Money on the table: as a former ad man has invented a “smart” furniture

Founder of Tabula Sense Andrey Rogozin

“In the manufacture of each element of the table we changed three or four contractors. It is impossible to get people to work. Pay the money, all speak, and nothing happens,” says Andrey Rogozin.

The idea seemed simple: take the office Desk and built in gadgets. But the path from idea to working prototype took more than a year. Five unsuccessful attempts to create a prototype almost Rogozin was forced to retreat. But on the sixth time it worked.

Smart table has a built wireless charger, Bluetooth speakers, several USB ports, an induction plate for heating beverages and a stand for the tablet. Legs in the improved version of the table adjusted to the right height: you can work sitting or standing. A promo video of “smart” table for three days scored more than 700 thousand hits on social networks and e-mail of an entrepreneur is full: there are more than 500 pre-orders, of which 25 have already paid. When cost components of 35-40 thousand RUB gadget lovers are willing to pay for each table from 72 thousand to 109 thousand.

Furniture market

According to a study by “Express-Obzor”, the volume of the furniture market in Russia in 2015 decreased by 26%, to $5.2 billion production Volume in 2015 is one of the lowest in the last seven years. Also at the end of 2015, have registered the highest growth of average prices. According to analysts, in 2016 the decline of the furniture market will continue. A small increase could begin in early 2017. According to the consulting company Poyry, the share of domestic furniture in the Russian market in 2015 accounted for 65%, in 2016 it could rise to 70%. According to the portal “the Furniture of Russia”, registered in Russia more than 5 thousand companies that are engaged in the manufacture of furniture.

Conductor-inventor

Andrey Rogozin, a conductor by training. The music he gave to the organization of events. First worked in the cultural Fund ARTES, then founded an advertising and production company “КБ2К”. She collected the decorations for big events, did advertising, and 3D visualization. Among the clients were Heineken, Mercedes, Maybach and others. After the jump exchange rates in 2014, advertising budgets began to decline, and in the summer of 2015, the entrepreneur realized that you need to look for a new case.

Rogozin has decided that furniture production is similar to the production of the scenery and the billboards. And the scenery was often used LEDs, various gadgets, and programmable modules. The entrepreneur decided that we can take running a piece of furniture and equip it with smart filling. Among the options were industrial equipment, stations for catering, children’s and kitchen furniture. After some discussion with a friend the engineer, Rogozin decided to start with the office Desk. Money for the development of a new business was not, so the entrepreneur had to sell the car. Over the five-year BMW X5 managed to gain 1.6 million rubles.

The name for the project chose a long time: copywriters on the online exchange offered more than 700 names, but in the end the owner chose private option — Tabula Sense.

To reduce the risks, before production starts, Rogozin decided to test the idea. He ordered the familiar industrial designer for 25 thousand rubles. realistic images. Photo of a non-existent table was placed on a simple website (landing page), which cost about 20 thousand RUB From sketches made a video and launched advertising on the Internet for 10 thousand rbl. the Businessman also called the designer of furniture; three out of ten shops have agreed to cooperate. Another 15 people ordered a “smart” tables on the website. The hypothesis was confirmed: the potential demand is, there is nothing at all — to establish production.

The devil is in the details

The next step after design development — preparation of the prototype. Rogozin hoped to find a table and punch him in the gadgets. Was hoping to do it in a few weeks, but there it was!

Project engineer Vladislav Bulgakov had worked in the defense industry, engaged in self-propelled tanks. He took the “stuffing” of the table: gadgets, chips, drawings and so on. Any ready table could not be found, had to create it from scratch. Initially planned to do a table of solid wood. From this option had to be abandoned: the table would have been very costly and weighed a lot. Decided to gather the top of the plywood, then cover it with veneer.

The end table is made of aluminum. At this stage, the developers are faced with serious problems. Aluminium components required almost jewelry work: you had to cut a small hole, bend the metal at a certain angle and further processed, immersed in 12 chemical baths. For each operation needed from different contractors.

