Jolla Tablet Campaign: Indiegogo’s Highest Funded European & Asian Campaign (Ever!)
When the ‘people powered’ Finnish company Jolla wanted to know if the world really needed another tablet, the company turned to crowdfunding to find out.
To reach an international audience including people in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia, Jolla choose Indiegogo for a platform.
In November 2014, the company launched the Jolla tablet campaign.
While the financial goal was to raise $380,000 USD, Jolla’s business purpose was to “determine if there was a need for a new independent operating tablet,” says Juhani Lassila, Head of Communications at Jolla. “To be honest, there are a lot of new tablets.”
A Tablet Powered by the People
Jolla went into the crowdfunding campaign with the support and engagement of their community.
The company has some 150,000 fans, attracted from both new and existing communities. Founded by former Nokia employees, Jolla was able to engage large communities that had been following Nokia’s open source software projects until Nokia changed strategies. Jolla built up those communities and engaged new fans over three years.
To communicate with fans, Jolla’s development team is highly active at together.jolla.com. Fans can submit ideas, suggestions and wish list features for Jolla’s open source software, the core of their business, Sailfish OS.
Fans can also contribute to the development of Jolla’s two hardware products, the Jolla smartphone and the Jolla tablet. Both showcase the Sailfish OS system and are “part of a bigger picture of how Sailfish (works) out there,” Juhani says.
Jolla didn’t just go into the crowdfunding campaign with a large audience. They also equipped themselves with a tablet the community helped to create.
Rather than developing a tablet and trying to sell it, Jolla reached out to their community, asking about wish lists for tablets, as the company wanted the “community to take part from the beginning,” Juhani says. “The community can influence the development of (our) projects.”
Once the community had spoken, the Jolla Sailors developed the tablet to meet the communities’ needs. Community-driven features incorporated in the Sailfish OS operated tablet include:
- A single view point of all running apps
- An ability to run Jolla or Android apps
- Navigation with natural hand gestures versus buttons
Even with a dedicated audience, a community-driven product and an international platform, Jolla still had a lot of work to do to create a successful crowdfunding campaign.
A Successful Crowdfunding Campaign is a Strategic Crowdfunding Campaign
Juhani says being strategic was key to the Jolla tablet campaign. “We did a lot of careful planning and had a lot of help from the Indiegogo team,” he says. Platform support was particularly valuable, “as we as a company had never done this kind of campaign before.”
Jolla set goals and created marketing and public relations strategies before the campaign launched. Indiegogo helped Jolla identify priorities, strategies and tactics to enhance the campaign’s success.
Crowdfunding provided a platform to create a “really big market and a PR tool to get people involved in the beginning,” Juhani says.
While the marketing cost a few hundred Euros and included some paid ads, production of a website, the real advantages were the community aspect and public relations. “The Jolla story is really interesting for the media,” says Juhani. The campaign drove plenty of news stories.
The Indiegogo campaign offer was open to people in the United States, Canada, Australia, The European Union, Norway, Switzerland, India, China, Hong Kong and Russia.
It included a discounted Jolla Tablet 64GB for $249 USD (down from the expected retail price of $299) plus $20 for shipping, with an expected delivery date of June 2015.
Shortly after the campaign launched, Jolla had an answer to their question: Did the world really need a new tablet?
The Jolla tablet campaign was fully funded in just two hours. By close on December 9, 2014, it was 480% funded.
Once Jolla knew demand for a new tablet was high, it launched a second part to the Indiegogo campaign in February 2015.
By the time the campaign closed on March 31, 2015, Jolla had raised a total of $2,555,572 USD from over 21,000 investors, making the Jolla tablet Indiegogo’s highest ever funded European and Asian campaign.
So What’s Next for the Jolla Tablet?
The new phase is “getting the product out at the end of June,” Juhani says.
Jolla is also planning on selling the tablet elsewhere and is currently focused on sales.
How to Crowdfund like Jolla – Juhani’s Advice:
How can other companies run a campaign like Jolla?
Juhani recommends companies build an audience first. “You need to do a lot of research on who you want to be your contributors, where those people are and how to get to them.”
Certainly having a strategy, a strong platform partner and a powerfully engaged community are essential ingredients to record breaking crowdfunding campaigns.