Young Glasgow based entrepreneurs Vincenz Klemt and Raj Sark were offered a £100,000 investment, during the BBC business show Dragon's Den which aired Sunday 8th January.
The innovative product, Xupo, is a coin shaped and sized object which can be hung on a keyring or placed inside a bag or purse. Using Bluetooth5, the gadget alerts users to the wearabouts of their possessions.
The business partners state their product solves the 'age old problem' of searching for your car keys or mobile phone, especially when you're in a rush and don't have anybody to help you out.
Row.co.uk knows all too well how easy it is for people to lose their mobile phones. As one of the UK's leading gadget insurance companies, we've heard countless stories of how these expensive products can go missing, causing huge inconvenience and even nomophobia.
The idea for the product came in 2009 after Raj lost his travel bag, including his new Macbook and his passport, while connecting flights from Heathrow Airport. The duo then combined their engineering and business skills to develop a wireless tracking sesor, which they launched as 'Lupo' in 2014 after a successful Kickstarter campaign, raising almost £27,500.
Vincenz Klemt kindly agreed to speak directly to Row.co.uk about the TV experience and what is next for Xupo.
Row.co.uk: Dragons Den is a great platform to propel a business, but it's also known for taking large chunks of valuable equity. What made you decide to pitch on the show?
Vincenz (Xupo): We realised that the exposure we could get was phenomenal. Naturally we were aware of the risk of being grilled on the numbers or a dragon taking our product apart – not just figuratively. Above all, however, we went in the pursuit of smart money, a dragon investor with expertise and connections to take the product and the company to the next stage, somebody to join the board and with whom to grow the company.
Row.co.uk: You've just returned back from exhibiting at CES17 in Las Vegas. How was that and were you able to tell journalists and prospective buyers about Dragons Den or did you have to keep it a secret?
Vincenz (Xupo): We were invited to present at the media event Discover Blue by the Bluetooth SIG, the organisation behind Bluetooth, as the all-new and improved Bluetooth 5 was presented to the world. BT5 really is a game changer in the IoT and consumer electronics and with our product we try to be in both. Both at Discover Blue and later at CES we saw fantastic new developments across industries and segments and made new connections. The dimensions of CES are phenomenal and it was also inspiring to see how other technology start-ups, some in our market, have made progress. Naturally, what happens in the Den stays in the Den until the air date and we wouldn’t want to spoil the show for anybody, would we?
Row.co.uk: What are the major plans for Xupo in 2017?
Vincenz (Xupo): Xupo, evolved from the Lupo platform seen on Dragons’ Den, has a new chip set and allows for more cloud features than Lupo ever did. Xupo isn’t just a smarter key finder or item tracker, the idea is to unlock additional features through the app, using the Xupo as a button. This is almost going back to the original Lupo back in 2013, that had what we call “button as a service”, so there are more interesting things in the pipeline. We're also exhibiting at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, which will be great.