Two young rostovchanin Igor lutay and Ruben Babaev, started a joint business with the website of the broker where buyers can choose the manufacturer of the food to order. Now young people produce smart panels for kitchen with voice control and plan to cooperate with IKEA, Hoff, “Lorena Cuisine” and “Shatura Furniture”. With the help of news you can find the recipe, turn on the kettle and even find out about a gas leak. The creators said, where did the idea of a smart kitchen that knows how the device and what else they want to teach him.

Tandem seller and programmer

Igor lutay was born and raised in Rostov-on-don, was educated chef, but the specialty has only been a couple of months. Due to technical mindset, he always gravitated toward kitchen equipment for cooking than cooking. By chance he got a job as a sales assistant in a furniture store, and six months later decided to open his own business. Through trial and error he has come to the conclusion that to sell the furniture he turns out better than you can produce it. In 2009 he made his own website and began to receive from him the orders, who gave the familiar furniture.

In 2014 Luca have matured the idea to automate the process of mediation and to create a site aggregator, where the buyer could arrange a kind of tender for furniture manufacturers. But his skills were not enough for the technical implementation of ideas. One day in the bike shop he met with the programmer Ruben Babaev. The young people quickly found a common language and decided to combine knowledge and experience. So in 2016 appeared “Market cuisine” — a website where customers would leave orders in the kitchen, and then chose among the responding producers of the contractor. Website Commission is 15% of the total order.

The initial investment is about 100 thousand rubles — was made from own funds. The guys came into Rostov accelerator “the southern IT Park”, where they noticed the Fund Genezis Technology Capital, which has invested in the project, 7 million rubles For these money Igor and Ruben have been acceleration in FRII, improved the site and hired four managers.

After a few months the turnover of the startup amounted to 600 thousand rubles. per month, and at the peak of development of the project reached 5 million rubles per month. However, the project encountered problems. As intermediaries, the founders could not answer for the quality of products and adjusting pricing: manufacturers often dump, and customers receive goods of poor quality. We also found out that you need special permission for the use of the word “exchange” in the name of the company. Ignorance of this rule has resulted in half a million fine.

Igor and Ruben did not see the project future prospects and froze it. But the idea of a joint business is not left behind. Guys have realized that it is easier to manufacture your own product than to serve as intermediaries between the seller and the buyer. Thanks to the “Exchange kitchen” they have a clear understanding of the needs of customers. For example, every third client wanted to install a TV in the kitchen. However, young people believed that it — yesterday, and intuitively come to the conclusion that the effective replacement TV will be the Internet.

As a smartphone, only better

Igor and Ruben noticed that the kitchen high technology almost does not penetrate. Yes, there are appliances that can be controlled from your smartphone. But in order to get online, you have to bring to the kitchen laptop, tablet or phone. However, in the process of cooking using them is not always convenient due to wet or dirty hands. Voice control solves this problem. And to choose options of the world (live cooking) is much more comfortable than on the gadget.

Gradually formed the image of the final product: a smart cooking assistant, which will be controlled by voice. Ideas that should be able to help, were many: from finding a recipe on YouTube before ordering prepared foods. After analyzing the design of the kitchens, the boys decided that the screen should replace one of the facades of a cupboard and have typical dimensions so that it can be easily embedded into a finished set. The development was named EYWA that the creators borrowed from the movie “Avatar”.

From Genezis Technology Capital investment was still 4 million. They have invested in staff recruitment and the development of a prototype. According to the creators, the main functionality should help in cooking and to create the background for fun. With voice search you can search for recipes, watch movies and videos, turn on the music. In addition, the panel has built in sensors indicating a gas leak and the fire — emergency to the owner’s phone is notified.

This smart screen complements the system of “smart house” and extends its capabilities. Novelty can operate other equipment connected to Wi-Fi (kettle, microwave, slow cooker, etc.), turn on the lights and Underfloor heating.

Their clients Igor and Ruben describe how successful wealthy people who are open to innovation. However, EYWA available a wide range of people: smart screen easy to use not only advanced users of modern gadgets, but also their grandmother. Voice control is the most simple and available for development, according to the creators. To ask to include your favorite movie, does not require special knowledge and skills — enough to say it out loud. However, for those who don’t like voice control or for whom it is not available on the panel has touch buttons.

