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Senic

Smart home controls + switches

Highlights

1
💸 $6M+ lifetime revenue, 70% yearly growth
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💥 Shipped 100,000+ units, most customers hav 3+ products
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💫 More than 95% of customers using daily
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✅ Available in 50+ physical stores + growing
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🏆 Won Red Dot Design Award, German Design Award
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🏡 Manufacturing done in family-owned German lab and factory
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🌱 Backed by Y Combinator, partnered w/ Sonos + Philips Hue
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📈 $323 Billion total addressable market

Our Team

We come from a long family tradition of hardware manufacturing and building automation. During summer holidays, we would cut slits into walls and pull cables through them to connect devices. We now the problems in the market but we continue to see how complicated smart home can be. We want to change that.

Smart Home meets Design


The Problem

While the Smart home market is growing quickly and breaking into the mass market, actually using smart home systems is still complicated and distracting.

Smartphone and voice-enabled systems have their place but often come with a number of cons: going through 10 steps on your phone to turn on a light is not a step back, not forward; using voice while your partner is sleeping next to you is a recipe for disaster. There is need for a 3rd category of controls: haptic controls. 

It's similar to reading a book. Some people prefer a physical book, some use a kindle, some prefer audiobooks and some read their books on a smartphone. Many people use several of these methods, depending on the situation they find themselves in. 

It's the same same with physical controls like our switches and upcoming products. They nicely fit into a smart home next to voice and the phone. 


Our Solutions

We currently have 2 main products.

Our Friends of Hue Indoor Switch is a wireless switch for the entire Philips Hue Universe. It can also be used for any homekit compatible device or scene via the Philips Hue bridge. The switch does not require any cables, uses energy harvesting technology and never needs to be charged. 

Our Friends of Hue Outdoor Switch is the same switch but water resistant and designed for the outdoors. It's the only outdoor smart home switch on the market and has received the Red Dot Design Award.

We also have several products currently in development: 

• Friends of Hue - North American Formfactor, 

• Smart Home Switch for Homekit & Matter,

• Muse Blocks & Muse Blocks Player.


Our Traction

Since the release of our products, we’ve been growing at an average of over 70% year over year. With the release of our new products, this rate can increase. In 2021, we’ve reached $3.3M with accumulative revenue of over $6M.

Our additional traction highlights include: Shipped over 100K units to customers

  • Shipped over 100K units to customers
  • Most customer have more than 3 products
  • 95% of customer with daily usage
  • 10% of customers returning customers looking to expand their system
  • Available in over 50 physical stores and growing
  • 4.6 and 4.8 stars on Amazon
    • 5 products from idea to market and scale
    • Recipient of 2 Red Dot Design awards and German Design award
    • Material Financing covered through manufacturing partner
    • Backed by Y Combinator, American and European investors
    • Official Partnership with market leaders like Sonos and Philips Hue

    Our Go-to-Market Strategy

    We’re following a strategy very similar to our partner companies like Sonos or Philips Hue. In the first step, we focus on end consumers. This way, we gain a lot of reach and awareness.

    Current channels:

    • Sales through our website www.senic.com
    • Amazon (currently 5 countries and growing)
    • Other online and offline resellers (e.g. Tink)

    In the second step we expand to the professional segment. When you use Sonos in your home as a student, you will want to have Sonos once you build your home.

    We will continue to focus on the consumer channels in the coming years but will increasingly also branch out the professional segment similar to how Sonos and Philips Hue do, working with working together with architects, builders etc.


    Market, Competitive Landscape & Defensibility

    Competitive Landscape for Smart Switches Product Line

    There are a number of companies addressing smart home switches, including traditional lighting manufacturers & other startups.

    Differentiators from traditional lighting manufacturers:

    • We’ve partnered with one of the largest manufacturers (Gira) which gives us a monopoly to address their customers
    • These customers don’t have internal developments units. Instead they buy technology from companies like us which they become partners and multipliers rather than competitors

    Differentiators from other startups:

    • Our current products do not require any batteries (energy harvesting technology)
    • Highest Level of Design and Quality in the Market
    • Suitable for consumer space but also professional segment (e.g. Hotels etc)

    Team Senic (Felix and Philip) at CEDIA, Colorado a couple of weeks back, exhibiting some new concepts behind a brand-spanking new product that is yet to be unveiled!

    Competitive Landscape for Muse Product Line

    Muse Blocks are completely new and unique. There are no direct competitors. Competitors therefore include imcumbent and alterantive solutions including the smartphone or voice.

    As explained in the intro, the goal is not to replace these alternative but the third important means to control smart home systems.

    Defensibility

    We treat defensibility on a multi-angle strategy:

    • We have 2 patents on Muse Blocks and are starting to grow our patent portfolio
    • We offer very high quality and design which is hard to replicate
    • Complex software protects us from cheap, Chinese knock-offs
    • Partnerships like our license agreement with Sonos give us an exclusive edge
    • Our software is creating platform lock-ins (e.g. when artists have their data with us) that make it unattractive for customers to leave one onboarded
    • We continue to focus on speed, implementing systems that allow us to move faster than the competition

    We aim to release our first iteration of Muse Blocks in Q4 of 2022. They're like futuristic vinyl players.


    Our Finances

    Revenue

    As mentioned before, we’re growing at an average of +70% in revenue year over year.

    Fixed Cost & Operating Profit

    We’ve stayed frugal over the years and run our company at $80K per month which is mostly going towards salaries (ca. $60K) and some smaller fees like insurances or software services.

    On top of this, we have marketing cost which vary depending on the cost to acquire a customer (roughly $20K at the moment).

    In order to keep fixed cost low and still continue scaling, we’re working with a number of external partners (like our manufacturing partner instead of having internal assembly workers). This slightly increases our per device cost but allows us to continue scaling without increasing our fixed cost significantly.

    As we’ve grown our revenue considerably over the years, we’re now at the verge of moving into profitability in Q1 of 2022, giving us an unlimited runway.

    Material Financing

    One of the very special things about Senic and an unfair advantage is our material financing partnership. Usually, companies need to pay for materials, turn them into a product and then generate revenue from those products. This is a heavy financial burden for companies, especially as they grow. Many startups like Pebble have famously died from this. At Senic, we’ve secured an agreement with one of our partners who pre-finances all of our materials. Essentially this means that we only pay for materials once we’ve generated the revenue which actually gives us an extra financial boost. It also means that all investment is going into sales and development rather than financing materials.

    Investment

    While we’ve shown very healthy growth, we’ve always operated with very little financial resources which hasn’t allowed us to make some important investments that allow us to grow faster.

    However, now that we’ve outsourced our manufacturing and stabilized many systems, there are a number of very obvious, low hanging fruits to pick. This is what the funding from Wefunder is dedicated to!

    • Buy tools and pay for certification for some of the new product releases mentioned above.
    • Create a safety buffer towards our profitability in case things go differently as expected (some things always do)
    • Hire Sales person (we had to stop reaching out to more resellers since we didn’t have any time - this way we can grow our distribution network)
    • Hire a COO - Currently the founders are still taking care of functions like Finance and HR instead of focusing on Sales and Product Development. This will help to focus our resources and improve our organizational excellence including investor relations and reporting.
    • Close Partnership with Agencies to grow advertisement business and Content business

    Join us in reimagining smart home controls!

    Overview