Finding the right market

The Challenge

Somnox provides insomniacs with drug-free and validated sleep solutions to relieve stress & anxiety, resulting in better and deeper sleep.

They have developed a Sleep Robot that uses continuous and precise breathing simulation to quiet the racing mind, guiding users  towards deep restorative sleep.

Somnox’s founding team have an openness and enthusiasm to learn, and the business has a purposeful mission and bold plans for the long term.

The product is very PR-friendly and there is a significant total addressable market. There is considerable media coverage of the issue of sleep and particularly non-pharmaceutical solutions to insomnia.

Somnox’s biggest single challenge for international scaling is finding the best way to replicate home market success in other countries. That, in turn, means really understanding its own strengths in its home markets, and looking carefully at pricing, partnerships and channels.

Quick Facts

  • Founding year: 2016
  • % women in C-level: 1-25%
  • Industry: Health/Sleep
  • Total Funding: 2.5-5m EUR
  • Expansion priorities: market attractiveness, product, org design
  • Offices + HQ: Rotterdam

The Approach

Lessons from Compass

It is tempting to rush into new markets following opportunities, but defining what markets are worth pursuing will help save Somnox time and money. The US is a large and tempting market but may be better left until the business model is proven in another substantial market closer to home. The UK has shown promise, so exploring distributors and direct sales through lead generation and healthcare providers may be lower risk and a better short term option.

The nature of sleep issues offers the opportunity to expand the mission statement, and be more holistic in developing vision, strategy and values.

The product is sold on a trial basis so there is a task to map out the customer experience from the trial, to understand how purchasing decisions are made. Somnox can utilise its understanding of its users to actively contribute to the “sleep conversation” across online communities and other key communication channels. In turn, this will drive R&D to find optimum customer-centric innovation and adding more technical capabilities to the business mix.


You should do it!

  • Make sure the company is ready to go global as the timing has to be right.
  • A focus on product-market fit is crucial so if you are still figuring out whether your product is the right one then it is not good timing.
  • Know that going international takes a lot of effort and it cannot be a side project, it should be the main project. Compass made us realise that and that is really valuable.

Compass has positioned us to transition from throwing spaghetti at the wall to laser-focused sniper rifle tactics.

Julian Martijn Jagtenberg

The Results

Before vs after the programme

80% of our internationalisation plan has been validated through Compass. Coming into the programme, we were unsure whether we were on the right track but Compass has allowed us to test those assumptions and helped us get ready to move forward. For the other 20%, we were able to receive new advice and directions that help consolidate our strategy further.

Next steps

Our international expansion plan is in full effect with an aim to be in another country by September. We are using this summer to prepare ourselves by setting up market testing and back office. The key markets we are looking to test are Sweden, the UK, and Germany as we find them to be the most promising. Based on the market data received, we will then select the next market to go to and start developing our marketing and sales approach. Lastly, we have a new product launching in September which we want to be able to introduce to the international market.

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