Why Did Revolights Go Out Of Business
Why Did Revolights Go Out Of Business

Why Did Revolights Go Out Of Business?

The technology world is full of success stories, but not every venture ends in triumph. Revolights, the ambitious startup behind a revolutionary product with the potential to revolutionize cycling safety, has become one of the latest casualties in Silicon Valley. Founded in 2011 by Kent Frankovich and Adam Pettler, Revolights aimed to make bicycles safer for nighttime riders with their innovative wheel-mounted lighting system.

However, despite its initial promise, the company ultimately succumbed to financial pressures and closed its doors in 2018. In this article we will examine why Revolights went out of business and explore how it might have been prevented.

The idea behind Revolights was simple – mount LED lights into bicycle rims that would illuminate when turning or cornering. This unique design allowed cyclists to be more visible on dark roads while also providing better peripheral vision than traditional front-facing bike headlights. The product quickly gained traction amongst cyclists who saw both practicality and aesthetic appeal in Revolights’ sleek look. Despite early interest from investors and retailers alike, however, problems soon began to arise as production costs mounted and sales stalled due to a lack of marketing resources.

Ultimately these factors caused Revolights’ demise; yet there may still have been ways for them to survive had they taken different steps along the way. By examining what happened at each stage of the company’s development, we can gain an insight into how startups can avoid similar pitfalls in future projects – particularly ones relying heavily on innovation like Revolights did.

Overview Of Revolights

Revolights represented a revolution in bicycle lighting technology. It was a concept that had the potential to change cycling safety forever and it attracted attention right away; first on Shark Tank, then in bike shops across America. Revolights used LED lighting along with two utility patents to create an innovative system of lights which could be attached directly onto any bike wheel. The idea was that this would provide cyclists with optimal visibility while riding at night, thus reducing the likelihood of accidents caused by poor visibility.

The technology behind Revolights was undeniably exciting and valuable but unfortunately, the company eventually went out of business. Despite having won awards such as “Product Innovation” from Outside Magazine, their sales were not sufficient for them to sustain profitability. This ultimately led to its demise after a few years on the market.

Revolights to make yourself seen!

History And Founders

Founded in 2011, Revolights was the brainchild of Kent Frankovich and Jim Houk. The two created a revolutionary lighting system that could be attached to bike wheels using USB chargers. Utilizing wireless LED lights, their product allowed cyclists to ride safely at night without having to worry about visibility problems. Despite its innovative design, Revolights eventually went out of business due to financial difficulties in 2017.

This was despite their success at selling over 20,000 sets worldwide via major retailers such as Amazon and Target. It is difficult to ascertain why exactly Revolights were unable to maintain their foothold in the market – perhaps it was down to the high price point or inadequate marketing efforts. In any case, the idea behind this unique lighting system continues to live on through other companies who have taken up the mantle of creating similar products for cyclists around the world.

Before Appearing On Shark Tank

Before appearing on the popular TV show Shark Tank, Revolights was a bike lighting system startup with high hopes of making it big. It had developed an innovative LED product that provided cyclists with 360-degree visibility and improved safety. The founders had managed to raise $2 million in seed funding from investors and were ready for their chance at success.

But then came their fateful appearance on Shark Tank: After presenting their business plan, none of the sharks invested in Revolights – leaving its founders feeling dejected and defeated. What they didn’t know was that this rejection would lead to the company’s eventual downfall. Below are some of the key factors which contributed to Revolight’s failure:

  • Lack of investor interest: Despite having raised $2 million in seed funding prior to their appearance on Shark Tank, none of the sharks chose to close a deal when given the opportunity. This lack of investor interest hampered Revolight’s ability to obtain additional capital for growth.
  • Competition: By 2017, several other companies had begun producing similar products, resulting in increased competition within the market and decreased demand for Revolights’ offerings.
  • Poor marketing strategy: As sales began to decline, Revolights did not have an effective plan in place to promote its products or engage with customers online.
  • Manufacturing issues: The production process was plagued by delays due to frequent design changes and supply chain disruptions, leading to further losses for the company.

