Soundsuit: The Melody of a Successful Tech Start-up
“Without music, life would be a mistake.” - Friedrich Niche
Everywhere you turn, music is there. Whether you’re buying coffee or passing by your favorite restaurant, you can hear soft melodic sounds coming from the inside. However, this music doesn’t just appear on its own - managers lose hours on creating an appropriate playlist for the day.
What if that could change? What if you no longer have to spend time creating a playlist, but something does the job for you?
Mikael Bourdon, an engineer and technology admirer, realized this gap and had a simple, innovative idea – create a product that adapts to any business nature and finds the appropriate playlist. Hence, Soundsuit!
Mikael’s journey to developing Soundsuit is quite the story. Keep reading to learn more about this creative mind and his endeavors!
Mikael Bourdon was born and raised in France. All through his childhood, his imagination ran wild. He always had a driving force to create new things. That is how he developed his sense of innovation and business strategies.
Mikael spent his childhood years in the halls of Lycée Le Likès Quimper in France, where he met lifelong friends. Those days passed in a blink of an eye, and before he knew it, he had to make one big decision - choosing a road to his career.
After some time of thinking, in the end, he decided to take the engineering highway. To become a future engineer, Mikael opted for Université de Technologie de Compiègne (UTC) as a place to craft his skills and knowledge. He was one of the best assets at the University, with a hard-working and productive state of mind – enough to make a promising career.
As soon as he got his Bs. in Engineering, he continued his studies for a Master's degree at Linköping University in Sweden. This University is known for its motto of never resting on its laurels which played a big part when Mikael was deciding on schools.
After getting his Master's degree, he had the power to dive into the business world and set his career tone.
Making First Career Turns
Mikael's first successful position was Senior Product Manager at GIGASET in Munich. He spent 3 years working there but later decided to switch to a different smart home company called Elements. This company had the same city location - Munich. There, he worked as a Head of APIs & Partner Integration.
After 2 years at Elements, he decided to switch to Scout at Avira. This is a secure and private web browser startup corporation that needed a Head of Products in 2014. Mikael fit there like a glove.
However, he spent only a year working in the company. Then came a better opportunity at eGym for the Head of Product position. So, he transferred again and spent nearly 4 years of his career here. And yet, even after making so many changes, something was still missing.
Mikael gave it some thought and finally found it - he wanted to make something that was his. It was then that his entrepreneurial spirit finally evolved.
Years of working in the tech industry allowed Mikael to create a good business product – a smart music assistant for companies that will be able to recognize and adapt to their culture and surroundings.
That is when Soundsuit came to be!
Harmonizing the Team
Although Mikael envisioned the idea of creating the software, he had a few missing pieces that would complete the product in total. This is where Sergey Lapin and Kalisa Irving enter the stage.
Sergey, a Russian physicist and software engineer, held the missing pieces for Soundsuit. As soon as Mikael presented the idea to Sergey, he optimized the initial version into a more successful, scalable platform that could work spotlessly with different users and stream music perpetually.
And the final piece on Mikael’s team was Kalisa. She worked with giant companies like Infineon, BMW, Philips, and Amazon in advertising, so these skills were crucial in spreading the word about the company.
Mikael had specific business ideas and strategies and wanted to present his product at an Innovation Conference. The product finalization, team assembling, and funding were all arranged in time for the South Germany Startup Prize "BayStartUp".
For Mikael, this was probably one of the greatest challenges he had to face. His idea and all the effort brought him a position in the top 5 finalists in the competition and even won the award "IT & Internet".
After succeeding in selling their idea to the competition, Soundsuit was founded in 2017 in Munich, Germany, under the legal name Spherz GmbH. Mikael and his team finally settled and started discussing the product's final preparations before its launch.
It took them several months to arrange everything, and in 2018, Soundsuit finally aired. The digital music assistant complements many physical businesses with appropriate music to deliver a pleasant ambiance.
In its essence, Soundsuit is a digital platform that seamlessly synchronizes with other existing devices like laptops, phones, and tablets, which allows them to control in-store music ambiance obstruction-free, anytime, anywhere.
It is a cloud-based product that operates on the SaaS Platform for Business and provides the product's versatility to adapt to any type of business sector.
Like other start-ups, the main challenge Mikael had to overcome with Soundsuit was funding. What is remarkable about Soundsuit is that it is a self-funded or bootstrapped company. In other words, self-finding operates by re-investing. The funds they earn will be the only source of finance to support the company's growth.
Unlike their competitors Stereomood, or Akazoo, which secured their first round of finance with investors, Soundsuit decided to take on the more challenging path through bootstrapping and build its way toward success.
Luckily it turned out well in the end, and once Soundsuit secured its way on the ground, it had many advantages over the venture-capitalized competitors. Among the many, the main advantage of bootstrapped companies is the freedom and power to control all company's strategies and growth.
Funding the Growth
Until now, Soundsuit has only had one funding round - a Pre Seed Round in April 2018. This one made Mikael a total revenue of $300,000. Interestingly enough, the company hasn’t opened any new rounds in years but is yet holding its place on the market.
Another thing that makes the financial waters of Soundsuit even more interesting is the fact that the company is still private. There is no mention of an IPO in the near future, making many question how can this company still thrive on such a scarce financial basis?
The answer is simple - what was once the company’s challenge is now their main asset!
The Sound Must Go On
The music market for physical businesses was hibernating for several years after the 60s. It was ruled by Mood Media, Musak, and PlayNetwork as the most successful firms that provided ambiental music services.
By working on the improvements of this forgotten industry, Soundsuit made $300,000 in total funding - and that was only during the first round. Today, this innovative company, with headquarters in Munchen, Bayern, Germany, has around 50 employees and is constantly looking to hire and increase that number.
Music is a never-ending stream that keeps on growing as the days pass. The future of Soundsuit is wide open, with possibilities around every corner, leading to fulfilling Mikael’s dream - to give every business the chance to create the perfect ambiance for their customers.