The professionals on Dragon’s Den are famed for their ruthless ability to sniff out the bad investments from the good, but it’s safe to say that they got this one very wrong indeed!
‘Tangle Teezer’ was unanimously rejected and mocked by the infamous Dragons but the product is now sold in over 70 countries and the business is estimated to be worth an incredible £65 million!
Entrepreneur Shaun Polfrey’s invention – a brush specially designed to glide through tangled and knotted hair – was turned down for £80,000 in exchange for a 15% stake in the business in 2007. Eight years later and the business has an annual turnover of £30 million.
At the time, Duncan Bannatyne claimed that the hairbrush left him wanting to pull his hair out but he probably feels far worse now knowing that an investment in the Tangle Teezer business could have netted him a cool extra £8 million.
The product is now a hit worldwide, and many salons swear by the hairbrush. Polfrey’s invention even has numerous celebrity fans including Victoria Beckham, Emma Watson and Cara Delevingne.
It wasn’t smooth sailing for Polfrey to reach this point though. After the Dragons turned him down, he had to re-mortgage his home to raise the cash he needed. I think it’s safe to say that the risk paid off!
Speaking to the Mail Online about his experience, Polfrey said:
Entrepreneurs do things differently. Businessmen are less likely to take risks and I think you can see that with the Dragons. Looking back on it there really isn’t a lot that I would change.
At the end of the day, for me, I gained a lot of expertise from it and it has helped bring together the great team I have now. Fast forward to now and we’ve just turned over £23.4 million, the forecast for this year is that we’re going to hit £34 million.
Gutted Dragons, but at least you’ll always have Reggae Reggae Sauce…