Tinitell Raises $4M, Ships 15,000 Units of Watch That Calls (No Phone Needed) With CEO Mats Horn

Mats Horn

In Episode #608, Nathan interviews Mats Horn. He’s the CEO and founder of the Swedish tech company, Tinitell. Together with a team of Scandinavian industrial designers, telecom experts and engineers, he developed one of the first wearable devices with cellular connectivity for voice and data. Tinitell wrist phone is an ingeniously simple wearable phone for kids with call and smart location features as well as an intuitive, one button, voice guidance interaction.



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Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – Sapiens
  • What CEO do you follow? – N/A
  • Favorite online tool? — Slack
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— Yes
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – Mats would tell himself to not be in a rush and take life as “unseriously” as possible

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:31 – Nathan introduces Mats to the show
  • 02:12 – Tinitell is a simple mobile phone that kids wear
    • 02:20 – It’s a smart locator for parents
    • 02:35 – Kids can make and receive calls
  • 02:57 – Tinitell is independent from its smartphone administrators
    • 03:03 – It is like a robot in a simple product
    • 03:13 – The smartphone app is how the parents control what’s in it
  • 03:36 – Tinitell needs to have a SIM card and it is already provided
  • 03:50 – Tinitell is partnered with a telco
  • 04:48 – Tinitell was launched in Kickstarter in 2014
    • 04:54 – Shipping started after a year and a half
  • 05:16 – Tinitell has shipped 15K units
  • 05:30 – Tinitell sold 1,102 units in Kickstarter
  • 05:41 – Tinitell has raised $150K in Kickstarter
  • 05:51 – “It’s tough making the world’s smallest mobile phone”
  • 06:03 – Tinitell has put it in additional $4M for funds
    • 06:18 – “Most money came from VC companies”
  • 06:25 – Tinitell has raised thrice
    • 06:36 – All are equity rounds
  • 06:53 – Mats shares why he raised in smaller rounds
    • 07:35 – In doing smaller rounds, Mats and his team wouldn’t dilute themselves
  • 08:03 – Mats was working as a consultant before Tinitell
  • 08:25 – Mats realized that he wanted his own company
  • 08:29 – Mat’s idea of Tinitell
  • 09:15 – Team size is 30
  • 09:25 – Average number of customers
  • 09:43 – The critical numbers of Mats
  • 10:12 – Mats looks at the conversion rate and general market activity
  • 10:50 – Tinitell’s competition
  • 11:20 – What people should look at in conversion rate
  • 11:40 – Tinitell has 4 colors
    • 12:03 – The bestsellers are the darker colors
  • 12:36 – Markup vs. cost
  • 13:49 – Mats shares about making a physical product
  • 15:15 – Mats shares how he finds his suppliers
    • 15:32 – “I knew I had to go to China”
    • 15:48 – Mats has to have a network of suppliers
    • 16:29 – Mats reached out to everyone he knows who could possibly help him
  • 18:00 – The Famous Five

3 Key Points:

  1. Know your numbers and track them consistently.
  2. Your network can be your advantage in sourcing and creating your product.
  3. Enjoy life—take things slow and don’t be in a rush.

Resources Mentioned:

  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • Drip – Nathan uses Drip’s email automation platform and visual campaign builder to build his sales funnel
  • Toptal– Nathan found his development team using Toptal for his new business Send Later. He was able to keep 100% equity and didn’t have to hire a co-founder due to the quality of Toptal
  • Host Gator– The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for the cheapest price possible.
  • Audible– Nathan uses Audible when he’s driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5-hour drive) to listen to audio books.
  • The Top Inbox – The site Nathan uses to schedule emails to be sent later, set reminders in inbox, track opens, and follow-up with email sequences
  • Jamf – Jamf helped Nathan keep his Macbook Air 11” secure even when he left it in the airplane’s back seat pocket
  • Freshbooks – Nathan doesn’t waste time so he uses Freshbooks to send out invoices and collect his money. Get your free month NOW
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives