Making home automation possible for everyone – that was the idea the Finnish startup Cozify presented as one of our 50 CODE_n Finalists at CeBIT 2015. A wireless smart hub, easy to set-up, use and expand, that would connect smart devices from different manufacturers into one seamlessly working entitiy. Back then we were convinced that the young company would do just great. 10 months later we met the team at WebSummit in Dublin and are more than happy to share the latest developments with you:
Antti Vihavainen: During the CeBit, Cozify didn’t have a commercially available product, but we promised to start shipping in two weeks. We kept our promise and delivered the Cozify Hub to all people who had preordered. As it was the first version, it was essential that we had perfected the update mechanism so that end users didn’t need to do anything to receive the latest version of our firmware and the Cozify App.
In summer 2015 we experimented with various value propositions, marketing messages and price points. We also kept on adding new supported devices to the lineup. It was a bit of a surprise to note that the price was a much less significant factor than the wide range of support for the legacy smart home devices.
And the media picked up on that?
Antti Vihavainen: Yes, Cozify has been featured by several Finnish media companies. We were in the biggest car and technology TV show and most recently there was an article in the biggest technical magazine in Scandinavia. All of this has increased our credibility in a way that our sales in the home market have grown to a very satisfying level.
We have done joint marketing with a major electronics retailer in Finland, and noticed that the conversion rate is good enough for maintaining a sustainable business model.
We have continuously worked with international channel partners and are moving from trials and pilots for business as usual towards the beginning of 2016. Obviously our task is to copy and improve on the progress we made in Finland.
What lessons have you learned or failures you’re experiences and how have you coped with them?
Antti Vihavainen: Basically we have not had a very bumpy ride so far. We did have had two disappointments with international channel partners, who chose to delay entering this business or chose a previous generation solution as their starting point. It is essential to identify their motivation and maturity before committing huge resources.
What were your biggest takeaways from your time at CODE_n?
Antti Vihavainen: CODE_n was a great example of what can happen when an established business wants to learn from the startups. We are grateful that we had the opportunity to be present in the CODE_n Hall and be exposed to hundred thousand visitors during the week. We also managed to become a speaker in the CeBit Global Conferences, which further helped bring visibility to our company. Furthermore, we took part in the CODE_n press event prior to the show where we met with several journalists. As a result IDC magazines around the world published a great article about our product philosophy. This time the opportunity wasn’t too good to be true.
What advice would you give to startups looking to enter CODE_n?
Antti Vihavainen: Go for it! It will be interesting to see how it will evolve during the next years, but the CODE_n team seems very determined to make it even better than before. Make the best out of it in your own way!
Thanks so much for the interview Antti, it was great to meet you! Best of luck to the whole Cozify team and see you soon!