Adam Mikkelsen (centre) with the rest of the Cangaroo team. Photo: ODD Company
The Malmö company's innovative addition to the last mile e-mobility sector has been covered by the The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Huffpost, CNN, and our sister site The Local France, although from the start sceptical voices were raised.
At the height of its viral coverage in May, the company put out a public statement insisting that the company was not a PR stunt.
“With a lot of initial questions along the line of 'is this for real?', we feel the need to underline that Cangaroo is 100% real,” it said in a statement.
But when The Local spoke to him, Mikkelsen admitted that the initial idea had been to make a stir and get a point across.
“It definitely started as some statement, I wouldn't say against, but in the micro mobility movement,” he said. “And a lot of things we do tend to divide the crowd, with 50 percent saying 'is this real?' and the other half wanting to try them out.”
He said that articles talking about the company dumping tens of thousands pogo sticks in cities across the world as e-scooter companies like Lime and Voi have done, are “delusional”.
“With the Cangaroo, I would definitely see it as a success even if we only managed to put out ten pogo sticks in two cities and then we're out of money,” he admitted.
“But we're not about making a statement by just making something up and not doing it, because then we might as well announce that we're doing flying cars or whatever.”
Adam Mikkelsen (right) with a prototype Cangaroo. Photo: ODD company
If the handful of pogo sticks the company hopes to release in Malmö in August are well received (and that is quite a big 'if'), Mikkelsen claimed he and the PR bureau aim to stick with the company.
“If everything is running smoothly and the demand and feedback is great, then we would absolutely continue to scale and expand like any startup would do,” he said.
The company, like its 2017 'Pause Pod' relaxation tent, have been developed by the company's ODD lab, which it uses for experimental projects that are not for real clients.
The Pause Pod relaxation tent the company released in 2017 raised 960,244 Swedish kronor on Kickstarter and then sold about 2,500 tents before ODD wound the company up. But it got massive media coverage.
In the past the company has created similar viral 'product ideas' for commercial clients, such as the Somersby grass slippers for Carlsberg, or the Hug Trench for the fashion brand Monki.
Mikkelsen said that even though both the Pause Pod and Cangaroo were part of the company's ODD Lab, and not for any particular client, the company aimed to use the buzz around Cangaroo to raise the profile of gay, lesbian and transgender charities.
“We are currently in talks with different Pride festivals, so we aims to use the product in the public space to allow people to take stand on something,” he said. “During Pride week our ambition is that if you jump on a pogo stick, you jump for free love.”
“So we're not going to use it as a campaign for a commercial company,” he concluded. “But if you look at charity organizations, they sometimes struggle to get their message out.”
So it it for real? It depends what 'real' means.