In light of these challenges facing them, it became clear that continuing operations as usual simply wasn’t feasible anymore. Just two years after their failed attempt at securing investment on Shark Tank, Revolights announced that it would be shutting down its business operations entirely.

Cycling Fast After Dark
Cycling Fast After Dark

The Pitch To The Sharks

Revolights’ pitch to the Sharks was met with enthusiasm. Mark Cuban and Robert Herjavec were impressed by the product’s purposeful design, which offered side visibility via LED light rings that fit onto bike wheels. They also praised its ability to be controlled remotely through a mobile app. Though they didn’t invest in Revolights during their Shark Tank appearance, the company continued to grow after receiving an update on Shark Tank in 2017.

Unfortunately, despite growing revenue numbers and having sold more than 10,000 units worldwide, Revolights eventually went out of business due to a lack of capital and mounting debt. The company had explored selling itself but couldn’t find any willing buyers at the time. Despite this setback, members from Revolights continue working on innovative products for cyclists today.

Result Of The Shark Tank Pitch

Revolights found themselves in the midst of a crisis when they entered the Shark Tank. Their innovative bicycle lighting system had not only attracted two successful Kickstarter campaigns, but it also was receiving rave reviews from cyclists who praised its unique approach to bike safety. However, their product failed to impress the sharks and they were quickly dismissed without an investment offer.

Brake LightInnovative
Popular with Cyclists
LED Lighting SystemImproved visibilityLack of side visibility
Two Successful KickstartersProven demandLow profit margin

While Revolights’ LED lighting system provided improved visibility for cyclists and their two successful kickstarter campaigns showed proof-of-demand, it ultimately suffered from a lack of side visibility and a low profit margin. This made it difficult for them to compete in an already crowded marketplace, leading to their eventual demise as a company. The failure at the Shark Tank simply represented the culmination of these issues that couldn’t be overcome.

After Shark Tank Update

Having pitched on Shark Tank, Revolights was unable to secure funding and as a result, the company went out of business. After the broadcast, they received an influx of product support but their patents and brand find were not enough for them to continue operations.

The founders decided to close shop in 2016 after five years in business due to mounting financial pressures. They shared that despite having some success with consumer sales, it wasn’t enough to sustain the venture without more investor capital. The lack of funding coupled with other obstacles led them to make this difficult decision. Ultimately, Revolights was unable to keep up with competition from larger companies who had greater resources at their disposal.

What Is Revolights?

Revolights was a company that developed and manufactured a unique set of bicycle lights. The light set consisted of two circular discs, attached to the front and back wheels of bicycles, which were activated by movement. By providing adequate side visibility when riding at night or in low-light areas, Revolights made cycling safer and more enjoyable for riders. However, despite its innovative design, Revolights ultimately failed to make an impact on the market.

The main reason why Revolights ceased operations is due to a lack of acceptance among bike shops. Despite extensive marketing campaigns promoting their product, most retailers viewed it as too expensive or impractical for sale to customers. This combined with inadequate distribution channels meant that few cyclists ever got the chance to experience the benefits that Revolights could offer them. As such, the demand for this revolutionary lighting system never reached critical mass and eventually forced the company into bankruptcy.

Cyclists Can Be Hard To Spot
Cyclists Can Be Hard To Spot

How Does Revolights Work?

Revolights, an innovative bicycle lighting system developed by Kent Frankovich and Adam Pettler in 2011, is composed of two rings of LEDs that are mounted to the wheels. The lights turn on automatically when a cyclist starts pedaling and off when they stop. They also illuminate with additional sensors such as brake levers and ambient light detectors. Robert’s offer involved developing prototype hardware and launching it into production.

