From Kickstarter to Your Handlebars

Reinventing the Wheel

SmartHalo was born in 2014 from a desire to reinvent how a bike tool could look and feel. As cyclists, we know bikes can solve major modern challenges but we were frustrated with the state of bike tech: what was out there was either obsolete or too complex. We believed an all-in-one solution was what the modern bike needed.

Circling Around an Idea

After spending a year brainstorming ideas and defining our product vision, it became clear that our device would need to respect the purity of cycling – we didn’t want another monochrome LCD screen that floods you with dense metrics. The luminous circle as a discrete user interface was born. With it, we can communicate a basic level of info without overwhelming. You can focus on what matters: the ride.

The Birth of Smarthalo

This little circle would guide and protect its owners and make their rides more fun. It acted as a bike buddy, a guardian… that takes the form of a halo. And a pretty darn clever one at that. SmartHalo would be its name. To share our creation with the world and gather feedback, we built a prototype and shot a video showing our baby in action. We then pushed it to crowdsourcing platform Kickstarter… little did we know the following days would change our lives forever.

Turning a Dream Into Reality

We gathered half a million dollars in 30 days and became a success story overnight. Our favorite newspapers, magazines and tech blogs across the globe covered SmartHalo. Exciting, but we now had to figure out how to mass produce this thing. Needless to say, it was an overwhelming venture. We hired experts from every discipline: the SmartHalo team was taking shape. After assembling every piece of a complex manufacturing puzzle, we shipped SmartHalo to backers in 72 countries.

Getting Recognized by Design Gurus

To get SmartHalo on as many bikes as possible, we searched for distributors. That’s when we received an email we’ll never forget: it was from Apple. They were interested in selling our device in their stores. Needless to say, as product designers, we were thrilled. With their help, we managed to sell thousands of units across the world. Our customers loved SmartHalo, helping us improve it over the years with their continual supportive feedback.

The Next Steps

After delivering our first product, we looked forward. We learned a lot and yearned to improve. Based on customer feedback, we’ve launched a Kickstarter campaign for a second version of SmartHalo. The lessons learned yielded results: we raised $1.7M this time! Launching new products is part of our roadmap but we won’t stop there: we want to integrate sustainability and social practices into the work we do. From all of the team at SmartHalo, thank you for joining us on this journey.

Cycling is a healthy, convenient, cheap and eco-friendly way to move around. We want to make it easier to choose cycling for transportation.

Gabriel Alberola

CDO, Co-Founder & Daily cyclist