Dragons' Den's biggest success stories

The BBC show has introduced us to many a lucrative business, from investing in Levi Roots to rejecting Trunki.

Dragons' Den S21,04-01-2024,Key Art,Touker Suleyman, Sara Davies, Deborah Meaden, Peter Jones, Steven Bartlett, ,BBC Studios,Simon Pantling
Dragons' Den can be life-changing for business owners. (BBC)

Dragons' Den has life-changing potential for entrepreneurs brave enough to face the investors, with some huge companies having launched from the long-running BBC series.

Deborah Meaden, Peter Jones and co have boosted start-up companies to stratospheric success since the show began in 2005, with some household names emerging.

But the investors don't always get it right - there are also some huge businesses that have made it despite rejection in the Den. Here are some of the show's biggest success stories.

Levi Roots

Levi Roots - Celebrity Big Brother 2024 (ITV)
Levi Roots is currently in Celebrity Big Brother. (ITV)

He's by far the biggest star to have come out of Dragons' Den after seeking investment for his Reggae Reggae Sauce in 2006 - which came complete with a catchy theme tune.

Levi Roots secured a £50,000 investment for 40% of his business, which is widely stocked in supermarkets and has helped him launch a cookbook and a Caribbean TV cooking show.

Now, Roots is featuring as a housemate in the rebooted series of Celebrity Big Brother on ITV. The TV star wants to engage with young people and inspire them.

Ahead of his stint, he said: "Now because I want to engage with young people who perhaps weren’t even born when I was in Dragon’s Den in 2007. I’ve had an amazing run with young people loading up on my sauces and my products. I’ve always said if Levi Roots can do it, anyone can do it.

"And that is about engaging with young people and showing them that if they put themselves in situations like I did on Dragon’s Den then they can do it. Be yourself. Just be you and you will become successful. So that’s the reason why I’m doing this - to engage with younger people that I hope will watch the show."

Magic Whiteboard

This genius product was brought into the 2008 Den by creators Neil and Laura Westwood, who secured a double investment from Deborah Meaden and Theo Paphitis at £100,000 for 40%.

Magic Whiteboard is a portable roll and sheets that can be used as a whiteboard, which has proved useful for businesses, schools and families.

Peter Jones might have branded it "ridiculous" but the Westwoods had the last laugh as it has gone on to become a global stationary staple.


Chances are that if you've got young children, someone has gifted them a Wonderbly book which originally arrived in the Den called Lost My Name.

Entrepreneur dads Asi Sharabi, David Cadji-Newby, Tal Oron, and Pedro Serapicos won a £100,000 investment for 4% of the company from Piers Linney in 2014 for the personalised books that are printed with a child's name.

Linney has claimed it is the best investment he ever made during his time on Dragons' Den.

Tangle Teezer

London, United Kingdom - April 8, 2021: Pink Tangle Teezer Mini on pink background
The Tangle Teezer has been hugely successful. (PA/Alamy)

Not all entrepreneurs are recognised for their lightbulb ideas when they appear on the show, as Tangle Teezer founder Shaun Pulfrey proved after his 2007 appearance.

The range of brushes and combs have an innovative way of detangling hair and are loved by celebrities, but a poor pitch and a lack of lined up distributors saw the Dragons send Pulfrey away with no investment.

It is thought to be the most successful business to have been rejected by the show, as in 2021 Pulfrey sold the majority of his shares for £70 million.


Saddle up for a ride on Trunki with new Saddlebags for stowing extra stuff (Kathy Witt/MCT/Sipa USA)
Trunki is a holiday staple. (Sipa USA/PA/Alamy)

Visit any airport around the world and you're sure to spot Trunki's brightly-coloured cases being wheeled around by families.

The suitcase that doubles as a ride-on children's toy is a genius way of quickly getting tired little legs to the right gate, but the Dragons were unable to see its appeal when Rob Law debuted it in 2006.

In fact, Theo Paphitis even said: "No-one in their right mind would think that business was worth £1 million" - which spurred Law on to prove him wrong, later selling it for £12 million.

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