The Dragons have invested in several lucrative businesses (Picture: BBC/Andrew Farrington)
Ever since Dragons’ Den was launched by the BBC in 2005, countless entrepreneurs have participated in the programme in the hope of bagging at least one investor for their companies.
The current line-up of Dragons on the show include Deborah Meaden, Peter Jones, Sara Davies, Touker Suleyman and Tej Lalvani, the last of whom is set to be replaced by 28-year-old Steven Bartlett for the 19th series.
While some memorable pitches on Dragons’ Den have crashed and burned, others have resulted in globally-successful businesses, helped by investments from the business experts on the show.
Just last month, Touker was left in awe by what he described as ‘one of the best pitches he’s ever heard’, after being introduced to a company that allows people to earn points when their data is tracked online by cookies.
Looking back on the numerous business proposals that have come and gone on the series, investment experts at money.co.uk conducted research as part of their Innovation Investment Index report to collate the seven most successful contestants ever to appear on the show.
From Levi Roots to Wonderbly, here are their stories.
The most successful Dragon’s Den contestants ever
Reggae Reggae sauce has proven extremely popular over the years (Picture: Courtesy of money.co.uk)
In 2007, Reggae singer and chef Levi Roots presented his spicy Reggae Reggae Sauce to the Dragons, a sauce concocted from a secret recipe from his grandmother.
Despite Duncan Bannatyne’s complete lack of interest in the company, Peter and Richard Farleigh decided to invest £50,000 for a 40% equity in the business, and their investment ended up being extremely fruitful.
Reggae Reggae sauces are now stocked in all major UK supermarkets, with the Sunday Times Rich List estimating that Levi’s worth is now approximately £30million.
Magic Whiteboard is now stocked in offices around the world (Picture: Courtesy of money.co.uk)
15 years ago, husband and wife Neil and Laura Westfood entered the Den with Magic Whiteboard, a roll of A1 whiteboard sheets that can stick to any static surface.
Deborah and Theo Paphitis were won over by the idea, investing £100,000 into the business for a 40% equity in the firm.
In September 2014, the couple bought their shares back from the two Dragons, giving them an £800,000 return on their initial investment, with their product now stocked in offices around the world.
Skinny Tan has made its mark on the beauty industry (Picture: Courtesy of money.co.uk)
While one may think the beauty market is already saturated with fake tan products, Skinny Tan, a brand founded by Louise Ferguson and Kate Cotton, has proven it has the chops to stand out amongst the competition.
In 2013, the Dragons were impressed to hear that in a year, the company had gained profits of £600,000, resulting in Kelly Hoppen and Piers Linney investing £60,000 for a 10% share of the company.
Two years later, Skinny Tan was sold for an undisclosed sum, with the co-founders and investors remaining shareholders in the company.
Wonderbly’s sweet idea has become a successful business (Picture: Courtesy of money.co.uk)
In 2014, two years after being founded by dads Asi Sharabi, David Cadji-Newby, Tal Oron and Pedro Serapicos, Wonderbly made its way to Dragons’ Den.
Originally titled Lost My Name, Wonderbly is a company that offers children’s books to customers that they can personalise to include the names of their readers within the pages.
Piers decided he was all for the idea, investing £100,000 for a 4% share in the business, with the company going on to sell more than two million books worldwide.
Razzamataz Theatre Schools
In 2007, Denise Hutton-Gosney put forward her franchise of dance schools, named Razzamataz Theatre Schools, to the Dragons, securing an investment of £50,000 from Duncan.
With the help of Duncan’s investment, Razzamataz Theatre Schools, which has been going since 2000 and offers training in dance, drama and singing, has been able to expand across the UK and in locations abroad.
Seven years after appearing on Dragons’ Den, Denise bought Duncan out of the company for £70,000 and now owns 90% of the business.
In 2011, Rob Tominey and Aden Levin presented their business Mainstage Festivals (then named Mainstage Travel) to the Dragons’, explaining that the company offers people aged between 18 and 24 the chance to go on low-cost clubbing holidays.
When they took part in the programme, their company already had revenues of £1.6million.
Their success clearly impressed Piers, who gave them a £100,000 investment for a 15% stake in the business.
14 years ago, entrepreneur Peter Moule made quite an impression on the Dragons when he introduced them to Chocbox, a plastic cable device that helps customers store electrical wires in a safe way.
After winning over Duncan and James Caan with an investment of £150,000 for a 36% stake in the company, the device went on to accumulate £25million in sales across the globe.
Dragons’ Den airs on Thursdays at 8pm on BBC One and is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.
Credit: Original article published here.