PopSockets raises funds to increase production
Last Updated: 15:36 May 2, 2014
Boulder-based PopSockets - founded by University of Colorado philosophy professor David Barnett - actually was awarded $365,000 in equity, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. But Barnett said a portion of that was equity granted to people who have contributed to the development of the company over the past four years.
The company's PopSockets For All, launched in November, are round plastic handles that adhere to the back of a smartphone or tablet. When folded down, they're about the thickness of a phone case. When popped out, they protrude about an inch from the phone and can be used individually or in pairs.
Barnett came up with the idea as a way to keep his phone's hands-free headset orderly when not in use. But he quickly realized the product could be used as a stand for phones and tablets, or as handles for a variety of uses like gaming.
"I was frustrated with my headset tangling all the time," Barnett said. "That was the initial motivation for the invention. It just kept evolving where it looked like it could be valuable for other people, too."
Founded in 2010 as iButton, PopSockets raised more than $18,000 through a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign in 2012 and signed an exclusive licensing deal with Case-Mate. But the deal with Case-Mate fell through, delaying the launch of the PopSockets For All by several more months.
"It's been a long process," Barnett said.
Barnett said the company has sold about 13,000 PopSockets For All, which retail on the company's website for $9.95 per pair and can be customized with pictures or logos or different colors.
The iPhone 5 case, which has the PopSockets built into it, is slated for launch by the end of May or early June. If that goes well, Barnett said a Samsung case and possibly tablet cases could follow as well. The iPhone case will sell for $29.95 plus customization.
PopSockets recently moved into space at 1245 Pearl St. The four-employee company's parts are manufactured in China, but assembly, customization, packaging and order fulfillment is done in Boulder.
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