US$2.65 Million Through Kickstarter: International Growth with Orbitkey
Orbitkey is a global lifestyle and accessories ecommerce brand, as Co-Founder Charles Ng explains, “We started with the idea of a key organiser. Now we’re creating more products to continue having a positive impact in a lot of people’s lives”.
“We started with the idea of a key organiser. Now we’re creating more products to continue having a positive impact in a lot of people’s lives”
Charles Ng, Co-Founder at Orbitkey
Based out of Melbourne, co-founders Charles Ng and Rex Kuo created a simple idea of a key organiser to stop the ‘key jingle’ during their runs. This simple key organiser idea quickly gained traction and the duo decided to make the leap from their careers in Pharmacy and Industrial design to build the Orbitkey business full time.
Today, Orbitkey is sold in over 1,000 stores across Australia, Europe and the US - from independent gift shops, design stores and fashion stores. Their product range is continuing to expand into desk mats, organisers and notable collaborations with Qantas, Crumpler and others.
OrbitKey leapt right into a global audience with Kickstarter campaigns
Orbitkey started in 2013 through Kickstarter and was able to draw over 5,000 backers through their 30 day campaign. Since then, Orbitkey continues to build their global community through five additional Kickstarter campaigns with 39,000 backers, raising over US$2.65 million.
This global customer base from day one allowed them to draw the attention of European wholesalers and distributors. Through European trade shows, Orbitkey accelerated their international expansion beyond Australia by tapping into the existing distributor networks in the region.
Localising is the key to winning in new markets
International growth poses a myriad of challenges for business. Co-founder Rex described that building strong wholesaler relationships and a network of international stockists was challenging.
“The most important part for business expanding internationally comes down to localisation. People don’t want to buy out of an Australian warehouse, they want to be buying from a local warehouse. They don’t want to be paying to an unfamiliar bank account with high fees, they want to be paying like a local”
Rex Kuo, Co-Founder at Orbitkey
To build their audience fast, they needed to find ways to localise their payment and shipping infrastructure for that local experience.
A global audience also meant dealing with the inherent challenges of international currencies; currency fluctuations and transfer rates became issues for not only Orbitkey, but its key customers too. Rex explained that wholesalers were forced to pay Orbitkey in AUD, the transfer cost alone forcing some to pull out all together.
“We were paying $37 per transfer, now with Airwallex we’re paying a third of that price, in AUD”
Hai Trang, Virtual CFO at Orbitkey
Orbitkey wholesalers make 70% faster payments with Airwallex
What’s ahead for OrbitKey
Orbitkey’s vision is to create “100 million points of organisation impact”, explains Charles. The team continues to innovate and expand their product ranges to help people “simplify and organise for a better life”. Most recently, the team has launched an Orbitkey ID Card Holder product on Kickstarter.
With 25 employees, Charles and Rex also have ambitious growth plans for their team to meet the oversized demand they’re facing internationally.
“We love working with Orbitkey, they are an awesome business with great products and a team with a global vision. We’re excited to be helping more Australian businesses, like Orbitkey, to scale their eCommerce business beyond borders”
Vijay Raghvani, Head of Sales at Airwallex
Watch more about Orbitkey's story here
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