Buy crowdfunded inventions with Bitcoin
We recently sat down with Nathalie De Clercq, co-founder of Wiplabs.com. Wiplabs.com is a website that brings together successful crowdfunding projects/products from inventors and sells them worldwide. So where does cryptocurrency come in you ask, well, read on and find out!
Crowdfunding has become an incredibly popular financing method over the years, with some of the most popular campaigns raising millions. Crowdfunds essentially work by allowing customers to donate or invest in goods or services in their developmental stage. The issue is finding something you’re willing to put your money towards, as it means trawling through platforms such as Indiegogo or Kickstarter. This is where WipLabs comes in.
WipLabs (WIP meaning Work In Progress) is an online shop which hand-picks brand-new gadgets and inventions from crowdfunding projects, doing all the work for you. It serves as a middle-man between you and the campaign, making it simple to buy brand-new gadgets instantly and simply. Importantly, it only picks ones that are available to purchase right now. Many of the best-selling items are sleek, mobile-related accessories such as phone cases, charging stations and docks. But look a little deeper and you can find some really cool high-end products, like levitating lightbulbs and speakers.
And good news for crypto-enthusiasts: they are one of the few platforms currently accepting Bitcoin!
Hi, Nathalie! First off, what did you do before Wiplabs?
Hello! I did quite a few different things: worked for a Fortune 500 company for 7 years, I was their procurement manager for Europe; started a company called Rogue Concepts which sold fashion/tech accessories, and was a European pop singer.
What was the inspiration behind starting the store?
We wanted to have a store available for special and unique gadgets that didn’t really exist anywhere else and that solved little problems with style.
How long has the store been open?
We’ve been around since 2012. Almost 6 years.
What has the reception been like?
Happy to say that it’s been great. We have a lot of very dedicated shoppers and newcomers that enjoy the selection as well.
How big is the Wiplabs team, and where are you based?
We’re still growing! We have five employees and are based in NY, NJ, and Oman at the moment.
Do you ship internationally, and do you accept returns?
Yes and yes.
How does Wiplabs decide which items to display?
A perfect product would be tech or design related, unique, high quality, solving a problem and created by responsible and professional entrepreneurs. You can already tell a lot about how great a product will do on our platform by studying their crowdfunding campaign. Questions like: ‘Were they responsive and fair to their backers?’ ‘Did they properly manage quality issues?’ ‘Did they deliver on time?’ all help to decide whether it will be a company that we will want on Wiplabs.
What is your favorite item in store currently?
Hmmm… that’s a tough one. I love the Slope. So versatile and so great for iPhone X face recognition! Also, I love the ClutchIt and the OrbitKey and all our cables (top of the line).
Most of the items in the shop are cool little gadgets. Have you got any plans to start selling bigger, pricier items in future?
We have a couple products that are around the $350 price range (speakers and lights) but yes most are under $100. But we’re definitely open to more expensive items if they fit our criteria.
Why have you recently decided to start accepting Bitcoin?
My partner, Kevin Wippermann, follows cryptocurrency very closely, it was natural for us to accept it as soon as we did.
How do you predict it will change the way that Wiplabs operates?
We just want to be able to make it easy for our clients to shop. If their wealth is in cryptos, we won’t discriminate. I think it’ll also show others that we’re forward-thinking and open-minded.
Finally, are there any plans to expand Wiplabs?
Yes, we’ll always be growing. Keeping our legacy products and constantly curating new ones to add to the list. Tech moves fast and we plan to follow closely so our audience has plenty of new products every time they come back to visit.
It will be really interesting to see what crowdfunded gadgets people come up with next, and useful to know that you can now use Bitcoin to get them. So, if you can’t wait to get your hands on some shiny new tech, or if you’ve forgotten that it’s your significant other’s birthday in a few days, head on over to the WIPLabs store now! You can also follow them on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to make sure you don’t miss out on anything.
Big thanks to Nathalie for taking time out of her schedule to talk to us here at CryptoCurrencyNews.