The Revolights system operates using an accelerometer positioned on each wheel hub that measures rotational speed. When the device detects movement, it activates the LED lights along both rims which project outward from the spokes. This provides cyclists with 360-degree visibility while cycling at night or in low-light conditions. Additionally, the sensors detect when a bike stops moving or has slowed down significantly and dims or turns off accordingly; this helps conserve battery life for longer rides.

Current Status Of Revolights

The journey of Revolights has been a rollercoaster. It began with the idea of creating an innovative, efficient and stylish bicycle lighting system. The concept gained traction quickly after winning multiple awards and gaining utility patents for their product. They even managed to get a deal with Robert Herjavec from Shark Tank that provided them with additional funding.

However, despite this initial success, they ultimately had to close down operations in 2018 due to lack of sales and insufficient capital to sustain themselves. This was compounded by numerous technical issues experienced during production which made it difficult for them to compete against more established companies in the industry. Despite these difficulties, Revolights still stands as one of the most successful startups in modern day cycling technology. With its legacy intact, the company continues to inspire many aspiring entrepreneurs looking for ways to innovate within their respective fields.

Frequently Asked Questions About Revolights

The demise of Revolights has left many inquiring into the circumstances surrounding its closure. To address common queries, this section will examine why Revolights went out of business and what their products were like.

Revolights was founded in 2011 by Adam Pettler and Jim Houk to develop a revolutionary bike light system which would be both stylish and safe. They produced two models: Revolights Coolidge, designed for urban riding; and Revolights Eclipse, made for off-road use. Both models featured wheel-mounted LED lights that illuminated whenever the cyclist turned, thus preventing bicycle accidents caused by poor visibility. In addition, each model had a removable USB charger so users could conveniently recharge their lights without having to remove them from the wheels.

Unfortunately, despite their innovative designs and customer satisfaction ratings, sales numbers weren’t high enough to sustain the company’s operations leading eventually to their closure in 2017. Nevertheless, though it may have been short lived, Revolights’ legacy will live on as an example of how creativity can lead to remarkable inventions even if they don’t always work out financially.

Riding As The Sun Goes Down
Riding As The Sun Goes Down

Frequently Asked Questions

What Was The Cost Of Revolights?

The cost of Revolights was considerable. The bike lights, which turned the front and back wheels into illuminated hoops, involved mounting eight LED-embedded plastic rings to a bicycle’s rims, running wires from each wheel across the frame, then connecting these wires to a hub containing batteries and power distribution circuitry. It all added up to an expensive proposition for consumers; depending on their model, customers could expect to pay between $180-230.

Moreover, there were several other factors that weighed heavily on Revolights’ financial performance. Firstly, production costs associated with creating the product were high due to its complex design. Secondly, shipping prices made it difficult for the company to compete in terms of price point compared to more entry-level competitors. Thirdly, despite generating some positive press attention over the years – including recognition in Popular Science magazine as one of “the best inventions” -Revolight never achieved mainstream status or broad consumer acceptance outside of niche cycling circles. Lastly, the market itself was crowded with competition who had greater resources and deeper pockets than Revolights – ultimately making it impossible for them to stay afloat in such a competitive space.

In summary:

  • Manufacturing costs were significant due to complexity of design
  • Shipping fees posed challenges when trying to remain competitive
  • Despite press attention Revolights failed achieve mass appeal
  • Market competition hindered their ability to survive financially Ultimately these issues proved too great for Revolights and they ceased operations in 2017 after failing to secure additional financing or find a suitable partner willing invest in the business.

What Other Investors Were Involved In Revolights?

Revolights, a company that developed bicycle lighting systems and accessories, had several investors involved in its development. The venture capital firms True Ventures and Lerer Hippeau invested alongside individual backers such as Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian. Other notable investors included the Silicon Valley accelerator Y Combinator and crowdfunding platform Indiegogo.

The initial investment was substantial, with Revolights raising over $2 million for their product launch in 2012. Unfortunately, this investment wasn’t enough to keep Revolights afloat. By 2018, the company had gone out of business due to lack of sales growth despite some promising early success. This could be attributed to market saturation or lack of an effective marketing strategy; however, no one can be sure why the company failed ultimately.

