Wow, what an experience that was!
If you've been watching the show tonight then the last you will have seen was us walking back into the lift. Once the doors shut we packed up our table, said bye to the BBC crew, returned the tandem to the bike shop and flopped down on the train home, exhausted!
Dragon's Den filming is a long day. From nervous, early morning pitch rehearsing through to sound checks and even a bit of make up in the green room, it's all a bit tense! But it's great fun and an experience we'll never forget.
Of course, we would have loved to get a Dragon to invest but it wasn't to be this time. That didn't mean we were going to sit on our laurels though. The next day we got back to the rest of the team in the office and back to work on building something we can be proud of (and just maybe proving the Dragons wrong)
While we of course think the Dragons made the wrong decision, there was some really good feedback that came from them. They're not necessarily experts in the field of smart tech products but between them they have decades of business experience. So it was worth us listening to them.....at least in some areas!
So below is a taster of what happened once the lift doors closed and we got back to work on making journeys better for everyone. You'll see that we haven't hit the brakes by any means. While we understand Touker's concerns that we have spent a lot of money, we're a fast growing company with big ambitions and we can't achieve those by being overly cautious. We can however say, hand on heart, that everything we spend is very considered. The fact is that building a connected hardware company isn't cheap - with several layers of software, electronics and physical hardware to produce as well as supporting the team to do all of that - the consensus from the experts is that we've been pretty economical. We actually thought it would be interesting to give you a peek behind the scenes at what goes into developing a product such as this. Read all about it here
We knew that what we were asking would stretch the Dragons. However, Deborah was right that we couldn't budge on the valuation as we had prior investors to look after. Peter told us that we should be asking our existing investors for the money we needed, not him, so that's exactly what we did! In July we ran a crowdfunding campaign inviting previous investors and the public to back us. We raised beyond the £100,000 we were asking for and now have the support of nearly 600 amazing investors. We're a big fan of community so look out for more crowdfunding opportunities in future!
Beautiful simplicity is at the core of Beeline and something we protect fiercely
However, Touker and Tej aren't the only people who've told us that for some it's too simple. Free, explorative navigation is incredibly liberating and great fun, but sometimes people just need a bit more guidance.
So we're delighted to announce that as of yesterday (drum roll please) Beeline now offers full route guidance when you need it. Simply enter your destination, hit the new "route assistant" switch and watch as your straight line is magically turned into a full route. Beeline guides you along it by pointing you towards the next spot on the route.
Check out the full details here or download the app ( Android / iOS) to try it yourself now.
Beeline is about helping the world have better journeys and that means more than just getting them from A-B. We want people to be able to find inspiration for journeys through Beeline and share their experiences with others. That's why we've been piloting "recommended routes" within the app. Check it out and see what you think - lots more to come here!
Also check out the weekly blog posts for some ride recommendations
TechCrunch disrupt is one of the world's top disruptive technology conferences, drawing the best startups and investors from around the world to San Francisco. Last month we were not only invited to attend but were asked to do a pitch in front of thousands of people about how we're changing the way people travel. You can see the whole thing here. We might argue the Dragons should take back some comments about our technology being too simple... ;-)
There's no place like home, but we're taking this beyond just our green and pleasant land! Since we've been on the show, we sold thousands of Beeline all over the world and even in countries we couldn't dream of such as Chile, Brazil, Thailand, New Zeland... In the last month we've confirmed with our first major US retailer and taken a big order from our Japanese distributor.
We've long known is that lots of you cyclists out there cycling like to keep track in Strava. Beeline also tracks all your rides but we get it - people are attached to what they know. So within the next few weeks, you'll be able to sync your Strava and Beeline accounts so that every ride you make automatically gets saved in your Strava account.
We can't tell you too much about this yet but we've started work on our next product....stay tuned to hear more in the coming months.
Thanks so much for your interest. This journey is still in its infancy so stick with us to hear how it develops - both as a business and as the best product we can make for helping people have great journeys!
Lots of love,
Tom, Mark and the rest of the team. xx