Oru Kayak, a MicroVentures portfolio company, was featured yesterday on CNBC’s Power Pitch. What is an Oru Kayak? It’s an elegant and compact kayak that can be folded into a portable carrying case. Using the principles of origami, the team at Oru Kayak has figured out a way to make a kayak light enough to carry in a shoulder bag but durable enough to handle six-foot waves. In short, it’s a 12-foot kayak that fits in the trunk of your car. Less than five minutes later, it’s fully assembled and ready to go in the water.
Kayak transportation and storage have traditionally kept people from enjoying the sport, but by removing those barriers, Oru Kayak has given the kayaking industry a new lease on life. The product is now available at REI, West Marine, and other major outdoor retailers.
Oru Kayak first turned to Kickstarter for funding in 2012, raising over $100k on the first day of its campaign. It still remains one of the most successful outdoor products ever listed on Kickstarter, and the first kayaks shipped in the spring of 2013. A year later, MicroVentures was proud to participate in Oru Kayak’s seed funding in Q3 2014, raising $367k for the company in an equity round on the MicroVentures platform.
In the CNBC Power Pitch segment, co-founder Roberto Gutierrez talks about the product’s unique design, the company’s manufacturing and distribution strategies, and how they’ve made kayaking accessible to more people. “A lot of people coming to our website and buying kayaks are first-time paddlers,” he says. “Many of them have never kayaked before. So we’re breaking down barriers there.”
Stay tuned to the MicroVentures blog for future updates on Oru Kayak and our other MicroVentures portfolio companies.