[Updated 6/14/18 5:58 p.m. See below.] Fasetto, a Superior, WI-based company that develops solid-state storage drives and cloud-based software for instantly sharing files, on Thursday announced a new product aimed at helping users store and broadcast digital presentations.
In addition to unveiling its latest device, which it calls Forum, Fasetto launched a crowdfunding campaign on the website Indiegogo allowing customers to pre-order the new device. As of Thursday evening, the campaign had raised $27,236 from 134 backers, surpassing its four-week fundraising goal of $25,000.
By pledging money to Fasetto’s Indiegogo campaign, people can pre-order a Forum device for $199, which the company says is a 50 percent discount to its list price. Accessories, such as battery and travel cases for Forum, are also half off for those who support Fasetto’s crowdfunding efforts.
If all goes as planned, the company plans to begin shipping the devices to customers in North America in November, and to other continents in December. That’s according to a production timeline on the Forum Indiegogo page.
Forum is designed to store PowerPoint documents and other digital presentation files, and lets users wirelessly broadcast presentations to up to 30 Internet-connected devices, Fasetto says in a press release. Forum creates its own local, private Wi-Fi signal, the company says; its description of the feature makes it sound similar to the mobile hotspot functionality available on many of today’s most popular smartphones.
Computers that run on a variety of operating systems, including Windows, Macintosh, and Linux, are able to exchange data with Forum, Fasetto says.
Forum is powered by a rechargeable battery and is small enough to fit into the average person’s jeans pockets, the company says.
In addition to Fasetto’s entry-level Forum model, the Indiegogo campaign page also lists a version of the device that can be configured to send and receive information from Amazon’s (NASDAQ: AMZN) voice-controlled speaker devices, such as Echo and Echo Dot. This integration makes it possible for a presenter to control the slide deck using her voice, rather than a mouse or clicker, Fasetto says. The list price of the Amazon-compatible model is $1,500, but Fasetto is offering a $500 discount to anyone who pre-orders one of the devices.
Other presentation-focused gadgets that share features with Forum include Airtame, Barco’s WePresent, and Kramer Electronics’ Via Go. There’s also a seemingly endless list of video conferencing software applications, such as Google Hangouts, GoToMeeting, Zoom, and WebEx. Many of these services allow people to give other users permission to view their screens, which might show a PowerPoint slideshow or other presentation.
They’re all part of a broader effort to use new technologies to make meetings more effective and efficient, particularly as companies employ larger numbers of remote workers. (Fasetto says it can wirelessly broadcast to tens of thousands of devices when Forum is connected to a broadband network; the 30-device limit applies to nearby devices that can pick up Forum’s Wi-Fi signal.)
Another product manufactured and sold by Fasetto is Link, a drive that can store multiple terabytes of data and allows a user to exchange information with any Wi-Fi-enabled device, even when there’s no Internet connection available.
Coy Christmas, the company’s co-founder and CEO, says it alerted some existing customers who receive regular updates from Fasetto that it was getting set to unveil a new product and accompanying crowdfunding campaign. The company held a launch party at its headquarters on Wednesday night, which “was a big hit with … supporters who have been following our progress for some time,” Christmas says through a company spokespeson. [Updated with information from Coy Christmas.]
Christmas and chief technology officer Luke Malpass founded Fasetto in 2013 with a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter. It raised more than $150,000 from 194 backers, making it Wisconsin’s second highest-grossing crowdfunding campaign at the time.
More recent Badger State crowdfunding campaigns include one in 2016 by Breathe For Change that raised nearly $75,000. And just last month, Bloxvox launched a campaign on Kickstarter. More than three weeks into the campaign, it has raised more than $4,300 from 54 backers.
Fasetto has raised nearly $6 million in equity financing in the five years it’s been in business, SEC filings show. The latest investment in the company was a $4.1 million round of funding that Fasetto disclosed to securities regulators in April.