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Worcester company revealed in top five most successful BBC Dragon's Den businesses

26 March 2021
The Business Magazine article image for: Worcester company revealed in top five most successful BBC Dragon's Den businesses

With the BBC's Dragon's Den returning for its 18th series next week, Worcester-based Magic Whiteboard has been revealed as the second most successful business ever to come out of the Den.

Financial comparison site has compiled a list of seven of the most successful applicants from the series.

Top of the list comes Levi Roots and his Reggae Reggae Sauce, but in second place is Worcester-based Magic Whiteboard.

Founded by husband-and-wife team Neil and Laura Westwood back in 2006, Magic Whiteboard is a roll of A1 whiteboard sheets that will stick on anything thanks to static. It is now stocked in all major office supply stores with a global customer base.

Magic Whiteboard are now the UK’s favourite stationery company. It doesn't just sell Magic Whiteboard, it also sells stationery, stationery supplies, whiteboard, magnetic whiteboard, notebooks, Knock Knock pads, sticky notes and pegboard noticeboards.

The product is now said to be Deborah Meaden and Theo Paphitis’ most successful investment with the portable whiteboard achieving impressive growth since appearing on the show. 

In September 2014, the Westwood’s bought back their shares from Meaden and Paphitis, giving the investors £800,000 return on their £100,000 investment. 

Having increased sales from £45,000 to £1.2 million a year, and consistently delivering healthy profits, the founders decided to ask Theo and Deborah to sell back their shares. Neil and Laura wanted to give their children, Ella and Morley the shares to secure their future.

The top seven companies are:

Reggae Reggae Sauce

  1. Levi Roots and his Reggae Reggae Sauce

Dragons: Peter Jones and Richard Farleigh

Investment amount: £50,000 for an impressive 40% equity in the company

Reggae Reggae sauces are now stocked in all major UK supermarkets, taking Roots’ worth to an estimated £30 million according to the Sunday Times Rich List.

Peter Jones remains a shareholder and advocate for the brand.

2.  Magic Whiteboard (see above)

Skinnytan3. Skinny Tan

Dragons: Kelly Hoppen and Piers Linney

Investment amount: £60,000 for a 10% stake in the company

Launched in 2012, the brand boasted profits of £600,000 in its first year.

The company was sold for an undisclosed sum in June 2015, both co-founders and Hoppen and Linney remain shareholders.

In April 2020, Kate and Louise revealed that they plan to extend to Spain and South Africa next.

Wonderbly4. Wonderbly

Dragon: Piers Linney

Investment amount: £100,000 for a 4% stake in the company

The company has gone on to sell more than two million books across the globe, with Dragon Piers Linney reporting it as "the most successful business to have ever passed through the Den's walls" in 2015.

5. Razzamataz Theatre Schools

Dragon: Duncan Bannatyne

Investment amount: £50,000

In 2014, Hutton-Gosney was able to buy back Bannatyne's stake in the company for £70,000 and now owns 90% of the company.

6. Chocbox

Dragons: Duncan Bannatyne and James Caan 

Investment amount: £150,000 in return for a 36% stake in his business

Entrepreneur Peter Moule invented a plastic cable device as a way to store electrical wires safely.

Peter's gadget went on to net £25 million in global sales since first appearing on the show.

7. Mainstage Festivals

Dragon: Piers Linney 

Investment amount: £100,000 in return for 15% of their company.

Founded in 2011 by Rob Tominey and Aden Levin, Mainstage Festivals offered “once in a lifetime” low-cost clubbing holidays for the 18-24 market.

Nicky Godding is editor of The Business Magazine. Before her journalism career, she worked mainly in public relations moving into writing when she was invited to launch Retail Watch, a publication covering retail and real estate across Europe.

After some years of constant travelling, she tucked away her passport and concentrated on business writing, co-founding a successful regional business magazine. She has interviewed some of the UK’s most successful entrepreneurs who have built multi-million-pound businesses and reported on many science and technology firsts.

She reports on the region’s thriving business economy from start-ups, family businesses and multi-million-pound corporations, to the professionals that support their growth and the institutions that educate the next generation of business leaders.

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