Today, the KIVI brand is known in many European countries. This recognisable name is primarily associated with high quality, advanced and at the same time affordable TV sets for any leisure activity – family watching movies, playing games or even playing sports. But how did it all start? How did a small startup in a fairly short time managed to grow into a very competitive brand, which for several years in a row ranks second in Ukraine by the number of sold devices? In this article, we will tell you all about KIVI: where did it start, how did it develop? and what makes it a strong player in today’s TV market.
How it all started
KIVI is a big international company with a Ukrainian heart, which started its journey in 2016. 7 years ago, Smart-TVs were still something new, innovative, but still niche, because there were not so many such devices on the market and they cost a lot. On the other hand, even then it was possible to find a lot of available TVs, but they did not differ neither in functionality nor in quality. So in the sphere of TVs there was a demand for advanced good models with support of modern technologies and at the same time not for all the money in the world. And KIVI brand was created to meet this demand. And this is a challenge with an asterisk, because balancing price and quality is not an easy task.
Therefore, in 2016, a team of Ukrainian entrepreneurs, who were well versed in consumer electronics, lit up with an ambitious idea to create their own startup that would focus on the production of modern, technologically advanced and yet affordable smart TVs. One of the first steps was to sign an agreement with tech giant MTC, the world’s largest contract TV manufacturer, with whom the company still co-operates.
At the start, there were only nine people in the team, but thanks to their high level of professionalism, it took less than six months from the idea to the release of the first batch of TVs under the KIVI brand. By the end of 2016, the young startup managed to sell only 1,100 units, but the following year this figure increased 50 (!) times to 55,000 TVs. The positive dynamics gave the realisation that the company had chosen the right path and it was necessary to move forward – to improve, create new things and scale up.
How KIVI smart TVs have evolved
The desire to introduce innovative solutions into its devices prompted the company to create its own R&D centres and design bureau. This was a necessary and logical step in order to stand out from the competition and offer users something unique, something that would make using the device even more pleasant and emotional.
Almost from the very beginning, KIVI has been releasing a new range of smart TVs every year – even more technologically advanced, up-to-date and, of course, stylish. After all, design is one of the brand’s focuses. It’s not enough to make just a high-quality and functional TV, it has to be attractive, slim and fit well into modern interiors. Thus, KIVI devices have minimal side frames with a thickness of only 2.6 mm, laconic leg design, and also offers various models in white colour.
But not design alone. At the same time, KIVI is actively working on other things that are quite important in modern TVs – software, its own multimedia application, as well as creating collaborations with well-known brands and developers, which is how the company’s devices compare favourably with their competitors.
In 2020, KIVI became a certified partner of the popular streaming service Netflix and technology giant Google. The company’s TVs run on Google’s official operating system – the latest range runs on Android TV 11, which indicates stable and fast performance and access to more than 10,000 apps specifically for TV. The creation of its own KIVI MEDIA app, which the company continues to expand even now, has made it possible to provide users with access to entertainment and educational content – films, TV, games and even sports training. This makes KIVI devices not only a viewing tool, but also a home multimedia hub. In the near future, users can expect an update of the service, which will offer even more options for entertainment.
Focus on Smart TV only
One of the key features of the brand is its focus on a single niche. If you look at the TV market, KIVI is practically the only company that produces only smart TVs, without branching out into other product categories. No smartphones, mixers or refrigerators. This allows the company to concentrate entirely on the TV market, to improve it, and to keep its finger on the pulse of users’ needs and competitors’ offerings.
KIVI’s commitment to innovation, entry into European markets, stability and constant development have turned its main partner, MTC, into an investor as well. Thus, the large Chinese company invested more than $13 million in the startup, which the company used to improve the quality of its products in both software and hardware.
KIVI’s latest range of TVs utilises a more powerful chipset that has increased performance by 30% over the market average. The brand’s devices are equipped with many picture enhancement technologies that make the picture more juicy and vibrant. Among them:
- Max Vivid is a brightness enhancement technology for standard dynamic range content that works in real time on specific parts of the image to give the best results.
- MEMC – A function where the chipset automatically assesses image quality and increases the frame rate.
- Ultra Clear – by processing each frame separately, provides a sharper picture.
- Super Contrast Control – allows you to see all the details in the image, illuminating even the darkest parts of the image.
- Game Mode – turns off unnecessary background tasks and directs all power to gaming for the highest level of performance.
Where you can buy a TV from KIVI today
Although KIVI’s roots are in Ukraine, today it is a large international company with its head office in Budapest. The R&D department is located in Europe and Asia, and production is carried out at major manufacturing facilities around the world. By the way, the office in Kiev also continues to operate.
Every year, the list of countries where KIVI products are available is growing. Today, the brand’s TV sets can be purchased in almost two dozen countries, including Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and others. Soon the company plans to win the hearts of users in Western Europe – Germany, France, Italy, Spain and others.
While in 2016 KIVI sold a modest 1,100 units, today their number reaches 1.5 million. The company ranks 2nd in Ukraine in terms of popularity and the number of sold TVs.
This proves that in just 7 years KIVI has become a brand that needs no introduction. It is trusted, followed and recommended to friends. After all, in the mid-budget segment it is hard to find an offer of higher quality, more favourable, functional and stylish.