What Were The Safety Implications Of Using Revolights?

With the ability to be seen from up to 2 km away and highly integrated with smartphones, Revolights was an innovative bicycle light system that boasted a 70% market share in Europe. However, safety concerns were raised over its use due to a lack of reliable brake lights for cyclists.

To address these issues, Revolights worked on introducing features such as automatic braking detection and other measures to reduce cyclist injuries:

  • Automatic Braking Detection System: This feature allowed riders to have their brake lights activated whenever they stopped or slowed down.
  • Increased Visibility: The company also made improvements in terms of visibility by increasing the brightness level of the LEDs used in their lighting systems.
  • Improved Durability: They also focused on improving the durability of the product so it could withstand more wear and tear without needing frequent replacements.
  • Smartphone Integration: Another key safety feature was integrating smartphone notifications into their products which would alert riders if there were any unexpected changes in speed or direction.
  • Battery Life Extension: Finally, they developed technology which increased battery life by up to 50%, allowing users to enjoy longer rides without needing frequent recharging sessions.

These efforts were commendable but ultimately not enough to prevent Revolights going out of business due to numerous challenges faced by the company including financial mismanagement and patent disputes with competitors. Despite this setback, the development team’s focus on providing better safety solutions for cyclists remains an admirable achievement that continues to inspire innovation within this industry today.

What Other Products Were Introduced After Revolights?

Following the launch of Revolights in 2012, other products soon followed. The company began to expand its product range with a wheel-lighting system for bicycles and developed an app that allowed cyclists to connect their lights directly to smartphones. It also launched a range of bike accessories such as panniers, mudguards, and cargo racks.

In addition to bicycle lighting systems and accessories, Revolights also ventured into the automotive market with a car headlight upgrade kit. This was intended to provide drivers with greater visibility when driving at night or in poor weather conditions. While the kit offered some benefits compared to standard headlights, it did not gain traction among consumers due to its high cost and limited availability. As a result, this product line failed to generate significant revenue for the business and ultimately contributed to its closure.

What Specific Challenges Did Revolights Face That Led To Its Closure?

Revolights, a company specialising in bicycle lighting systems, has gone out of business. In order to understand the causes behind this closure, it is important to identify the specific challenges that Revolights faced.

The primary challenge for Revolights was competition from other firms offering cheaper products with similar capabilities. This left them unable to compete on price and forced them to focus more heavily on product differentiation. Furthermore, their products were not as widely available as those of their competitors due to limited distribution networks. Another issue arose when production costs increased significantly during 2017-2018, leading to higher prices which further impacted sales volume and profitability margins. Finally, there were issues with customer service; many customers complained about long wait times for response or resolution of complaints and technical problems.

These factors combined presented an insurmountable obstacle for Revolights; they simply could not keep up with their rivals nor make a profit at lower price points. As such, they had no choice but to close down operations in 2019 after nine years in business.


Revolights was a revolutionary concept, but ultimately fell short of success. Its high cost and safety concerns were major obstacles to its widespread adoption. Although other products featuring LED lights have gained traction in the market since Revolights’ closure, it remains an intriguing example of entrepreneurial ambition and technological innovation.

The unique product attracted some big-name investors; however, this wasn’t enough to secure its future. Despite raising almost $2 million through crowdfunding campaigns, Revolights couldn’t sustain itself financially. I believe that if the company had been able to reduce its costs or attract more outside investment, things could have been different for them.

Interestingly, a survey conducted by one bike magazine revealed that 52% of cyclists would never consider using light systems such as those offered by Revolights due to safety concerns. This suggests that while the technology behind it is impressive, there are still significant challenges in terms of public perception that need to be addressed before similar products can truly take off commercially.

Ultimately, although Revolights may not have achieved commercial success during its lifetime, we should remember their innovative spirit and recognise their contributions towards cycling culture and urban transport infrastructure.