Dragons’ Den rejects said investment ‘would go to waste’ will now yield £500,000 a year | Personal finance | Finance

Helen Woolridge and Polly Marsh entered The Den in 2007 seeking £100,000 for 15% of their business, Cuddledry. Cuddledry is a hooded towel that makes it easier and safer for parents to get their baby out of the bath.

The Dragons believed the pair had overvalued their business based on the numbers they gave.

Peter Jones said: “You are not the first and you will not be the last to go into the den and overprice your business.

“To me, what you did was you made the most compelling presentation based on inaccurate financial forecasts that I have ever seen.

“I don’t think the business is sustainable. If I give you £100,000 it would go to waste. I’m outside.”

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Deborah Meaden thought it was “really disappointing” that their numbers were incorrect, but she could still see something in the business.

She made them an offer of £100,000 for 45% of the business.

James Khaan also made them an offer of £100,000 for 40% of the business.

Helen and Polly weren’t ready to give away as much equity, so they dropped the offers they received.

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However, 16 years later, Cuddledry offers a range of over 40 products and designs and achieves over half a million sales a year.

The Cuddledry hands-free towel is made from eco-friendly bamboo fibers and has always been successfully sold as a “new baby essential” by Boots and John Lewis.

Even though they walked away from the financial support they had hoped for, their time on the BBC show was invaluable, they told The Sun Online.

Helen said: “It was fantastic, it was great to do it with Polly. It was the most amazing opportunity to get advice from these amazing business people and we took it as such.

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“We’ve learned so much during this time. We still say a lot of things the Dragons told us on a daily basis just to keep us on track.

“Even though we didn’t accept the proposed investments, it taught us so much that I think it was absolutely critical to the success of the business.”

As they left the set of Dragon’s Den in 2007 after turning down two investment offers, investor Peter Jones was seen shaking his head in shock.

Deborah Meaden felt it was a “real shame” the duo had passed up the opportunity.

James Can agreed stating that he can imagine walking into a store and seeing an entire section just for their baby products.

Although it’s tempting to accept the offers they’ve received, Helen and Polly had previously agreed that they wouldn’t sell more shares than they wanted – they were willing to go up to 35%.

Although they left with no investment, many entrepreneurs went on to do great things with their products.

For example, Tangle Teezer, a hairbrush company, is now worth £200m. Rob’s rejection was also one of the biggest successes in the show’s history.

Dragons’ Den is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.



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