Dragons’ Den success stories: Tangle Teezer (and what you can learn from them)

The £65m hairbrush can be found in the handbags of Victoria Beckham, Kate Moss and even the Royal family – so why didn’t the Dragons invest?

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Company name: Tangle Teezer
Description: Professional detangling hairbrush
Series: 5
Year: 2007
Investment sought: £80,000 for 15%
Why didn’t the Dragons invest? The product was unanimously disliked and mocked by the panel, Jones branded it “hair-brained” and Bannatyne said it “won’t make any money”

Tangle Teezers are today what hair rollers were for women in the 30’s and 40’s with the detangling hairbrush now present in homes and hairdressers in 70 countries worldwide, yet the product failed to secure backing from the Dragons back in 2007.

The creation of former hair colourist Shaun Pulfrey, Tangle Teezer – a hair comb with 400 teeth which can glide through wet or dry hair – failed to muster interest in the Den with Pulfrey’s pitch dubbed “hair-brained” and a “waste of time” by the Dragons.

When he appeared on the show, Pulfrey was unable to evidence any sales as he had only began manufacturing the brush, had no deals lined up with distributors, and had inadvertently insulted Meaden’s hair colour; factors which led all five Dragons to negate from investing.

Poor pitching aside, Pulfrey’s plans to take the business UK-wide have been achieved and then some.

Recently valued at a hair-raising £65m, Tangle Teezer now boasts a roster of celebrity fans including Kate Moss, Victoria Beckham, Nicole Scherzinger, Cara Delevingne, and even Princess Kate Middleton, and is now stocked in Boots stores across the country.

Revenue figures are equally impressive; in the year to March 2014 the company reported turnover of £14.4m, followed by £23.4m turnover in the 12 months to March 2015, and turnover is projected to hit a staggering £34m next year.

With recent rumours that Pulfrey has received takeover offers of up to £200m, the Dragons could have walked away with a sizeable return if they had invested in the Den – not so “hair-brained” now!

Watch the original pitch here.

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