Feature on New Zealand's National Radio Station
KEA Outdoors founder, Matt Butler on the RNZ Panel:
Feature in 'Beyond Boundaries' the 4WD Adventure Magazine.
Feature in New Zealand's National Press - Stuff.co.nz
Experienced fly-fishing guide Matt Butler has launched a new outdoor survival kit which has attracted more than $100,000 pre-sales in a week on American crowdfunding platform Kickstarter.
Based in Wanaka, Butler, had been packed and ready last year to travel to Central America and South America in his “off season” but Covid -19 stopped that plan in its tracks.
Frustrated with the messiness of various safety and survival items in the bottom of his pack, he decided to tackle an idea he had had for a long time to design a well-organised, easy to carry and high quality outdoor survival kit.
Covid was “a blessing in disguise because it cut everything off and forced me to sit and think and finally do something”.
His “Kea Kit” has more than 30 items of survival gear organised into five separate modules in a 1.8 kilogram small, water-resistant case.
The five modules were based on the five key survival pillars, which were shelter, water, tools, medical items and fire. Items include fire lighting tools, first aid kit, emergency blanket, head torch, knife and a fly for shelter.
“You can either chuck the whole thing in your bag and take it for the whole day, or you can just take out the bits you need on shorter trips like the medical kit if you are just going for a short day fish or a hike or something.”
It was aimed at the “weekend warrior”, and beginners or intermediate outdoor enthusiasts, and those going fishing and camping and walking, who wanted quality, durable survival gear and the convenience of it all in one place.
He saw a gap in the market which he knows well and spent the past year, designing, refining and putting prototypes together, while he lived off his savings. With the borders closed, 95 per cent of his customers, mostly American, were shut out and his fly-fishing guide business shut up shop.
“I knew if I put all my effort into the pre-launch I’d be able to do well.”
He raised $25,000 on the first day of his Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign and more than $100,000 in the first week. He has just over three weeks to go and is hoping to raise more than $200,000.
The commitments from “backers” were essentially pre-orders that would enable him to pay for the manufacturing and packing of the kits in Thailand, he said. He had sold almost 650 in the last week. Delivery is planned for November.
At the moment 40 per cent of the orders came from the United States, 20 per cent from New Zealand and 15 per cent each from Australia and Canada.
“Crowdfunding is good because it removes the risk of doing something if you aren't sure about demand.”
Kickstarter was an excellent marketing platform for testing demand because it had about 30 million views a week.
"The campaign is now ranked the 2nd most funded in the design category for New Zealand which is a great achievement considering the platform launched here back in 2013"
Feature in 'Adventure Magazine'
Wanaka based Kiwi startup, beREDI Outdoors launched its first product this week to help people better prepare for all their outdoor adventures. With more Kiwi’s choosing to explore their own backyard due to travel restrictions, it’s never been more important to push home the message of being fully prepared when heading into the outdoors.
beREDI has since launched the KEA KIT, a compact, organised and modular outdoor survival kit that includes everything and nothing you don’t to survive and thrive in the wild.
Following it’s launch on Kickstarter on the 1st June, the KEA KIT has raised over $100,000 in pre-orders in just 7 days, from a group of over 550 backers. The Kickstarter platform allows beREDI to raise the funds required to do a mass production run of the kit, a cost that would be prohibitive without the support of their backers.
Matt Butler, the founder of beREDI and Wanaka Fly Fishing Guide says he’s been humbled by the positive response, “I set off on this journey to develop a new product over a year ago, after the Covid-19 border closures decimated my guiding business. I was always frustrated with carrying all my essential survival gear in such a cumbersome and unorganised way, so I decided to create a better solution. I put a lot of effort into ensuring the KEA KIT was both functional and versatile so it was suitable for all type of adventures. It’s just great to see that all the hard work is resonating with other outdoor enthusiasts like myself and I’m pretty stoked with how it’s all going so far!”
beREDI has also partnered with the Kea Conservation Trust to support them in their mission to protect the Kea population, by donating several KEA KIT to help keep their field workers fully prepared. Matt says, “I have a deep passion for the Kea and hope to not only drive awareness of their plight but also support where we can as a small startup”.