With the Dragons returning to their den for series 16 of the BBC series, it makes you reminisce about the previous winners.
Many first-time pitchers sweat, stutter, and flap at simple questions. Others smash their pitch out of the park and come away with a dragon for a business partner.
The latter group has their greatest business wishes granted, but how many of them manage to sustain the dream and build on their business?
Here’s all you need to know about some of the best former Dragons’ Den contestants – where they are now?
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Reggae Reggae Sauce – Levi Miller
We’ve got to start with possibly the most famous Dragons’ Den winner, right? Levi Roots came out of the den with a £50,000 deal with two dragons: Richard Farleigh and Peter Jones.
The deal was for his cooking sauce, Reggae Reggae Sauce. Anyone who has tried it knows how delicious it is, although Levi has surpassed simple cooking sauce now.
Levi has his own little empire, with all of his various sauces sold by companies such as Sainsbury’s, Subway, Wetherspoons and Dominoes.
Pizza and Reggae Reggae Sauce? Yes please.
He’s also published several cookbooks and now even has his own restaurant. Levi Roots Caribbean Smokehouse is situated in the massive Westfields shopping centre in Stratford. Roots is continuing to expand, with meal kits, soft drinks and even puddings being sold in supermarkets.
GripIt Fixings – Jordan Daykin
Okay, we know that plasterboard fixings aren’t exactly the most thrilling of Dragons’ Den products, but they sure are one of the most successful.
Nineteen-year-old Jordan Daykin came out of the den with an £80,000 deal with Deborah Meaden, who took a 25% equity stake in his business. Since then, the company has grown steadily and is now, as of this summer, worth £10 million dollars.
Jordan’s fixings are sold in over 32,000 shops around the UK and his company expanded to the US this summer, too. He also crowdfunded a further £2 million to fund the expansion of his business.
Not a bad investment by Debs.
Wonderland Magazine – Huw Gwyther
We had no idea Wonderland Magazine even featured on Dragons’ Den!
Creator Huw Gwyther appeared in the den in the very first series way back in 2005, earning himself a £175,000 deal with Peter Jones, who took a 40% stake.
Thirteen years later and the fashion magazine is still going strong. Its latest cover star was none other than Kim Kardashian! They’ve also had Little Mix, Emma Watson, Taylor Swift and One Direction on the front cover.
Huw revealed earlier this year that Peter Jones is still a stakeholder in his magazine and that his Dragons’ Den experience was great. Huw clearly walked out of the den and into a wonderland with this magazine…
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Hungry House – Shane Lake & Tony Charles
Again, we honestly had no idea that Hungry House was born in the den of the dragons.
Shane and Tony were offered £100,000 by former dragon James Caan (no, not the actor from Misery) and Duncan Bannatyne in 2007. The deal, however, did not go through.
They failed to come to an agreement and the two men walked out of the den empty handed and with their finger singed. They picked up investments from a couple of investors who were watching the show, launching the service into its golden years.
Hungry House was bought by German company Delivery Hero a couple years later. However, there was another twist in the tale to be had.
In April this year, Hungry House announced they would cease trading and merge with Just Eat. Their last day of business was May 22nd 2018.
Not knowing this, we went on to their site a couple of weeks ago and were re-directed to the Just Eat page. No more Hungry House!
Minicabit – Amer Hasan
In 2014, Amer Hasan walked out of the den empty-handed. He did strike a deal with Peter Jones and Deborah Meaden for £75,000 for 35%, but the deal didn’t go through.
Amer’s app was apparently the first successful app to be featured on Dragons’ Den, and his collapsed deal with the dragons didn’t prevent that.
Instead, his minicab comparison site has gone from strength to strength, and last year raised £1.4 million in investments. Since then, Minicabit has secured deals with Heathrow Airport, Big Yellow Storage, and the O2 Academy Group.
WATCH DRAGONS’ DEN ON BBC TWO EVERY SUNDAY NIGHT, AT 8 PM.