The difficulty arose with the induction heater for beverage: sold the tiles were too powerful. Long could not find the LEDs you need power it was too bright, the light did not break through the countertop. Ceramic tile for decoration, too, had to look up. Russian its parameters did not fit, had to use expensive Italian.

Even ordinary parts to find was not easy. For example, the brackets for attaching legs to the table top initially found 2.5 thousand RUB over the pieces, the Inventors were forced to seek cheaper counterparts. “The first step was incorrect. We have had problems with all probably, except wood”, recalls Bulgakov.

<p>the Founder of Tabula Sense Andrey Rogozin &nbsp;and project engineer Vladislav Bulgakov&nbsp;(left to right)</p>

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Photo: Vladislav Shatilo/RBC

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Founder of Tabula Sense Andrey Rogozin and project engineer Vladislav Bulgakov (left to right)

Lazy contractors

The table consists of 350 components. Among them are components from China, Taiwan, speakers from Germany. A lot of Russian items, mostly electronics and wood. The scheme collected themselves, but to find contractors for the manufacture of tabletops in Russia was not easy. Large producers are not profitable to work with a startup: too small and time-consuming orders.

“It was a nightmare” — says Rogozin. He used that in the advertising business ordering you can prepare during the day: in the morning the bid, on the evening of the concept, the next day everything is ready. In the manufacture of furniture it was not so. “It was a surprise that some contractors will be unable to persuade to work,” says the entrepreneur

Contractors searched the Internet. For example, the simplest part of the work — production of the body. Selected 30 companies from a list of se, sent them an email design documentation, detailed technical specification, calculations and expectations. No one answered. Two weeks later a letter came from one company: but it is to do things not become, having referred that the project “unclear”. Had to call the manufacturer yourself.

Find manufacturers of metal structures and microelectronics was even harder. Among those who agreed to cooperate, many were missing, broke the terms, not picking up the phone. Had to start all over again.

The prototypes were obvious visual defects, the technique did not work, the suppliers continued to fail. Eight months later and after five unsuccessful attempts to assemble a prototype Andrey Rogozin was ready to quit. But his wife persuaded him to try again.

In the end, we agreed with friends of Vladislav Bulgakov from the defense industry. They took care of all the hardware. Ready part, as a designer, going on production. It was in the “carpenter coworking” “Boiler room” where the rent cost only 5 thousand rubles a month per person. The Assembly of one of the table takes three days, even 21 days is the shipping of components. Now in a Sense a Tabula four collector, but the state plan to expand (PAYROLL is about 20% of costs).

“The Assembly process is very simple. Everything is already cut, just a man in white gloves puts a box of gadgets, fixes them, closes the lid, puts the identification number engraved so that you can determine the serial number, the producer, who is collecting it. All in a box and the warehouse,” says Rogozin. At the time of preparation of the material in the production were collected 32 of the table.

The investments in the table

Components for one table the average cost 35-40 thousand rubles., but the development of prototypes each took about 200 thousand RUB from personal funds Rogozin. The entrepreneur realized that to start the production needs more time and money than he had planned. In the fall of 2015, Rogozin was engaged in searches of investments.

Initially he wanted to use a foreign crowdfunding sites. But I did speak to the American marketing agencies and Russian entrepreneurs who have had successful experience in crowdfunding, and learned that things are not so simple. “You need to spend 1.5–2 million RUB in the middle and four to six months to participate in the local American exhibitions. Even if you collect the required amount, you need 5-6% of the fees to give Kickstarter 6-7% for the intermediation of the American company, because it is impossible to register a Russian legal entity to collect money, 10-15% from fees — marketing Agency, without which the project will be lost in thousand others. Plus tax. Would everyone except us” — calculated Rogozin. That money can be found on the Russian crowdfunding platforms the entrepreneur does not believe even the possibility that not considered.

