INTERVIEW WITH MANUEL HUG, FOUNDER.
Tell us about SoFlow?
Behind SoFlow is a young Swiss team that has been working on new first and last-mile electric mobility products for three years. We want to offer mobility solutions for urban environments. There is a lack of urban solutions, given more and more upcoming restrictions of personal transportation vehicles.
What is the philosophy of your team?
Our philosophy is to think visionarily, without developing vehicles that our consumer isn’t going to need or want to buy in two or three years. As we are a global company, we have been and will continue to assemble a team with various cultural backgrounds. It’s all about the right mix of a dynamic team possessing many talents and relevant experiences. Only together can we achieve great results.
Tell us about some of your collaborations.
We have worked with talented, young Swiss photographers called Helvetic Collective (Instagram: helvetic.collective) who are known for their amazing work in the Swiss alps. In September 2017, we were also honored to be part of the designjunction (www.thedesignjunction.co.uk) in London, thanks to the Swiss arts council ProHelvetia which chose us to be part of four Swiss upcoming (design) brands.
Our collaboration which caused the biggest impact was Unbox Therapy, a Youtube Star with 9 million followers, who simply unboxes new products and gives honest reviews about them. His video on Youtube with our product LOU Board resulted in over 2.2 million clicks.
(Link to the video: https://youtu.be/Q3mcHye3GpA)
What changes have you noticed?
We first established ourselves in the field of last-mile electric mobility three years ago. As the e-mobility space has grown, more companies have entered the space. With more manufacturers aiming to take a portion of e-mobility sales, competitive prices become more important to our end customers. Since we are a superior brand of innovation and Swiss quality, determining the ideal balance between aggressive pricing and desirable product specs is key.
Tell us about your projects so far?
Having started as a Swiss «garage company» in 2015, we reached explosive growth in 2016. We started the company selling only hoverboards, but we now having a wide range of e-mobility products like e-scooters and e-skateboards in our portfolio. In 2016 we successfully funded our cornerstone product, the “LOU electric skateboard” on the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter. We raised an amount of $320k, which represented a very successful campaign for “LOU board”. This small and compact electric skateboard has been designed in-house by our designers. We are proud to boast that we have won the Red Dot Design Award 2017. Today, we have HQ locations in Switzerland and China. This guarantees an efficient connection to end customers in Switzerland as well as to our manufacturers and suppliers in China. In-house designers, technicians and especially the geographic and cultural proximity to our main production site in China enables fast product development and comprehensive quality control tests. By establishing SoFlow America Inc, we are making our jump across the Atlantic. The expansion into the US market is opening the next chapter of our company’s exciting story.
What makes your brand different from others?
Our in-house branding, including the LOU board has its own urban design character, which will be even more underlined in the future. This means the design and the usage of our products will be more focused on people living in cities and also commuters. We offer a legible and comparative product range, so that our potential customer will find the right product for his needs.
What projects have you got coming up?
We are currently working on a Self-Service E-Scooter system, comparable to a gas station for cars. At these E-Scooter stations, people can rent and fuel up energy for the electric mobility products. We want our potential customers to be able to experience the advantage of our e-mobility products without any acquisition costs.
What do you love about the city/ town where you live?
I am currently living in Zurich. I'm in love with Zurich but likes to travel too. Zurich is my personal safe haven after bustling business trips to places like China and Japan. In Zurich, I am able to take a step back to digest and process what I have learned from my travels. Zurich also offers a vast collection of talented and enthusiastic people with whom we have worked and with whom we are always planning new projects.
What trends can you see coming ahead and how are you responding?
Due to various factors, like cities getting more and more crowded, more upcoming restrictions of individual transportation, also the changing awareness of our society about sustainability - we are convinced that the last-mile e-mobility will be the next big thing in the e-mobility industry.
We offer our customers an affordable and wide range of various last-mile e-mobility vehicles and hope more and more people say “no to gas” and use renewable electricity for using last-mile electric vehicles.
View the gallery below and Visit the Website: so-flow.com