In our latest series, we’re getting to grips with the brands that you deal with every day.
Mar 28, 2018
In our latest series, we’re getting to grips with the brands that you deal with every day. The ‘Five minutes with’ series will present a company with five short, sharp and to-the-point questions about who they are and what they do. This week we’re joined by Hövding CEO Fredrik Carling.
Can you tell us the history of the company?
Hövding was invented over a decade ago in 2005, by two Swedish design students as part of their Master thesis. The project was well received by the university community and, following its initial success, the pair entered one of the most prestigious design innovation shows in Sweden, Innovationsbron. Here they won the Ideas Grant that allowed the pair to start developing their idea into a real safety product for urban cyclists. Fast forward to 2012 and Hövding was finally released – first to the Swedish market and, not long after, the wider European market and Japan followed suit.
In 2015, the company released the Hövding 2.0 – a new, lighter version of the product, which was also programmed to work on foldable bikes such as Bromptons. To date, more than 1,200 stores stock Hövding and 73,000 have been purchased by cyclists across the globe. What’s more, the company is aware of over 1,600 cases where the airbag has potentially saved a cyclist’s life.
What are you ultimately trying to achieve?
Our main aim at Hövding is to make cycling more enjoyable and accessible, whilst keeping people safe. Indeed, we know that half of our customers never wore head protection before discovering our product. I find this encouraging as, thanks to Hövding, those people are now protected when on the road.
In the wider scope of things, I always remember something we used to say early on in the inception of the company. The founders used to say that they felt like they had made the impossible possible. Before Hövding, no one could imagine a viable alternative to cycling helmets – let alone a safer one – and an airbag for cyclists was impossible to picture. This pushing of boundaries and challenging of the status quo has stuck with the company, and I always hope to inspire others with our story.