Cape Town outfit Chrome Cherry Design has raised a fairly healthy R33 150 through crowdfunding to put towards production of its new YBIKE Evolve, a tricycle for young kids which converts into a balance bike when they’re old enough for it.

The cash represents nearly 50 pledges placed in a week, making it the fastest fundraiser yet on the fledgling Thundafund, a Kickstarter-like website made specifically for Africa.

Since its launch in 2009, Kickstarter has revolutionised consumerism as we know it by allowing people to pay for goods before they’re designed and built. By allowing start-ups to raise money from people who count – their customers – and guarantee an audience for their products, it’s raised almost half a billion dollars for young companies. Muscians, artists, manufacturers and software developers have been able to make the things they want, knowing that people already want them enough to pay months in advance – everyone wins.

The only drawback is that you can’t put a project on Kickstarter unless you live in the US or UK. Which is why local services like Thundafund are starting to take off, tailoring the Kickstarter vibe for specifically African audiences.

YBIKE Evolve is a pretty neat idea – balance bikes are really good for children and help to fill them with confidence, but they’re expensive and quickly outgrown for the real thing.

 

The ultimate target for YBIKE Evolve is R100 000. Unless projects on Thundafund hit their set limit, they don’t receive any of the pledged money – that way backers are protected against underfunded projects closing before production is complete. The firm have 49 days left to raise the remaining R66 850, after which they believe they’ll be able to start shipping the YBIKE Evolve globally. If you want to back it, the Thundafund page is here.

YBIKE Evolve 3in1 from YBIKE South Africa on Vimeo.

Adam is the Editorial Director at htxt media. He has been writing about technology for almost two full decades now. In a previous life, he was the editor of PC Format and Digital Camera Shopper in the UK, before going on to work as a freelance journalist for seven years. His work has appeared in or on Stuff, The Guardian, Linux Format, TechRadar, Wired.co.uk, PC Gamer, Green Futures, The Journalist, The Ecologist and The Review. Adam moved to South Africa in 2012 and loves 3D printers, MakerFairs and tech hubs. He hates seafood. None of his friends remember this when cooking.