5 Startups To Watch – Just Out Of Dragons Den
18 series past and millions of viewers are still tuning in to watch young hopefuls be ripped apart by business heavyweights in BBC’s Dragons Den. The UK-based show sees startup founders pitch their business in 3 minutes to 5 multi-millionaires, ready to part with their cash.
But occasionally, diamonds emerge in the rough leaving the Dragons to tussle over who will take a piece of an exciting new venture. We’re counting down 5 of the most exciting businesses to watch out for who secured a deal with a Dragon in the current series.
Closing episode 1 was the dynamic husband and wife duo who claimed to have come up with the latest in skincare to solve a common problem. Nurse, Antonia, highlighted her tough experiences of constantly washing her hands during her shifts which led to her taking two weeks off work due to cracks, scabs and bleeding caused by abrasive hand-washing materials.
Nursem is the natural, dermatologically tested hand wash that can be effectively used by all healthcare professionals, as well as people at home. Given the pandemic’s likely long-lasting effects on hand hygiene, the Dragons were keen to get a slice of the business. Remarkably, all 5 put offers in, but it was Tej Lalvani who secured a 5% equity share of the company for £70,000.
Instead, Gener8 gives you the option to sell your data to the advertisers making a tidy bit of income from simply browsing the web. It was smiles-all-round from the dragons who loved the idea with Touker Suleyman calling it one of the “best pitches ever”. After 4 offers competitive including office spaces, Sam left the den with £60,000 from Peter Jones and Touker Suleyman, each owning 5% of the company.
In the wake of a boom in alcohol subscription packages, entrepreneurs Tom and Tristan presented the dragons a delicious investment opportunity with WhiskeyMe. Tapping into the whiskey market, the company offers select measures of whiskey delivered to your door for a price half that of what would be paid in a bar while also avoiding buying an entire bottle.
Despite Suleyman’s concerns of unpredictable profitability, the pair of entrepreneurs received 3 offers of investment. In the end, they got the best of three worlds partnering with Deborah Meadan, Peter Jones and Tej Lalvani in a split 15% equity share for a £75,000 cash injection.
Gone are the sandy feet in the car as budding entrepreneur Stephanie has created a solution to beachy bothers. Beach powder is sprinkled onto any desired area and instantly removes sand contents making trips to the beach that much more stress-free. After revealing Beach Powder has only sold 18k units so far, the Dragon’s were flabbergasted at Stephanie’s £600k valuation.
But it’s sunny skies ahead for Beach Powder as Stephine bagged herself a deal with Sarah Davies and Touker Suleyman for £60,000. However, the dragons now own almost 50% of the company. One of the largest equity stakes ever taken in Dragons Den.
Trapped in The Web
To close our list; one of the youngest entrepreneurs’s to entire into the den, Dave Murphy, pitched the dragons the all-thrills experience of virtual escape rooms. Perfect for team-building away days, birthday gatherings or even family events, Dave’s virtual escape rooms provide a socially distanced solution to the escape room craze.
While initially sceptical, Touker Suleyman saw a huge market for the concept in the children’s space. But it was millionaire mum, Sara Davies, who bagged a 10% equity share of the business in return for £30,000 invested to make virtual escape rooms the go-to craze.
Header Image: Dragons Den, Image by BBC via TellymIx