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Levi Roots, Chocbox and Skinny Tan: Dragons Den’s best investments

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Brewdog, Trunki and Cup-A-Wine: Ten Dragons’ Den rejects now worth millions
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ast week, the Standard revealed how the business titans of the BBC’s Dragons Den have missed out on billions after declaring ‘I’m out!’ to entrepreneurs who have gone on to enjoy spectacular success.

But it hasn’t always gone so badly wrong.

As the 18th series prepares to air, showing for the first time on BBC One rather than BBC Two, researchers from money.co.uk have pulled together a list of seven biggest success stories to emerge from the den, adding to the investors’ fortunes.

Levi Roots

Official Levi Roots

Dragons: Peter Jones and Richard Farleigh

Investment amount:£50,000 for an impressive 40% equity in the company

Back in 2007, Reggae singer and chef Levi Roots pitched his spicy Reggae Reggae Sauce to the Dragons’ and successfully managed to secure £50,000 to manufacture his product. In return, Levi Roots was offering 20% of the equity in his business.

The sauce is a secret recipe from Levi’s grandmother and must be hot stuff because despite being told there’s “no future for this business” by Duncan Bannatyne, Peter Jones and Richard Farleigh saw something else and invested £50,000 for an impressive 40% equity in the company.

Reggae Reggae sauces are now stocked in all major UK supermarkets, taking Roots’ worth to an estimated £30 million according to the Sunday Times Rich List.

Peter Jones remains a shareholder and advocate for the brand, claiming “it’s one of my most successful investments from the show”.

Magic Whiteboard

Dragons: Deborah Meaden and Theo Paphitis

Investment amount:£100,000 investment for a 40% share of the company

Founded by husband-and-wife team Neil and Laura Westwood back in 2006, Magic Whiteboard is basically a roll of A1 whiteboard sheets that will stick on anything thanks to static. It is now stocked in all major office supply stores with a global customer base.

The product is now said to be Deborah Meaden and Theo Paphitis’ most successful investment with the portable whiteboard achieving impressive growth since appearing on the show.

In September 2014, the Westwood’s bought back their shares from Meaden and Paphitis, giving the investors £800,000 return on their £100,000 investment.

Having increased sales from £45,000 to £1.2 million a year, and consistently delivering healthy profits, the founders decided to ask Theo and Deborah to sell back their shares. Neil and Laura wanted to give their children, Ella and Morley the shares to secure their future.

Skinny Tan

Skinny Tan / Instagram

Dragons: Kelly Hoppen and Piers Linney

Investment amount: £60,000 for a 10% stake in the company

Skinny Tan, a self-tan brand, went from startup to global success after its founders Louise Ferguson and Kate Cotton pitched to the Dragons’ in 2013.It didn’t take long until Skinny Tan became one of the fastest-selling tanning products in the UK.

Launched in 2012, the brand boasted profits of £600,000 in its first year. After hearing the success after a year, all five Dragons showed interest, with Kelly Hoppen and Piers Linney sealing the deal with an offer of £60,000 for a 10% stake in the company.

The company was sold for an undisclosed sum in June 2015, both co-founders and Hoppen and Linney remain shareholders.

In April 2020, Kate and Louise revealed that they plan to extend to Spain and South Africa next.

Wonderbly

Wonderbly

Investment amount: £100,000 for a 4% stake in the company

Founded by dads Asi Sharabi, David Cadji-Newby, Tal Oron and Pedro Serapicos in 2012, the creative fiction books for kids were pitched to the dragons back in 2014.

Originally named Lost My Name, Wonderbly creates personalised children’s books that feature its readers in the stories. The idea impressed, Piers Linney, who invested the full £100,000 requested for a 4% stake.

The company has gone on to sell more than two million books across the globe, with Dragon Piers Linney reporting it as “the most successful business to have ever passed through the Den’s walls” in 2015.

