KUMO was a an evolution of the MiniVan that was sold through Kickstarter. Billed as "The Next Generation MiniVan", it was the first TheVanKeyboards design to feature a hotswap PCB, RGB indicator LEDs, and an injection-molded plastic case.
The Kickstarter raised $93,257 on a goal of $85,000 with a total of 618 backers. KUMO shipped with a PCB, plastic case, USB C to A cable, a custom keycap set designed for the board, 50 Kaihl switches, PCB-mount stabilizers, and assembly hardware. Backers were allowed to choose one of three variants of Kaihl switches to be included with their order - Gold (clicky), Burgundy (linear), or Purple (tactile).
A stretch goal of $95,000 was set that would have included a Holster with every KUMO order but the goal was not reached. A limited number of Holsters were produced and made available to backers during the campaign.
The most immediate difference between KUMO and a standard MiniVan is the case. The clear plastic case designed for KUMO was the first plastic case sold by TheVanKeyboards (all previous keyboards had used aluminum cases). KUMO was also sold only as a plateless kit - previous TVK boards had always had an optional or included plate with the kit. Custom clear adhesive rubber feet were designed for the board and included in kits.
KUMO included a unique set of 52 white and grey XDA-profile keycaps made from PBT with dye-sublimated legends. The keycaps featured custom modifier icon legends and Japanese sub-legends on most keys. The included USB C to A cable was constructed with right-angle connectors on both ends as well as grey and black sleeving to match the keycaps. The three RGB indicator LEDs were positioned between the first 4 keys in the top left and were able to illuminate the clear plastic of the case.
The switches included with the kit were PCB mount style (with two plastic legs to hold the switch in the PCB holes) as the kit did not include a switch plate and using a hotswap PCB meant that the switches could not be soldered to the board without destroying the hotswap sockets. Plate files were made available on TheVanKeyboards.com to allow users to order either a plate for their preferred layout or a universal plate that supported all available layouts.
Since it uses the MiniVan HS PCB, KUMO supports all MiniVan layouts except for JISVan.
KUMO shipped with a rev 1.0 MiniVan HS PCB. This was the first hotswap PCB sold by TheVanKeyboards and was seen as a great selling point for making KUMO an accessible 40% board for newcomers. By leveraging the fact that Cherry MX switches are square and designed to work in any orientation it was possible to rotate some switches (and their corresponding hotswap sockets) in order to support all existing MiniVan layouts on the hotswap board.
KUMO kits included a clear injection-molded plastic case created just for the kit. Per TVK, a plastic kit was chosen to lower production cost and time (compared to previous aluminum MiniVan cases) and ultimately open the door for TVK to move further into plastics production in order to produce HuB keycaps. The clear case also helped to diffuse the indicator LEDs along the top and side of the case.