Echo presents inspired innovation to the technological lifestyle market. Feeding from existing ideas, we re-design, evolve, and re-launch relevant products which keep us connected to each other and our devices in a manner more in-keeping with today’s life. Echo, as a brand, has made news and raised interest with the launch of our first product, the Connect key, the first Apple licensed dual connector, offering the user both micro-usb and Apple lightning connectors on one key-sized accessory.
The power of connectivity for all your devices, with you always.
Acheivements to Date
The Connect key has had substantial success in its crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo, raising over $56,000 in pre-orders, doubling its $10,000 target in the first 72 hours, and making headlines in market leading publications such as Wired and Engadget magazines. Most importantly, the success has generated an impressive list of interested distributors and retailers who are waiting for the final product and retail packaging to place their orders, and two of which have already signed distribution agreements for Canada and the USA, with a total order commitment of $2.75m USD over the first 3 years for the Connect key alone.
Funding to Date
To date, there has been an estimated £60,000 invested into Echo by the founder, Matthew Cooper-Jones, including loans from family, and an investment of £15,000 by a friend, Mr. Tom Migotti in return for 3% equity. In addition to this, Echo has raised a total of $78,895 in pre-orders between two successful Indiegogo crowd-funding campaigns, between the Connect key and the PowerSound devices. Much of the funding to date has been used in the marketing of the campaigns and launch of the brand, and the development of the products including tooling and production, and fixed overheads for offices and three full-time staff.
Use of Funds
Today, we’re in the most exciting stages of the business, where we have an established market demand, orders awaiting approval, and distributors interested to launch Echo in over 20 countries. The funding raised will go purely to the production and stocking of existing products, so we can satisfy demand on a quick turn-around and enabling us to reach out ultimate market-penetration potential.
The mobile phone accessory market alone is expected to reach $50bn in 2015. Smartphone sales represented two-thirds of global phone market in 2014. We call Echo a technological lifestyle brand, with a mobile-centric focus. With this, we plan to cross over between three key markets: mobile accessories technology music & sound. All of the above we consider to encompass today’s lifestyle markets’. We believe Echo’s niche is how we fit within all three.
Positioning ourselves across these key market sectors hasn’t arrived through a specific strategy, but more organically, as this is the direction of today’s technology lifestyle, this is what we feel consumers are looking for in 2015. As such, Echo’s exit strategy should become more diverse and appealing across several markets as a brand with a multi-faceted product line and consumer group.
In terms of geographical markets, with international distribution being the background of founder Matthew Cooper-Jones, Echo’s sales strategy is very internationally focused, with distribution partners interested to take Echo’s products to over 20 countries over the course of 2015. With the Echo office currently based in Bracknell, Berkshire, we aspire to grow to the point of requiring an office in tech-hub San Fransisco, USA over the 2016/2017. This aspiration encompasses the companies vision for growth, and market presence, also positioning itself in the epicentre of leading brands, an invaluable position on the acquisition radar.
Route to Market
We believe Echo has already established its route to market, thanks to the success of the campaign and the backing of the media with the Connect key. This has opened the doors to world-wide retailers and distributors who are now demanding a full Echo product range. With original products already in production, we’re now aiming to fill in the product catalogue gaps with high quality but price accessible relative accessories, such as Apple cables, phone power cases, sound products (we’ve established a bi-lateral sales and distribution partnership with the fashion music brand BassBuds), and finally Echo’s SocialSound technology currently in development. With a modern sales strategy, Echo will not be a sales led team, but rather a marketing led company. With inspired thinkers, Echo has strived to tune into its consumer base via social media and strategic partnerships, already securing product launches in music festivals and other events, where staying connected and keeping powered up is essential to the vibe and event in question.
With a multi-market approach, it’s difficult to identify a direct competitor. We feel this gives us an advantage, since we open ourselves up to a wider audience and multiple sales channels. With regards to the mobile accessory market, we would aspire to become a brand similar to Belkin, associated with quality products, and accessible price-points yet leaning towards the higher end of the market.
