover new routes with clear navigation signals. It protects your bike with an anti-theft alarm. It lights your way with a headlight completely redesigned and unique. It tracks and displays your performance without having to press a single button, and syncs with your fitness apps. It keeps you connected to the essentials with the all-new, customizable PeekDisplay ™.