Hiral Sanghavi, a 29-year-old Chicago-based entrepreneur, has a new claim to fame — one of the most successful Kickstarter campaigns ever launched. How successful? How about $9.17 million more than he was asking for to get his new product launched.
Kickstarter meets the BauBax jacket
Mr. Sanghavi conceived his “travel jacket” based on his near weekly trips to visit his wife and co-founder of BauBax, Yoganshi Shah.
“She works on the West Coast and I’m studying for my MBA at the Kellogg School of Management [at Northwestern University in Illinois],” he told CNN Money. “It’s a long flight and I’d forget to take my neck pillow and buy a new one at the airport,” Sanghavi continued.
Sanghavi’s wife, a designer by trade, conceived the idea of the jacket which has an integrated neck pillow, eye mask, gloves, phone charger and another dozen features for the traveler in four distinctive styles.
“These are often eight-hour or longer flights with layovers,” Sanghavi said while explaining the jackets. “We set out to solve all of the problems travelers encounter by designing travel jackets, blazers, bombers and hoodies/sweatshirts with everything a traveler wants and needs.”
The Kickstarter numbers
Sanghavi set the duration of his campaign to raise $20,000 at 58 days clearly unaware of the fact that he would need less than seven hours to reach his goal. In July, when the campaign began and just two weeks into crowdfunding, the jacket became the highest funded apparel item in Kickstarter’s history when it surpassed the “10-year Hoodie” which raised $1.05 million in 2013.
Yesterday, the campaign closed to staggering numbers. Nearly 50,000 pledged $9,192,055 to make the jacket a reality with Sanghavi expecting to begin shipping these orders in November of this year.
Technically, Sanghavi didn’t place the jacket in the “fashion” section of Kickstarter but rather in the “product design” section but nevertheless a Kickstarter spokesperson confirmed that the company considers Sanghavi to have well exceeded any apparel related crowdsourced item since its founding.
Sanghavi “humbled and thrilled”
While Sanghavi and his wife set the number at $20,000 the former admitted to expecting a million dollars to be raised while welcoming the challenge. The company has already contracted four manufacturers based in San Francisco to handle the first orders as the company hopes to move into retail markets beginning in 2016.