April 2017 Update
We hope everyone had a wonderful 4/20 weekend.
We're sorry for our lateness in update. We've had a lot of scares and turbulence over the past few weeks, and we're a small (but awesome) team, just trying to make a lot happen for everyone. We just ask that you please keep this in mind, and know that if we haven't updated, we're going crazy and aren't able to report anything we feel fully confident in saying yet.
That being said, we have great news to share: Loto Labs is a considerable way through production now, and we will begin shipping within the last two weeks of May, as quickly as they're assembled. So, we WILL, for sure, begin shipping in May, and continue to ship from then on, as soon as they're off the production line. We are extremely relieved to report this.
During the pause in production, we took to the opportunity to make some great, but not-too-dramatic, design improvements to the Loto Labs body, shrinking it a bit, and making it even prettier and more ergonomic. These were improvements we had slated for further down the line, but were able to finish and implement astonishingly quickly, before our engineers were done with the board changes. We’re genuinely, thoroughly proud of how everything turned out. Take a look at her makeover below and please let us know what you think!
After production resumed, we got the upsetting news that the tooling for the metal bodies was going to to take up to 12 weeks! This was totally unacceptable and very different from the initial information we were given, so it was especially tough to swallow. We immediately began researching all possible solutions, scouring the earth for suppliers and metal workers, and crunching numbers. Ultimately, we decided to spend a great deal more to have the metal frames for our initial units machined using a reductive metal process -a far more expensive, but initially quicker, process, with no tooling or sacrifice on quality. Concurrently, we are getting the tooling underway for future production, which is essential for larger batch sizes. This is the only way we'd be able to meet our expectation to ship in May, and continue to ship during the lenghy tooling process. Obviously, we had to do it. The image you see above is what it will look like. :)
What does this all mean? Well, we are projecting that all (to-date) pre-sale online purchases will have shipped by the end of May, as well as units for our first 60 IndieGogo supporters. We will continue fulfilling remaining supporters in the months that follow. The cost to manufacture initial units is substantially greater than individual donations. Despite this, we conservatively estimate that fulfilling crowdfunders, in order of earliest contribution to latest, will take no more than four months, while also fulfilling all legal obligations to pre-sales and ongoing sales. It could be less time, depending entirely on sales. We are extremely motivated to make sure all our contributors receive units as quickly as humanly and financially possible. We've adjusted a lot to make sure we do so in just a matter of months.
Additionally, we're happy to announce that 1% of all revenue from this date forward will go to fund cancer research—we are still in the process of picking the exact charity, but will announce our decision as soon as it’s made. Contributing towards the obliteration of this awful disease is one of the primary reasons we started Loto Labs, and it's a promise we made to ourselves from the beginning. So, we’re glad we can soon begin making modest efforts toward a cause that’s personally very important and nonnegotiable to us. We are very anxious to increase that percentage as soon as all prior commitments have been fulfilled.
Anyway, that's all we've got for now. We will have some exciting announcements in store in coming weeks. Again, from everyone in the Loto Family, we wish you the happiest and safest of 4/20 weekends, and hope the vibes are nothing short of grand wherever you are.
Peace, love, and vaping,
The Loto Labs Team