Bird Buddy September Update 1/2

Bird Buddy September Update 1/2

Our September update is a big one, so we won’t clutter it with a long introduction.

Let's begin with a quick production update: as of 2 September, we now have 11.951 units in our US distribution center, with the rest of them on the way or scheduled to ship from the factory. The number of units already produced covers all our Kickstarter pledges, as well as the Indiegogo ones.

With that said, we promised to share more specific details regarding our launch, so here is the long awaited fulfillment plan, complete with projected shipment dates.

We will begin the roll-out by sending out the first units to 50 hand-selected US-based Kickstarter backers that we chose based on their high level of engagement across our platforms. The reason we are starting this small (and with the recipients selected by us) is that we want to conduct follow-up interviews with the first users and get in-depth feedback about the Bird Buddy experience right off the bat. The already selected participants will be notified via email in the following week, so please keep an eye on your inbox!

These initial 50 units will be sent out the week of the 20th of September, after which point the fulfillment process will be scaled up until we have fulfilled 3650 orders by the start of October.

While we then continue to receive feedback from our backers, analyze the impact of the soft launch, gather further insight in the background and apply any improvements where needed, the fulfillment will see a significant ramp-up. As you can see in the timeline above, we plan to increase the number of shipped-out units from 11 October on, with as much as 15k units being shipped out weekly at the start of November. Our goal is for all of the existing orders (placed on Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and our webstore thus far) to be fulfilled by the end of November.

When it comes to order of fulfillment, we have previously shared that the orders will be shipped chronologically as they were placed (by the first in, first out principle) to the best of our ability. With the growing scale of the project, the single distribution center model that we initially planned for made less and less sense and as our 3PL partner added new capacities for shipping directly to Europe we started exploring that option in parallel. This has been an effort that we were hesitant to talk about in the past, since we were still in negotiations and were unable to confirm this new development. That said, we have decided to branch our logistics process out to two additional non-US distribution centers: one in Europe and one in Australia, with the European one having been recently established by our existing 3PL partner. Since this was an extensive undertaking that took a long while to result in a signed contract, we are still dealing with some red tape in terms of importing the units to the two new distribution centers. By the time we ramp up fulfillments in October this should clear up but the new setup will make it tricky for us to stay 100% true to the “first in first out” principle and there will be a few weeks’ discrepancy in shipping between the three regions.

We do expect the first few weeks of the launch to be a learning curve for the whole company as it will impact a number of departments, ranging from customer support, to our QA and development teams as well as our logistics and supply chain departments. We have tested the whole pipeline previously, but not in a way where we could fully predict all possible issues on such a large scale. Shipping out too many units at once would risk overwhelming our capacity and could lead to other complications.

Lastly, we have noticed that a lot of you have been wondering about the status of the Bird Buddy app. We’re very happy to say that it is now in a state where it is ready to go live in the app-store for both Android and iOS devices. It will be available for download as soon as we start shipping out the Bird Buddy units, since those are necessary to use the app beyond the sign-in screen.

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