It seems so promising when we first heard from them back at Interbike 2014, and even more so when their Kickstarter campaign launched at the start of this year. The promise was a dual-sided road power meter that went with you as you clipped out of one bike and into the next, with the sensors sandwiched between your shoe and Speedplay cleats and the brain sitting atop your toes. But that dream has been shattered and backers have gotten a dash of the realities of crowdfunding as Brim Brothers has run into insurmountable obstacles to the DPMX wearable power meter and issued a statement saying that, “we can’t deliver your power meter, and we can’t provide a refund”…
As recently as mid September of this year Brim Brothers first came to realize that their move to production brought with it complexities in assembly, testing, and calibration that they did not foresee. The result was that after years of developing the DPMX power meter, they just couldn’t produce it precisely enough to deliver the accuracy required by a power meter in large enough quantities to get it to consumers. Up until a couple of weeks ago, Brim had been hoping to find a way out, but with all of their operational money and the crowdfunding sunk into this production failure they’ve come to realize that they are unable to deliver what they promised.
What that means for the 284 Kickstarter backers, and probably many more customers who pre-ordered direct through Brim Brothers, is that almost 200,000€ of crowdfunding has disappeared into the ether (and another $27,000 and 40 backers over through indiegogo.) That’s a shame for the 111 who forked out 390€ for a one-sided power meter or the 173 who paid 780€ for the two-sided pair, but maybe that’s a good lesson to be more vigilant when putting that much money into a crowdfunding project. We are often champions of innovative Kickstarter projects, so this is a blow to us as well, but maybe reiterates that crowdfunding is better suited to smaller projects for sums of money we’re more able to deal with disappearing.
If it is any consolation, it seems that the Brim Brothers founders haven’t floated away with a golden parachute. It seems during their entire development the founders haven’t been taking a salary or other payment. They say that all of the investment has gone directly into development and production, and they just have not been able to secure any more funding to keep moving forward.
The full text of Brim’s letter giving in is below:
24th October 2016
With great sadness I have to tell you that Brim Brothers is ceasing operations.
We have run out of time and money. The difficulties we have had with production quantities, together with variable accuracy of the finished units when in use, mean that we are unable to deliver and we don’t have the resources to continue.
Over the last couple of weeks it has become clear that putting an innovative product into manufacture has more challenges than we planned for, particularly achieving the consistent accuracy that a power meter requires. Our first production batch demonstrated that more time and investment is needed to test and re-test new production processes. This is beyond our resources, and our efforts to find new finance have not been successful.
What this means for you as a customer is that we can’t deliver your power meter, and we can’t provide a refund. For me personally this is what hurts most, and I wish there was something I could do to change it.
We attempted to create the most innovative power meter in the world, the only wearable power meter, and in doing that we probably took on bigger technical challenges than any other power meter design team. Over the last 8 years we solved so many of the challenges, and created new technologies, but we have fallen short at the last hurdle. We very nearly made it.
To our customers, our employees, and the many people who have supported us in so many ways I say thank you, and I’m sorry we couldn’t deliver.
CEO, Brim Brothers