The global helmet market encompasses a large number of applications that are under constant development.
Although the market for helmets is very large, no aggregate global data are available. Mips has therefore chosen to describe the part of the market for which concrete data are available and where the company also sees an opportunity for integration of the Mips safety system.
Mips estimates that its total market today is 550 million helmets annually. Based on this estimate, the company has chosen to organize its operations into three different categories:
1. Sports helmets
2. Moto helmets
3. Safety helmets
1. The market for different types of Sports helmets is estimated at 65 million helmets sold annually. Bike helmets account for the largest proportion of these helmets, but the category also includes helmets for snow sports, equestrian helmets, and helmets for various team sports.
2. The market for the Moto category, like the market for Sports helmets, is estimated at 85 million helmets annually. Mips has chosen to divide the Moto category into two subcategories:
I) On-road helmets
II) Off-road helmets
Some of the helmets in this category are also used in other areas of use such as snowmobiling, car driving, and other activities involving travel at high speeds.
3. The largest category of those referred to above is Safety helmets, estimated at 400 million helmets annually, including 390 million helmets for industrial use and 10 million in Law Enforcement and Armed Forces (LEAF), which include helmets for police, the military and rescue services.
Mips aims to be able to offer its solution to as many helmet users as possible all over the world. However, applications are limited in some respects by the following factors:
1. Mips works based on the principle that it must be scientifically proven that the company’s technology improves the safety of the helmet in which the Mips safety system is implemented.
2. There is a price floor for helmets in which the Mips safety system is offered, which is currently USD 25.
Historically, Mips’ safety system has mainly been implemented in helmets with higher price points.
As demand has increased and the company has developed new solutions that make it possible to offer products at lower price points as well, the addressable market has grown.
Although Mips is the market leader in solutions designed for handling rotational motion which may be transferred to the brain, to date the company has only penetrated a small portion of the total market.
Mips is currently the market-leading player in helmet-based solutions for protection against rotational motion. Current competitors on the market offer solutions in only a few helmet models and helmet categories. Increased awareness of the importance of protection against rotational motion is likely to increase demand for rotational protection. One likely consequence is that competition from other players will increase.
Among those competitors who currently market a solution that is alleged to protect against the rotational motion, there is a distinction between those players who serve as ingredient brands and helmet brands that have developed their technologies. Competition from other ingredient brands that market a solution for protection against the rotational motion is currently limited to a few players who have a few customers as a base. Several helmet brands in the market have developed their technology, but in such cases, the technology is limited to a single brand, thus, competition from these players is limited. In addition, Mips has a broad patent portfolio that to a certain extent limits the opportunity for other players to launch new competing technologies.
Mips addresses three helmet categories: Sports, Moto, and Safety helmets.
Historically, the Mips safety system has mainly been implemented in helmets at higher price points, but today the company offers products that can be implemented in helmets at price points as low as USD 25. Previously, replacement cycles for helmet users in Sports helmets have been estimated at an average of five to eight years. Although no newer data is available regarding how often helmets are replaced, Mips estimates that the replacement cycles have been shortened more and more. Below is a summary of the main subcategories of the Sports helmets category.
Bicycle helmets are the single largest subcategory of Sports helmets, with an estimated annual volume of 50 million helmets. Mips believes that the greatest limitation in this subcategory is the price level since Mips safety system is currently only implemented in helmets that cost more than USD 25 on the market. This portion of the bike helmet market is estimated at 35 million helmets annually.
The bike helmet market is divided primarily into helmets for daily use and commuting, helmets for road biking, helmets for mountain biking, and children’s helmets, where helmets for daily use represent the largest portion. Helmets for electric bikes are a rapidly growing subcategory, though it still represents only a small portion of the total bike helmet market.
Bike helmets currently comprise Mips’ largest sales area by far and this subcategory is the source of the majority of Mips’ revenues. Awareness of Mips technology in this market is relatively high, with the greatest awareness in the US market, followed by the European market. In the rest of the world, awareness of Mips’ technology is still relatively low. Mips has delivered bike helmet solutions since 2010.
The Snow helmets category is one of the larger subcategories in the Sports helmets category. Snow helmets are used for both skiing and snowboarding. The helmets are usually divided into helmets for recreational use (children/family/novice and intermediate levels) and helmets for advanced use (alpine and freestyle). Awareness of Mips technology is high in this subcategory and deviations from this are often geographic. Mips has delivered snow helmet solutions since 2010.
Equestrian helmets are divided into helmets for equestrian sports and polo. Interest in Mips technology from this category has historically been low but has substantially increased in recent years. However, awareness of Mips technology in this subcategory remains low. Mips has delivered equestrian helmet solutions since 2007.
The Team sports helmet subcategory is relatively large and is divided into several different team sports. The major team sports in which helmets are used are primarily American football, ice hockey, and lacrosse. Awareness of Mips’ technology in team sports is relatively low. Mips has delivered team sports solutions since 2019.
The category “Other” includes helmets for activities such as climbing, snowmobiling, and white water rafting. In 2019 the company only delivered solutions for climbing helmets in this subcategory. Awareness of Mips technology in this subcategory is low. Mips has delivered solutions for helmets in this subcategory since 2018.
The moto market is a large global market that is fragmented in terms of both type and geography. The category can be divided into two different subcategories: on-road helmets (which include road motorcycle and scooter helmets) and off-road helmets (which include helmets for motocross and other off-road activities). Mips sees a large addressable market in both these sub-categories. The awareness of Mips’ technology is today higher in the off-road sub-category than in the on-road sub-category. Mips has delivered solutions for helmets in this category since 2013.
Helmets in the Safety category can be divided into two main subcategories: safety helmets for industrial use (mainly in the construction, manufacturing, mining, and oil industries) and helmets in Law Enforcement and Armed Forces (LEAF).
The market for the subcategory industrial use helmets is large and estimated at more than 400 million helmets annually. The majority of these helmets are “Type I helmets”, which are a simpler form of helmets primarily intended to protect against falling objects. This type of helmet is less expensive and costs around USD 10-15. The other type of helmet in this safety helmet subcategory is “Type II helmets”, which have been added in recent years; these helmets have their origin in climbing helmets and offer more complete protection. There are different types of helmets in the class “Type II helmets” that are intended for different types of certification. These helmets are priced at USD 50–100. In 2019 the company delivered a solution for safety helmets for the first time.
Mips estimates that the market for helmets intended for LEAF is more than 10 million helmets annually. Mips has launched solutions in this subcategory, but to date has only delivered a limited number of Mips safety system units for LEAF helmets. The main subcategories within the helmet market for LEAF are briefly described below.
Military – The subcategory of helmets for military use is divided into helmets for ground forces and helmets used in the air force. Helmets for ground forces are used by both regular troops and special forces. Mips is initially concentrating on helmets for special units, with the long-term ambition of also providing Mips solutions for helmets used by regular troops and the air force. A distinctive feature of military helmets is that the inner liner of the helmet is usually replaced once or twice a year, which represents an interesting aftermarket for Mips.
Police – The market for police helmets comprises helmets for riot police and helmets for ballistic protection. The latter use helmets that are often the same as those used by military special forces; these helmets are also expected to represent an interesting aftermarket since the inner liner is usually replaced once or twice a year.
Rescue services – Helmets for rescue service workers include firefighters’ helmets (used by smoke divers), and helmets used in other rescue situations including traffic accidents, forest fires, ambulance emergency response operations, and search and rescue missions at high heights and on the water. Mips currently delivers solutions used in search and rescue helmets.