Founded by industry veteran Barry Marks, In Cup – which raised a further £500,000 of pre-IPO finance in October – will use the cash to ramp up sales and marketing activity.
The group claims to have devised the first significant advance in drink vending machine technology for fifty years. With existing machines increasingly being viewed as unhygienic (one recent Government study concluded that up to ’23 per cent of the nozzles of automatic vending machines [tested] were contaminated with E coli’), the market potential is clear.
In Cup’s approach differs by delivering tea, coffee, sugar, water, etc from airtight containers directly into a cup, which is itself moved past this series of ‘cartridges’ by robotic arm. In many respects the mechanism therefore resembles that of an inkjet printer and is far more hygienic than the traditional approach of passing the various drink ingredients through numerous components, which must then be sanitised on a regular basis.
As a result of their being fewer components involved and reduced need for servicing, In Cup reckons it can charge less for its machines than competitors whilst still generating higher margins. ‘We’ve had an overwhelming response so far,’ enthuses managing director Marks, adding ‘[we have even] seen some major food companies fly in to look at the machine.’
Broker Daniel Stewart is overseeing the group’s flotation.