Swedish lifestyle brand Sudio breaks ground in Asia

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Sudio has during the fall prepared for a worldwide launch of its stylish headphones with studio sound. After a month of intensive travel in Asia, the company has signed agreements with several distributors and plans to bring in new venture capital in early 2015 to continue the expansion. But everything did not look as bright in August when the world’s largest headphone manufacturer Beats by Dre tried to sue them.

What would become Sudios big head start, participation in STING’s FastForward program, started off in a bad way. During the first week of the program, Sudio received a letter from the Patent Office; Beats by Dre, the world’s largest headphone brand, tried to sue the company for trademark infringement.

− It felt slightly surreal, but we quickly got help from STING’s partner and our patent firm Groth & Co, who saw that we had a strong case, says Johan Gawell, CEO and co-founder of Sudio.

The fall has gone well for Sudio, which has now signed distribution agreements in Taiwan, Japan and Korea, and has ongoing negotiations with a number of parties that are almost at the goal line. In Sweden, Sudio focuses on online sales via Sudio.se, but also on sales in selected fashion stores, including ABCD on Biblioteksgatan in Stockholm, and in Gothenburg and Malmö.

− The goal during the fall was to open up a number of markets in Asia and we have succeeded in that. We have received our largest order ever from Korea, we will launch in 290 stores in Japan in 2015, while we at the same time see that our online sales in Sweden are increasing, says Jonas Wistrand, sales manager and co-founder of Sudio.

Now the goal is to raise more venture capital in January to grow even faster and launch in more markets, and to continue developing online sales where the margins are several times higher.

− We will soon have a positive cash flow. but after the New Year we need more venture capital to achieve our goal; to become one of the world’s largest headphone companies, says Johan Gawell.

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