YBIKE Evolve, a three-in-one pedal trike and balance bike combination for kids, has broken all records in South Africa by raising over R32 500 of its required R100 000 start-up funding in just one week via online crowdfunding café, Thundafund.

Chrome Cherry Design Studio, the industrial design and product development company that created YBIKE Evolve, has joined the growing number of South African designers and entrepreneurs who are taking their creations straight to their customers via the Internet.

By allowing those who are just as excited about their new products as they are to pre-order, they have not only begun to raise capital but built a supportive fan base that has, quite literally, bought into their business.

Jaco Kruger, co-founder of Chrome Cherry Design Studios and MD of YBIKE, explains: “Because we’re pushing the boundaries to create a bike that not only grows with your child but promotes the development of gross motor skills, balance and co-ordination, we thought we’d take an out-of-the-box approach to funding the growth of our business through crowdfunding which is taking off at an enormous rate worldwide.”

The original YBIKE ride-on was launched in 2007 and has proved an international success. The new Evolve trike-bike follows in its footsteps and does exactly as its name suggests – it grows and changes along with a child’s riding ability. The Evolve starts out as a three-wheeler trike to develop peddling skills before transforming into a balance trike and then, finally, into an advanced balance bike.

A number of pre-order specials are available. The Early Wheel Special will see each of those providing a R650 “pledge” receive a red Evolve valued at R1 500 in October. Right now, there are just 11 out of 50 left.

Parents can also turn their child into a star. A R1 250 pledge will ensure their child appears on all of Evolve’s packaging for a year, in addition to receiving a limited edition three-in-one tricycle and balance bike.

When YBIKE Evolve reaches its next milestone of R100 000, it will ensure an international launch of the product as well.

“You would have helped us cover what we needed to pay for the tooling and prototyping for your new YBIKE Evolve and it’ll be a massive boost for us in getting the message out there about our new trike and what it can do for kids development – that’s apart from just being a seriously cool bike that’s a load of fun to ride,” says Kruger.

The final target of R200 000 will allow these trendy young designers to get the next generation of YBIKES into the design studio and the next generation of youngsters on the road.