A Londoner who was bold enough to turn down not just one but two Dragon’s Den offers now has a business that he started at university worth £ 6m. Dhruvin Patel went on the show last year and has gone on to make the investors rue their missed opportunity.
The 29-year-old entrepreneur started his business Ocushield, screen covers and glasses that protect phone and laptop users from bluelight, while at uni in 2015. He took the product on to BBC’s Dragon’s Den last year with his business partner Asad Hamir, 37 , and managed to wow the investors enough to land an offer of £ 75,000 from Peter Jones and Tej Lalvani for a combined 15 per cent of the business.
They decided to accept, however, in the six-month period after filming the show, before pen was put to paper to solidify the deal, Ocushield took off, making £ 750,000 in sales. Peter and Tej were unable to agree on a fresh offer taking the soaring value of the business into account, so Dhruvin simply walked away.
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Dhruvin went on to land private investment worth £ 910,000, which is 1,000 per cent more than their original offer, due largely to the fact that a lot of people’s screentime went up massively during lockdown in the pandemic.
“After appearing on the show, our brand and revenue went up and up,” Dhruvin told the Sun . “We realized we were giving Peter and Tej too much of a good deal, but the Dragons could not negotiate outside of the Den to make the deal more palatable.
“The business had growth five times in the period of negotiations, so for us as a business, we had to say no. While it was a shame we could not have them involved, we’re sure Tej and Peter would have made the same savvy moves in our positions as budding business titans, so there’s definitely no hard feelings. “
Among the investors who managed to get a piece of the Ocusield pie are ex-Premier League defender Scott Dann, former Irish Olympic cyclist Dan Martin, ex-Balenciaga Gucci Group leader James McArthur and businessman Jason Ellis, president at retailer GameStop. There’s no doubt that the Dragons will be kicking themselves over this missed opportunity.
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