Kelly Hoppen pledges £50,000 investment in 20-year-old Mobile News Award winner’s firm
Reviveaphone managing director Oliver Murphy plans to push sales of his smartphone repair product to 8,000 a month by the end of this year.
The 20-year-old from Essex first launched the product, which is designed to repair water-damaged devices (see box out), in August 2012, but in January this year the company made its first big break after receiving a £50,000 investment from interior designer Kelly Hoppen on TV show Dragons’ Den.
Murphy, who last month collected a Mobile News Award for Most Innovative Product, said the impact of the show, which saw him relinquish a 25 per cent stake of the business – 10 per cent higher than his original proposal – has seen monthly sales rise from 200 to 3,000, with a month’s turnover leaping from £2,500 to £20,000.
“It was very nerve-wracking walking in, and you don’t really go in expecting to receive any investment,” said Murphy.
“But once they made a few nice comments it was pretty easy, to be honest. They didn’t slate me at all. I think I had it a bit easier than some people on the show.”
The product retails at £14.99 from the company’s website and in a few small stores, but Murphy says discussions with major retailers are taking place. He has set ambitious targets of achieving sales in excess of 8,000 per month by the end of the year.
It is estimated that as many as 860,000 phones meet their end in the bottom of a toilet bowl, so there is a mass market for the product.
“I’m ambitious, and with the right partnerships I’m confident we can reach 8,000 a month by the end of the year. We are discussing a number of big deals but NDAs prevent those from being named.”
So how does the ‘repair kit’ work?
The Reviveaphone “repair kit’” dubbed on its website as the “fastest electronic drying system on the market”, is designed to help revive handsets which have sustained water damage within the past month.
The product requires users to submerge their device, into a non-corrosive solution, which over the next 24 hours helps to remove minerals that have attached themselves to the phone’s motherboard – causing it to short circuit.
Murphy said previously, water-damaged handsets not covered under a manufacturer’s warranty would have to be taken apart to remove mineral deposits on the phone’s circuit board – but Reviveaphone’s solution allows consumers to place the whole handset into a solution.
The faulty product should be fully-working again within 24 hours and the company even offers a money-back guarantee.