Fund-raising success for meMINI

JOSH MARTIN
Last updated 15:42 05/02/2014

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The New Zealand developers of the meMINI retrospective micro-camera have raised US$87,000 ($105,960), nearly double the amount needed to start production.

The company is raising funds through online crowd-funding website Kickstarter.

The capital raising initially aimed to raise US$50,000 to manufacture and distribute the camera and has attracted more than 530 investors. The offer closes tomorrow.

MeMINI developers Sam Lee, of Wanaka, and Ben Bodley, of Auckland, launched their crowd-funding campaign at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last month.

Bodley said he was using Chinese manufacturing contacts to ensure the first round of the wearable cameras would be available to initial investors by June. The camera was expected to be publicly available by August.

Kickstarter investors will receive a $30 discount on the meMINI.

The business would now focus on building sales and distribution networks for the camera, Lee said.

Kickstarter had been a great platform for efficient feedback and criticism from investors and customers, he said.

"You're completely naked. There is nothing to hide behind. It is real engagement," he said.

"It's like communication on steroids with your customers. You're able to receive feedback on what people like, what they don't like, what they want and don't want."

Lee said the innovations of New Zealanders like Derek Handley, the Hyperfactory founder, and brands like 42Below gave meMini a leg-up at technology conventions when it was vying for attention.

"Americans do sit up and take notice when you say, 'We're from New Zealand', just because of the history of innovation. It's not everything, by any means, but it definitely helps," Lee said.

"You're not just a person with a crazy idea; you're a Kiwi with a crazy idea."

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- Fairfax Media

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