Under Pressure: Oomph Coffee Maker on Dragons’ Den
In the Oomph’s most high-profile outing to date, inventor Matthew Deasy went head to head with TV’s most feared fivesome. Taking the Oomph Coffee Maker on BBC’s Dragons’ Den, despite a rough ride, Matthew walked away from the den with his target investment of £40,000.
Impressed by the Oomph’s ability to brew three times faster than a standard coffee press and the fact that it can also be used as a travel mug for taking your home-brewed coffee out and about, new ‘Dragon’, Jenny Campbell, gave the Oomph her full backing.
The Oomph team decided to approach Dragons’ Den following a resoundingly successful crowdfunding campaign which had launched the coffee gadget to market earlier that year. It was a huge gamble on a product that was already proving itself on the market in its own right and there were a few risks to the reputation of the Oomph along the way. Matthew said,
“We were first to market with a hand powered portable pressure brewer, so the most important challenge we face is staying ahead of potential copycats. Having a major investor on board would enable us to speed up our development and manufacturing process – accelerating sales and helping us stay ahead of the pack.”
This ambition seemed to be in vain, however, as Matthew initially stumbled over business figures and then doubts were cast on the Oomph’s build quality and its ability to brew great coffee. First Touker Suliman, then Tej Lalvani declared themselves unwilling to invest, citing weak coffee and lids on the Oomph breaking easily. Both these issues Matthew puts down to technical glitches on the day. On tasting the coffee himself, Matthew realized that the water provided by the production team was tepid, rather than hot, accounting for the poor quality of the coffee. He said,
“We assumed a lot of things, like the water would be provided hot. The lid issue was a down to the fact that we had taken sample prototypes of our latest model into the den. We had tested them, but given the chance again I would attempt to break it rather than checking to see if it worked. We have since changed the design so now this can’t happen. It was a harsh way to learn though!”
After Peter Jones and Deborah Meaden also decided not to invest, Matthew was left with Jenny Campbell and the rest is history. Jenny has since gone on to describe the Oomph as the best investment she has made on Dragons’ Den.
The Oomph team are now continuing with their big plans for the business, officially launching in the USA in early 2018 and developing a range of specialty coffee to go along with the device. Matthew says: “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!”