November 1, 2015, Updated November 2, 2015

It took the Israeli-designed G-RO  carry-on bag less than 24 hours to beat its Kickstarter goal of $125,000. And two weeks to roll past $1 million in funding.

The Travel-Light team behind the 60-day campaign hopes the community-at-large will now support it through stretch goals.

Have a look at the cool design and the big side wheels and you’ll see why an international group of travelers believes this bag will finally take the “lug” out of “luggage.”

“The most important thing, more than the money, was to see the trend; that we meet the demand,” Travel-Light’s founder and CEO Netta Shalgi tells ISRAEL21c. “I want to see a bigger trend.”

The G-RO has revolutionary design aspects: large-diameter wheels that enable easy wheeling over rugged surfaces and terrain, such as gravel, curbs, cobblestone, snow and icy sidewalks; and a built-in tablet stand and charging station with two USB ports.

G-RO bags have lots of helpful features, like this work compartment. Photo: courtesy
G-RO bags have lots of helpful features, like this work compartment. Photo: courtesy

There’s also an optional electronic module that fits into the G-RO with a 23,000 milliampere hour (mAh) battery to charge your phone, tablet and laptop all at once, a universal power outlet for your laptop, a location tracker and a wireless proximity detector. The module is extractable, as not all airports allow high-capacity chargers (the US and Europe allow it; Asian countries vary).

“The latest ‘game-changing’ luggage configuration – the four-wheel ‘spinner’ luggage with 360-degree turning capabilities, was introduced globally by Samsonite in 1990, more than 25 years ago, but the four-wheel luggage doesn’t really work outside of a perfectly flat space. We wanted everyone to have a better carry-on and a better luggage,” says Shalgi.

The configuration of the wheels affords better mobility on uneven terrain. Photo: courtesy
The configuration of the wheels affords better mobility on uneven terrain. Photo: courtesy

“We like to call G-RO the on-the-go hero. It’s the world’s first luggage that isn’t just smart, it’s intelligent.”

This is not the first Israeli disruption of the luggage market. Late last year, Fugu Luggage  introduced the first expandable suitcase. The Jerusalem team’s goal was to raise $50,000 and it ended up with $433,684.

Shalgi, who runs his own design studio in Tel Aviv, and cofounder and strategist Ken Hertz, who lives out of his suitcase 200 days a year, set up the Travel-Light company in 2010. Shalgi says they only turned to crowdfunding now because they wanted be sure their carry-on ergonomic solution for travelers’ needs was ready to roll out of a factory when asking for strangers to support them.

“The actual goal in Kickstarter is units, not money. We want to get G-RO in a serious production line in China,” says Shalgi, noting he has been to the People’s Republic of China several times in the past year.

Shalgi tells ISRAEL21c that much of the G-RO development and model testing was done at the same facility that already produces high-end luggage.

Now the question remains how much demand G-RO can build for its smart luggage. Looking at other crowdfunding campaigns like Bluesmart  ($2,197,309 raised in a 2014 indiegogo campaign) or Trunkster  ($1,395,370 in a 2015 Kickstarter project), it would seem the travel market is serious about finding an intelligent luggage solution.

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Jason Harris

Jason Harris

Executive Director

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