Drip – Coffee: Jeremy Cortial and Ruben Grigri
The app start-up's founder discusses targeting the UK's massive coffee market and why they want to promote independent shops
Name: Jeremy Cortial and Ruben Grigri
Company name: Drip – Coffee. Unlimited.
Date launched: 30/04/2015
Tell us what your business does:
We’re a easy-to-use mobile app that connects coffee drinkers with great independent coffee shops in London. We offer customers different prepaid coffee plans and by signing up on a subscription basis they can access discounted prices.
Where did the idea for your business come from?
Myself and my business partner are two coffee addicts who appreciate a nice cup from an independent coffee shop. We love the experience you get when you use an independent shop and we would like to promote these companies. Unfortunately people tend to involuntarily go for the chains, mostly because of the huge quantity of them and because they an easily distinguished.
We would like to offer coffee lovers an opportunity to discover a new place, where they can feel relaxed and important. We want to make the process of getting a coffee wonderful again and not just a daily errand to consume the required dose of caffeine that gets you through the day. And we want promote independent coffee shops so that they can maintain their character and great quality coffee.
How did you know there was a market for it?
We did some extensive market research and found that 20% of UK consumers visit a coffee shop every day, with 85% of coffee drinkers visiting a coffee shop at least once a week, and finally that 34% of UK adults never make coffee at home. We also looked at other businesses who offer a subscription-based service and found that they was a definite upward trend, for instance workout class business Classpass have more than 150 partners around London and 1.5 million users to date; the number of Netflix users has doubled within a year to 3.5 million and coffee bean subscription start-up Pact Coffee ship 4,000 bags a day.
What were you doing before starting up?
I was working as export manager and key accounts manager for a toys company in Paris and my business partner was working in finance in London.
Have you always wanted to run your own business?
Yes, we’ve always wanted to run our own business but we were waiting for the right idea and the right time.
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We started a small business together a few years ago by importing and selling designed products. It was pretty successful and a good indicator that we should start something bigger.
How did you raise the money?
We have bootstrapped the company till now but we plan to raise finance soon. We are still evaluating the different funding options and we think that crowdfunding through a site like Seedrs is our best option.
Describe your business model and how you make money:
Our business model is pretty simple, we buy the drinks from the coffee shops at a discounted price and share this discount with the consumer. As we grow, we aim to generate revenue through additional streams.
What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?
We are two french guys who have launched their first start up in a foreign country so everything was a big challenge at the start; however by staying motivated we have managed to build the platform and business we wanted.
What was your first big breakthrough?
The first big breakthrough was to find the perfect chief technology officer who believed in our business’ mission and was someone we could trust. Since we are not tech guys, we had to spend three months evaluating all the solutions to see what was the best option for us. We didn’t want to outsource our product so we had to find the perfect partner.
What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
The toughest part is to keep believing in what you do and not let yourself be influenced by the people around you. Staying focused is one of the biggest challenges but having a target helps!
Where do you want to be in five years’ time?
Our vision is to have the biggest chain of independent coffee shops in the world.