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The Launch of Stark Drive
Stark Drive originally launched our unbelievably affordable and configurable electric bike on Indiegogo in February 2017. We were immediately criticized for being a 'scam' and that our bike must have been made of 'plastic' by a notable competitor Mate.bike whom had launched their electric bike several months prior on the same platform. Our launch must have been concerning to them as our bike was approximately half the price of their bike with a similar folding frame style.
A week later our campaign on indiegogo was cancelled and all funds refunded to our backers, at the time this was several hundred thousand dollars. Indiegogo at the time never contacted our team to inquire about any issues or questions that they had with our product and in fact we had been conjold originally by indiegogo to use their platform for our product with months of back and forth with their team to hone and refine our launch to ensure success.
Indiegogo broke off all contact with Stark Drive and would not respond to any messages.
As you can imagine this was a devastating turn of events for our team considering the over year long concerted effort that went into all the preparations in designing our ebike, not to mention the time spent on sourcing, contracts with our assembly partners, website design, advertising....the list goes on.
This seemed to be something of a personal vendetta from one of the founders of Mate.bike: Christian Adel Michael whom even reached out to our CEO Oscar Stark on facebook and told us that we should not launch that we had no idea about budgeting and that we were going to run into patent issues
Right Christian, patent issues on a bike that had been open source since around 2011 if not earlier and sold under various brand names around the world, not unlike the Mate or Mate X.
Oscar Stark took the rather unorthodoxx matter into his own hands and actually booked a trip to New York and went directly to Indiegogo's offices there in order to discuss 'launching an electric bike' on their platform, unannounced and without any meeting booked.
It was finally after this meeting that we heard from Indiegogo and they revealed WHY our campaign had been cancelled. Mate.bike International Aps used their lawyer to send a DMCA notice to indiegogo claiming we infringed on their 'patents'. These non-existent patents were not confirmed nor investigated before the platform took action to end our campaign and Christian ecstatic with the result even reached to Oscar again on facebook to gloat before blocking him.
Suffice to say, we did not give up there. After retooling our website we launched starkdrive.bike as a crowdfunding venture from our own website. While the traffic to our website is nowhere near what Indiegogo would receive in a typical day, our sales exploded and Stark Drive was alive again.
A few months later, we finally started delivering our electric bikes and ironically if what we have heard from the grapevine is correct we actually delivered our first Stark Drive batch before Mate had shipped their bikes out which had been delayed over a year from their originally delivery date
While in the playground that would have been the end of it, unfortunately for Mate and Christian, we are adults running companies and when you tortiously interfere with a company there are repercussions.
Check out this short 10 page history in graphical form below. You are welcome to download it and spread the word.
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