Cycling Designs LLC has created Cyclesight to protect cyclists from dangerous and distracted drivers. Cyclesight is designed to give cyclists the ability to see ahead and behind at the same time without dangerous head movement.
Objective: Our goal is to decrease the nearly 1,000 deaths and 500,000 injuries that occur each year due to vehicle on bicycle accidents. Unfortunately, projections show that these numbers will increase due to an increase in bicycle usage and the increase in predominance of SUVs and pickup trucks where drivers have a more difficult time seeing cyclists. Cyclesight is designed to give cyclists time to react and when that isn't possible we provide a recording of the event.
Business Model: To gain traction we are selling direct to consumers (i.e. BTC) with the goal of gaining traction and credibility to implement a distribution model. Selling to bike stores will initially be on a direct basis transitioning to manufacturers reps who call on bike stores. The final step in this evolution is to partner with an industry accessory or bicycle manufacturer.
Customers: While we are in a "bootstrap" mode, we will address the niche market of recumbent riders. Because recumbent riders are very close to the ground, vehicle drivers have difficulty seeing them. This makes recumbent riders (along with velomobile riders) a perfect fit for Cyclesight. Another very good fit for Cyclesight are cyclists who ride e-bikes. Electric-assist bikes are being embraced by both new and older riders who are safety conscious. Recreational riders will often ride in rural areas where bike lanes are frequently not available thereby increasing the anxiety of the riders. Commuters need Cyclesight to ensure that vehicles are not encroaching on their space. Funding will make it possible for us to properly address all of these markets.
Products: Prior to embarking on additional products, we intend to offer different models and capabilities to the original Cyclesight. One example of this is to offer different mounts for bike racks, non-round seat posts, and the adapter to mount the camera on the cyclist's helmet. Creating a mechanism to tilt the display would ensure that there could be multiple viewing angles for the cyclist. Because the display is 3.5 inches diagonal, there is room to show s cycling computer functions (e.g. speed, distance, average, temperature, etc). Ultimately, we would like to add GPS functionality. The pinnacle of development, however, would be to develop the software for other products making Cycling Designs a platform company.
Team: We are fortunate to have an electronics / electrical engineer as well as a design engineer guiding the development of Cyclesight. In addition, we have two marketing companies helping us address our markets in the most efficient way possible. Most importantly, we have a group of management professionals advising us on strategy as well as operations.
Credibility/credentials: Cyclesight has gone through six iterations some of which were major. Two years ago when we thought we had "nailed" the design we received a patent only to find out that our testers gave it a thumbs down. Our newest design has been well-received and we have applied for a new utility patent. We would label our "magic potion" as failing through all the design iterations to a product version that is ergonomic, lightweight, and affordable. Because we are a bootstrapped operation every step we took was agonizingly slow and, hence, the reason that this has taken so many years to launch.
Market: Even prior to the COVID pandemic bicycle sales were increasing as was the number of bicycle commuters. The number of bicycle commuters was expected to double in the next three years. Since COVID bicycle sales have increased exponentially driven by recreational and e-bikes. In the U.S. alone there are 5.2 million people who ride nine or more times per month and another 9.8 million cyclists who ride two to eight times per month. Our unit sales projections begin at 3,880 units in the first year ramping up to 23,270 units in year five. Our first-year sales projections are based on 50% of the Cycliq6 sales. Sales in the first year are projected to break down as: from Social media: 2,560; from e-bikes: 620; from bike stores: 500 and from outdoor magazines: 200.
Competition: We have four competitors: (1) mirrors which provide a limited field of view and require constant adjustment to see rear-approaching vehicles; (2) Cycliq 6 which is a rear taillight that records but doesn't provide any real-time feedback for the cyclist; (3) Garmin Varia which is a rear-facing radar system with a display showing dots representing rear-approaching vehicles or cyclists; and (4) "nothing" meaning cyclists don't use anything and have no feedback or representation of what is approaching from the rear. Cyclesight combines the best features into a visual representation with a recording to be used in the event of an accident. Prior to the pandemic, we had a survey done where the participants who were cyclists were shown pictures with descriptions of the products and the results were: (1) Cyclesight 22.4%; (2) Garmin 20.0%; (3) Cycliq6 19.7%; (4) Mirror 17.7%; and (5) nothing 20.2%. Cyclesight, of course, had no name recognition and still achieved a very positive result.
Product Details: There are three main components to Cyclesight. The first is the rear-facing camera that is attached to the cyclist's seat post. The second is the display that is mounted on the cyclist's handlebars and the third is a recording mechanism that resides inside of the display enclosure. The recording is a "loop" recording so that there is always video of rear approaching vehicle should evidence be needed in the event of an accident. The communication from the camera to the display is wireless making installation straight forward.
Financial information: We are seeking $350k and if income and expense projections are perfect we would end the year with a positive cash flow of $39k. The first year's sales are projected at $1 million with a gross profit percentage of 44.4%. To achieve these results we are budgeting for a three-month ramp-up of our marketing effort. The largest startup expense is the molds required to manufacture the parts at an estimated $100k. The first year's cost of customer acquisition is $27.72 per customer decreasing to $22.55 in year three. As an enticement for investors, we are offering a profit-sharing model based on EBITDA earnings. We are offering investors an opportunity to invest at a valuation of the first year's anticipated revenue. We see an exit strategy where we could partner - in some form - with bicycle manufacturing companies, cycling accessory companies, parallel safety companies, action camera manufacturers, and distributors.
Comments from London P: "I know from working for a bike shop after retirement that most customers value their safety and I believe this product should be recommended to all customers buying a new bike and/or looking to buy a new helmet, safety lights, etc."
From Brian Chen - New York Times (June 2020): "The battery-powered bicycle has become a compelling alternative to public transit and Uber / Lyft."
Comment from Gary N: "Just looked at your website, looks like a very interesting product. I have been using Garmin’s rear radar and think it is great, yours looks like it is taking it to the next level."
Cyclesight is a tool that cyclists can use to improve their safety and security giving them complete situational awareness. We look forward to working with you.
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