A new distributor for Norway, Sweden, and Finland has immediately ordered 20 benches, and in Abu Dhabi, the smart bench is tested by the police and customs.
Even before the end of January, the Include startup from Solin has already secured one-third of orders for its smart benches planned for the whole of 2018, reports Poslovni.hr on January 26, 2018.
Ivan Mrvoš, the founder and CEO of Include, says that they plan to sell a thousand benches this year and that they have already contracted to sell 370 benches. Sales are growing on the major markets they are focusing on, such as Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Germany and the United Kingdom, as well as in other countries.
“At this point, we are present in 25 markets, ten of them intensively, which means that we have more than 30 benches already delivered. I expect that, by the end of the year, we will have some 20 distributors, mostly in the strongest markets,” says Mrvoš.
In Scandinavia, the smart benches have been recognized by EWF ECO, a very successful local distributor which, over the past three years, had recorded revenues in the amount of almost ten million euros with solar garbage cans made by US producer Bigbelly. Mrvoš says that the market is demanding in terms of design, innovation and green technologies, but that the company sees a similar potential in the Croatian smart bench. He states that Include has signed an exclusive distribution deal for Sweden, Norway, and Finland with EWF ECO. “The plan is to deliver 250 benches to Scandinavia this year. I am very pleased with this deal because the new distributor has already bought 20 benches which means that, together with the 34 benches sold last year, 54 benches have been delivered to Scandinavian countries so far,” says Mrvoš.
He adds that they might soon sign a good deal in the United Arab Emirates, where ten large customers have already made the first test purchases. A total of 22 benches have been sold, with the possibility that each customer will buy 10 to 20 additional ones. “The buyers are substantial: local police, local government units, the customs service, the largest shopping mall, and even British Petroleum (BP) has bought two test benches for their offices in Abu Dhabi,” says Mrvoš.
The similar result has been recorded in Slovakia and the Czech Republic, where they already have 120 benches ordered for this year. One of the customers is KIA. In Hungary, the Croatian smart benches have been bought by Nokia. In Europe, T-Systems has shown interest, while from Australia orders have been received from Telstra and Synergy.
In 2016, Include’s revenues jumped from 273,800 kuna to 1.32 million kuna, while net profit was 23,700 kuna. “The first estimates suggest that Include’s revenues last year rose to nearly one million euros,” Mrvoš concluded.
The Steora smart bench is solar-powered and enables users to charge their mobile phones and other devices, and offers an internet connection and many other options.