Seasons Greetings! I was surprised to see that I have now been writing miblog (the mifold blog) for a year – how can that be?! It may be clichéd to ask where the time has gone, but it has really zoomed past.
Whist deciding what to tell you this month, I read over my previous blogs and I would like to modestly say that mifold has had a pretty phenomenal year. This time last year we were not even in production!
Here’s my review of the best bits of the past year!
Last December we moved from the shoebox down the corridor into larger offices and got a fandangled new coffee machine which still works! We were in the midst of our Indiegogo crowd funding campaign and had reached $830,000 in presales. I spent the month checking and rechecking labels and instruction manuals. Davide was consumed with Facebook and Twitter and Jon and Tal were engrossed with manufacturing issues and regulatory affairs.
Between January and March, I reached level 116 in Candy Crush Saga (I’m now at the lofty level of 425 – there’s not much spare time in which to play). mifold secured its third round of investment and Robert joined us as CFO and COO. He immediately took up the gauntlet and headed to China to oversee production trials at the factory. In March, we happily received US regulatory approval FMVSS 213 and the whole team qualified as Certified Passenger Safety Technicians.
From April to June the pace quickened. mifold had its official global launch at the Lifesavers Convention in California. We had by this time, taken 20,000 orders for 45,000 mifold booster seats in 123 countries around the world and had reached $1.8M in presales. The official color range of slate gray, pearl gray, lime green, taxi yellow, perfect pink and denim blue was finally selected and excitedly Robert loaded up the first ever cartons of mifold to be shipped from the factory. Rachel joined to handle the load in Customer Services (thank you from me Jon!) and Mark joined as Chief Marketing Officer.
In July, we finally received EU regulatory approval ECE R44.4 and by the end of August we had actually delivered 45,000 orders of 55,000 units to the US, Europe, South America, Africa and Asia specifically to 136 different countries! This represented $2M worth of sales.
Ken joined us as VP of Business Development and quickly secured distribution agreements in Canada, the UK, Hong Kong, Israel, Chile, Peru, Columbia and Taiwan. Thanks to Mark, mifold went live with US online retailers Amazon, Targert, Babies r Us, Rightstart and Giggle.
Rachel starred in the new “How to videos” on youtube with her famous thumbs up and we got a proper sign outside our office door.
By the time we went to the Kind and Jugend trade show and drank too much jaegermeister in September, we had delivered 60,000 mifold orders and had new distribution agreements in Germany Austria and Switzerland, Russia, Scandinavia, South Korea and Japan. We also began selling mifold directly from our own website www.mifold.com. The office space was expanded to accommodate the growing team and we got a bigger fridge in the kitchen.
In November Rayna joined our merry band as Financial Controller and unrelatedly (I think) mifold won the NASA Tech Briefs Create the Future Prize for best new consumer product of the year! Davide threw himself into designing the new mifold packaging and stunning point of purchase materials whilst continuing to juggle our social media presence.
And that brings me to December. Where are we now? Well, we have 19 distribution agreements with China, Argentina, the Gulf Region, New Zealand, Malaysia Singapore and Spain joining the list. We have sold 140,000 mifold units around the world and have delivered all those ordered up until the end of October. We have answered over 8,000 customer emails, facebook comments and twitter posts this year. Our crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo has raised in excess of $2.5M. We now deliver within 10 days of ordering in the US and within 3 weeks in the UK Canada and Hong Kong. We have been featured as the “Deal of the Day” on Amazon, are collaborating with Grab in Singapore to get mifold into 8,000 taxis and with Lyft in Chicago. Our UK distributor has received her first order with the launch of mifold in the prestigious department store John Lewis and we have been granted our import license in Israel.
To celebrate the year, Jon took the team and their partners to The Whiskey Bar for a Whiskey tasting experience and delicious food. As far as I remember, it was a good night!
It has been an explosive year; it has been a sometimes stressful, immensely exciting, fun-filled, challenging, unbelievably fast paced, ever changing 12 months where every single one of us has contributed, made mistakes and developed personally. I hope you will agree that we seemed to have achieved the unachievable. I cannot wait to see what the next year brings. Happy Holidays to you all! x