Razzamataz Theatre Schools

Razzamataz/instagram

Investment amount: £50,000 

Founder Denise Hutton-Gosney pitched her dance schools to the Dragons’ back in 2007. She secured an investment of £50,000 from Duncan Bannatyne.

With the dragon’s support, the company was able to launch all over the UK and abroad.

In 2014, Hutton-Gosney was able to buy back Bannatyne’s stake in the company for £70,000 and now owns 90% of the company.

Chocbox

Chocbox

Dragons: Duncan Bannatyne and James Caan 

Investment amount:£150,000 in return for a 36% stake in his business

Entrepreneur Peter Moule invented a plastic cable device as a way to store electrical wires safely.

He pitched his idea to the Dragons’ in 2007 and secured the support of Duncan Bannatyne and James Caan who invested £150,000 in return for a 36% stake in his business.

Peter’s gadget went on to net £25 million in global sales since first appearing on the show.

In an interview with North East Exclusive magazine in 2013, Bannatyne described Chocbox as one of his best investments from the show.

Mainstage Festivals

Investment amount:£100,000 in return for 15% of their company. 

Founded in 2011 by Rob Tominey and Aden Levin, Mainstage Festivals offered “once in a lifetime” low-cost clubbing holidays for the 18-24 market.

When Tominey and Levin pitched the Dragons, the business already had revenues of £1.6 million.

The entrepreneurs received multiple bids and accepted Piers Linney’s offer for £100,000 in return for 15% of their company.

It has now grown to become a market leader in overseas festivals, running events from the Snowboxx festival in the French Alps and New Zealand to Kala, Albania’s first ever international music festival in 2018. 

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Flight costs soar prior to travel green checklist is revealed

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Flight prices soar before travel green list is revealed

Transportation Secretary Grant Shapps is predicted to publish the checklist of nations, from which travellers returning to England will not have to quarantine, in a Downing Avenue briefing at 5pm.

These are likely to include things like Portugal, Iceland and Malta, and probably also Israel and Gibraltar — with the easing of procedures commencing in 10 times.

But journey brokers described a hurry of individuals scheduling breaks to these vacation hotspots in anticipation of the announcement. The value of some airline tickets has now surged, with vacation to Portugal’s resorts on Could 17, from when the restrictions ease, much more than doubling in price in the final two times. Final night, Ryanair was charging £152 for a flight from Stansted to Lisbon, in comparison with £15 the day in advance of limitations carry.

The “traffic light” system for England will spot more restrictions on trips to “amber” and “red” nations around the world. At existing, overseas leisure travel is banned.

It arrived amid a warning from Booking.com’s chief govt Glenn Fogel that selling prices for global journey are established to rise this year owing to pent-up need and much less aeroplanes in provider. “There’s so a lot pent-up demand from customers,” he informed the BBC. “Everybody needs to go travelling, but we all want to do it securely.”

Spain, France, Italy and Greece are predicted to be on the amber record but could switch to inexperienced at a “checkpoint” review on June 28. Assessments will be primarily based on a variety of things, such as the proportion of a country’s population that has been vaccinated, costs of an infection, rising new variants, and the country’s access to responsible scientific data and genomic sequencing.

Folks arriving from a green place will not need to have to quarantine on their return and will have to just take a single PCR test in just two days of arriving. All those returning from an amber state have to self-isolate for at the very least 5 days and consider two exams. The crimson checklist involves an 11-evening stay in a quarantine hotel at a charge of £1,750.

There will also be a “green view list”, to give travellers advance observe of nations about to go to amber or pink.

Luis Gallego, main govt of IAG, urged the Authorities to “be a little bit ambitious in obtaining world wide travel back on track”. He wants persons who have been vaccinated or tested to be permitted to fly “without restrictions” involving the United kingdom and the US. The airline reported it will launch a new advertising marketing campaign showcasing workers who are “preparing to return to function after a very challenging year”.

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