Dragons’ Den “failure” Oppo Ice Cream bags £350,000 from the crowd
Tennis star Andy Murray among 538 investors who backed the London-based superfood ice cream start-up in second crowdfunding campaign
Following an appearance on BBC Dragons' Den last night where it failed to secure investment, healthy food start-up Oppo Ice Cream has announced it has secured £350,000 in an oversubscribed crowdfunding round on equity crowdfunding platfrom Seedrs.
Valuing the company at £3.11m, the deal involved 538 investors (including British tennis star Andy Murray), who backed the campaign in exchange for a share of 5.5% equity – taking the round way over its £150,000 funding target.
Launched in October 2014 by brothers Charlie and Harry Thuillier, London-based Oppo Ice Cream is a range of superfood, low-calorie and “guilt-free” ice creams that have fewer calories than a large apple.
Endorsed by Sir Richard Branson and recently invited to attend an overseas trade mission by prime minister David Cameron, the healthy food business is already stocked in over 1,300 stores including Wholefoods, Budgens, and Holland & Barrett.
The investment – which marks its second successful crowdfunding campaign to date – will be used to create a marketing campaign with the media agency behind Red Bull. The start-up also plans to take on 30 sampling and brand ambassadors, and will hire a dedicated social media and design executive.
Charlie Thuillier, commented: “We are on a mission to eradicate tasteless health food and unhealthy junk by proving it is possible to fuse health with indulgence. We’ll be relentless in continuing to innovate across food categories, ice cream is just the start.”
Co-founder, Harry Thuillier, added:
“We will not be beaten by the big boys. Consumers can and should have the best of both worlds.”
Britain's number one tennis player Andy Murray has been an active angel investor having also backed a number of other UK start-ups via the Seedrs platform.
His recent investments include: Startups Awards winner and annual travel ticket subscription service CommuterClub; salad bar chain and Young Gun company Tossed; P2P lender Landbay, which recently partnered with Zoopla; Readbug, a company describing itself as a ‘Netflix for magazines'; and We Are Colony, the global film streaming platform started by BAFTA-winning filmmaker Sarah Tierney;
He said: “Giving recognition and support to British entrepreneurs is important to me, especially those who are the driving force behind growth-focused businesses. Every one of these entrepreneurs is inspirational and dedicated to their business and I’m excited to have invested in their team’s vision and work ethic.”
The Thuilliers talk about their Dragons Den experience, and why it was less about the money and more about the marketing opportunity, here.