Matthew pitching to the Dragons
Manchester-based Matthew Deasy went head to head with the dragons in last week’s Dragon’s Den, securing £40,000 of investment despite a shaky start.
Matthew’s product, The Oomph, is a coffee gadget that can brew three times faster than standard coffee machines and can also be used as a travel mug for taking your home-brewed coffee out and about.
After success on crowdfunding platform, Kickstarter, Matthew took his product to the dragons, hoping to secure £40k of investment for a 5% stake in the business.
Despite The Oomph being Kickstarter’s most successful coffee product ever, Matthew entered the den for funding to help the business stay ahead of the curve. He told BQ: “We are first to market, so the most important challenge we face is staying ahead of copycats. Having a celebrity investor will help us to take shortcuts and accelerate the sales so we can stay ahead of the pack.”
The dragons took turns asking Matthew about the financial side of his business, with Matthew unable to answer questions about units sold. This uncertainty around sales, combined with the quality of the product, saw Touker Suleyman declare himself ‘out’.
On tasting the coffee, Matthew noted that the water in the den had not been hot enough to show The Oomph’s full potential. He said: “We assumed a lot of things, like the water would be provided hot.”
After being grilled on the quality of the coffee and fumbling some of the financial information, Matthew’s pitch took yet another turn for the worse when Peter Jones noticed that the lid of The Oomph wasn’t secure. Matthew explained, “You can only blame yourself at the end when things don't work out.
“The lid issue was a manufacturing issue on the sample batch only. We tested it, but next time I would test something trying to break it rather than checking to see if it worked. We since have changed the design so now this can't happen. Harsh way to learn though!”
After Tej and Deborah also decided not to invest, Matthew was left with Jenny Campbell and Peter Jones, who he described as “The Simon Cowell of Dragon’s Den.”
Peter Jones was impressed to learn that Matthew already has a successful business, and attributed his poor pitch in the den to the pressure of the environment.
Jenny was the only dragon to make an offer, suggesting that she would provide all the money for 15% equity, which after just a moment of thinking, Matthew accepted.
Matthew now has big plans for the business, and hopes that with Jenny’s help he can make The Oomph a success. He said: “The main input we need is to accelerate sales and demand by getting as many people as possible to try it.
“The product does make better tasting coffee. It’s just getting people to take the leap of faith!”