To the best of our knowledge SocialSound is an unseen product, where we’re creating our own sound technology. We feel the only thing that comes close to what we’re aspiring to create is within the Sonos product range. How we will differ, is that we’re focusing on a music sharing technology that can be integrated into the manufacture of any speakers, so the future is “Powered By SocialSound” where any such product can be connected to each other by touch.
As director, Matthew focuses on the strategy and development of the company and its distribution sales channels. Previous to creating Beau Life Ltd, Matthew was International Sales & Manager for a Sumitomo Chemical Company subsidiary, managing the sales and distribution networks in over 15 countries within Europe, USA, Middle-East and Asia.
Ollie manages sales and marketing. With a keen interest in social media marketing, Ollie’s focus is the Echo brand, keeping up with our 3,600 Facebook followers, 1,200 Twitter followers, managing our marketing communications with existing and potential sales partners, distributors, and managing web-marketing.
With a substantial portfolio in photography and videography, Roland works closely with Ollie to create images and videos for everything from our website, to marketing materials including our Indiegogo campaign video. He’s also our web-development manager, creating and maintaining our website www.byecho,com.
Marian has a diploma in accounts with a 30 year career in the professional sector, Marian does the book keeping, PAYE, tax and general company book-keeping and financial management on a part time basis.
Managing the production of the Connect key, Max has his own accessory brand Kudos, based in the USA. With a keen interest in the Connect key, Max overlooks and manages the entire production process on behalf of Echo as an independent contractor based conveniently between California and China.
Geoff is a computer hardware technical engineer with nearly 30 years experience, having worked through the times of the most influential technological advancements, based both in the UK and the USA’s tech hub, Silicon Valley. Geoff is working as an independent contractor on the SocialSound electrical technology.
Alan Jones – Mentor
Alan is a serial entrepreneur having started in the technology industry as founder and CEO of Shuttle Technology Group Ltd which he sold to SCM Microsystems for $33m in 1999. With operations in India, California, SE Asia, and the UK, Shuttle specialised in developing secure, reliable access and interface technology for OEM manufacturers such as Hewlett Packard, Imation, Panasonic, NEC, Olympus, SyQuest and also Belkin who are one of todays leader in quality accessories for mobile technology devices. Alan invented several key technologies including some of the early USB patents which put Shuttle on the map and serving as a key advisor in strategy and development for ECHO products.In total, Alan has been involved in 6 start-ups, and has taken three to acquisition totalling over £70m. This experience and guidance is invaluable to the growth and exit strategy for Echo.
The Exit Strategy
The primary aim for Echo is to focus on becoming a brand synonymous with innovative technology lifestyle. Once we achieve this, we hope to be in prime position for our exit strategy, which is the successful acquisition by a market leader.
The ideal timeline for this is three years. Within the first 12 months, Echo has created a couple of products that are already in mass production stages, and has established distribution partners spanning five continents. We intend to take to market our primary product catalogue via these distribution partners over the course of 2015, and spend the following two years focusing on sales, brand positioning and market development.With fast growth and market recognition, we aim to make Echo a £100m brand desirable for acquisition by market leaders within the technology, sound and even social media markets.
With a view to overlap several market sectors, it’s not so straight forward to draw a comparison to similar businesses.We see Echo today as breaking into the market with its original products such as the Connect key, Connect Power, and PowerSound products.Ultimately, we see the real value in the SocialSound project. As a new sound sharing technology which we’re creating ourselves, it should be open to strong patent applications. With strategic partnerships and to launch the product as a licensable technology, if we achieve the market acceptance we hope for, the most recognised of the universal sound brands will launch ranges of speakers powered by SocialSound, rendering them community speakers, all able to interconnect by touch. If we achieve this we would be looking at exit strategies on par with Beats by Dre, recently sold to Apple for a reported $3bn (2014), or at the lower scale, Wolfson Microelectronics, a supplier of audio micro-chips which sold to Cirrus Logic for £278m in 2014.
Without considering SocialSound, Echo is launching itself into the market with original products, generating interest. The mobile tech market is currently booming, with an estimated value of over $60bn. where companies making their own mark are exiting with sales values similar to Basis Science who create wearable tech products, sold to Intel for an estimated $100-$150m in 2014.
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