But worked one of the first stock exchanges in Russia startups Napartner.ru where Rogozin posted the report form. On the website was 151 investor and 11 thousand “innovators”. In the first week I called three of the potential investor. Among them was the Izhevsk businessman Alexander Surnin, who has invested in Tabula Sense 3 mln in exchange for 30% of the company. “While all great,” says Alexander. But recommend to friends “smart” table, he is in no hurry.

All of the customers

The promotion of “smart” table began at the end of September 2016. Rogozin made a bid for advertising in social networks. The video posted over 12 thousand rubles in the “Directors ‘ Club” in Facebook, within a couple days scored 100 thousand hits and brought 52 pre-order from Russia. This free video was in a foreign group, Smart is the New Sexy, and in three days scored 700 thousand hits. He brought 500 advance orders. All of those wishing to “smart” Desk lined up for the next few months. At the time of preparation of this article were paid 25 tables, and the first two table went to the buyers. The share of manufacturing defects up to 30%, so Rogozin personally examines every table before sending it to the customer.

Initially the owner planned that the tables will be inexpensive and affordable. But the problems with the organization of production have shown that you need to focus on the premium segment. The first “smart” tables with the usual legs sold for 66,9 thousand rubles, with mechanical — 104 thousand rubles due to high demand, the price increased by 5 thousand.

According to Irina Karavaeva, the representative of the factory designer furniture GStyle, owner guessed the trend. In the market of designer furniture on demand leads the home furniture, on the second place — office furniture. Tabula Sense fits in both segments.

According to the observations Rogozin, a “smart” table Tabula Sense usually order the CEOs. Mostly men 25-34 years of age, fans of Apple gadgets. Stanislav Rudenko from Rostov-on-don, the Director of “Aromadon”, became one of the first owners of “smart” table. He saw Tabula Sense in news feed in Facebook, and he wonders “how it works, decided to buy to play”.

The next category of customers, designers, architectural firms — intermediaries. For example, 40 tables booked for hotel in Kazakhstan, 24 Desk for office in the UAE. The entrepreneur expects to export. He received 45 complaints from sellers of furniture from Lithuania, UAE, France, UK and other countries.

The problem is that customers are interested in ready-made tables, they are not ready to wait. So at the end of October, the production moves to new premises on the Dmitrov highway. Rent will cost 75 thousand. the Entrepreneur plans to gather at a new venue for 100-150 tables in a month. But it still does not satisfy demand.

To scale the business was not easy. The leasing company refused to give the equipment a young company in the rent, and Bank loans are not available because of lack of collateral. Andrey Rogozin looking for new investors: vehicles for sale he no longer has, the entrepreneur goes to the metro.

Side view:

“Such projects can bring benefits not only to the founders, but also investors”

Alexey Solovyov managing Director, Prostor Capital

I can’t say that this is some significant step towards the “Internet of things”, but what the Russian guys did such a beautiful thing, and even produce it in Moscow and being sold is encouraging. As an investor, I can say that after Airbnb bought Lapka (manufacturer of sensors for the study of the environment. — RBC), it became clear that such projects can bring benefits not only to the founders and potential investors are an attractive target for takeover by large companies.

Of course, the table is not a weather sensor. To establish the distribution of that item is substantially more complicated, but given how far the founders of the project, I am confident that they will cope.

“The fashionable thing rather than need”

Renat Garipov, the CEO of #tceh

Furniture market ten years ago, exceeded in volume the entire IT market. Now the situation has changed, and work on the junction of two large markets can be very enjoyable.

We are in #tceh studied the possibility to integrate wireless charging at the tables, but after interviewing our residents, came to the conclusion that this is not worth it: even among geeks and technological entrepreneurs were some of those, whose smart phones have supported wireless charging. Decided to wait until your standard Apple. With USB modules that integrate phones also did not work: put experimental on the tables, but people more familiar and easier to connect the phone to the laptop or Desk mounted in the socket module. Tech tables at the moment, I would have reacted more to things fashionable, rather than necessary.