The developers admit that it is to focus on voice control is one of the difficulties of creating a fully functioning device. Under Russian language is adapted only two foreign and one domestic application (Google Assistant, Apple’s Siri and “Alice” from “Yandex”). This limits the possibility of integration with platforms that Russian language is not supported (e.g., Amazon).

Promotion without investment

The first smart screen EYWA appeared in the autumn of 2018 Budget for a full-scale advertising campaign is not enough. Then Igor decided to go the other way. He wrote to the editor of the program “Housing problem” and proposed a novelty in the house of heroes program. The authors of accepted. Lutai says that the prototype at that time was still raw, but the shooting took place successfully. The hero of the program was an engineer and smart screen is appreciated.

The first buyers EYWA become familiar startups and former customers of Exchanges “kitchen”. Special proceeds of the sale did not bring, but convinced investors in the prospects of the project. As a result, developers received from the Genezis Technology Capital of half a million dollars.

The guys understood what to count on retail is impossible, therefore, began to seek out large suppliers of furniture. Thus began a collaboration with Mr. Doors. According to the developers, the Alliance is profitable for both parties: EYWA had the opportunity to demonstrate and sell their products, and furniture manufacturers — to stand out among competitors.

In addition to sales, cooperation with the furniture salon has brought a platform for marketing research. Samples are represented by furniture shops in TC “Crocus city” and TC “Leningrad design center”, so there is the opportunity to collect feedback from customers and potential customers. The creators are interested in that are attracted to novelty. For someone the most important thing — quality picture and sound, others are more interested in voice control, third — the ability to protect the home from fire or gas leaks. The information obtained is used to build the marketing policy.

The creators emphasize that solutions similar to EYWA, the global market is not enough. In the US, where the system of “smart house” is booming, there is a similar services from Google and Amazon Home Hub Alexa. But there is a voice column that you want to bring into the kitchen and plugging in. Igor and Ruben propose a built-in gadget to be organically inscribed in the interior and adapted for the kitchen. The screen is not appears beyond the facade, he is solid and completely flat. The surface is made of tempered glass so it is resistant to mechanical damage and easy to care for — just wipe with it. The source of the sound are of vibrodynamic.

Plans for the future

The company now employs six people. They are involved in technical development cooperation with partners and marketing. Some tasks to give to outsourcing. In the nearest plans to expand sales channel and to increase production. In the summer it is planned to start cooperation with major furniture manufacturers: IKEA “Kitchen garden”, Giulia Novars, and others.

In parallel, the developers want to extend the functionality. For example, negotiating integration with major aggregators of orders of the food Delivery Club, “Yandex. Food” and other useful online services — Ozon, “Take”, etc. they see and extra source of income, as this will allow you to obtain a Commission from orders placed through the device. A voice channel of sales — the new trend quickly gaining popularity.

Smart center EYWA is 59 thousand RUB, the Developers say that while the issue of cost recovery for them is in second place. The main thing — to occupy a niche in the market and establish distribution channels. As one of the options reduce the cost of Ruben and Igor are considering the launch of contract manufacturing in China. In the meantime, the goal is to establish small — scale production. The parts guys are going to order under the contract, and then assemble them and test new models of smart screen.

The plans for this year is to sell at least 100 items per month, and in 2020-2021 years to reach the figure of 10 000. According to the developers, these plans are quite real.

Optimism is based not only on faith in the product but also on the statistics. IDC estimated the costs for Internet products from end-users in Russia in 2018 of $3,67 billion, and by 2022 the volume of the market, according to forecasts, will amount to $of 7.61 billion, according to “Yandex”, in February and March 2019 were sold 10 thousand columns of “Alice” that tells about the demand for smart appliances with voice control.

For the further development of EYWA Kitchen in 2020 is going to attract additional investments of $2.9 million they intend to enter into foreign markets of USA, Europe and China. For the foreign market is planned to complement the English-language screen platform with Amazon Alexa.

Author: Firsova Kristina

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