KUMO is a an evolution of MiniVan that was sold through Kickstarter in 2018. Billed as "The Next Generation MiniVan", it was the first TheVanKeyboards board to feature a hotswap PCB, RGB indicator LEDs, and an injection-molded plastic case.
The KUMO Kickstarter campaign ran from July 18 to August 18, 2018. 618 backers combined to raise $93,257 on a goal of $85,000. KUMO kits shipped with a hotswap PCB, plastic case, USB C to A cable, a custom keycap set designed for the board, 50 MX-style switches, PCB-mount stabilizers, an optional switch plate, 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 lightly frosted clear plastic case designed for KUMO was the first plastic case sold by TheVanKeyboards (all previous keyboards had used aluminum cases). KUMO was initially sold as a plateless kit but an option to purchase an add-on plate was added after the campaign ended. Custom clear adhesive rubber feet were designed for the board and included in kits.
KUMO kits include a unique set of 52 white and grey XDA-profile keycaps made from PBT with dye-sublimated legends. The keycaps feature custom modifier icon legends with Japanese sub-legends on most keys. The included USB C to A cable is constructed with right-angle connectors on both ends as well as grey and black sleeving to match the keycaps. Three RGB indicator LEDs on the PCB are positioned between the first 4 keys in the top left and were able to illuminate the frosted plastic of the case.
The switches included with the kit are 5-pin PCB mount style with two plastic legs to help hold the switches into 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.
DXF files for MiniVan plates can be found on the Files page
KUMO shipped with a rev 1.1 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 a hotswap board.
KUMO kits included a clear frosted 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 gain experience with plastics production in order to assist with producing HuB keycaps. The prototype cases shown in the Kickstarter images used a heavily frosted plastic. Following some changes to the manufacturing process the production cases were much more clear (though still slightly frosted), offering less diffusion of the LEDs along the top and sides of the case. A label was included on the bottom of every case with the model number HSV01.