Three Dragons’ Den stars battle it out on Crowdcube

Crowdcube – Deborah Meaden-backed GripIt raises £2m as Sarah Willingham and Piers Linney support businesses looking for funding from the crowd

Three of the stars of BBC Two’s Dragons’ Den are batting it out for funding on Crowdcube, the UK’s top equity crowdfunding platform, with two of them already behind businesses looking for investment on the site, and one spotting an opportunity to invest directly via the Crowdcube platform. Ahead of the pack is programme favourite, Deborah Meaden who backed GripIt Fixings, a plasterboard fixing product, after founder Jordan Daykin became the youngest recipient of investment on Dragons’ Den when he appeared on the show in 2014. This weekend, the company successfully funded after going live last Monday to the tune of £2m, exceeding its original target of £1.5m and attracting 639 investors.

Entrepreneur, investor and personal finance expert, Sarah Willingham is behind the London Cocktail Club, which has five venues around London, and also counts Michelin-starred chef Raymond Blanc among its investors. While Piers Linney, who appeared on the award-winning TV show between 2013 and 2015 and is CEO of IT business Outsourcery, has invested in Dirt Factory, the UK’s first indoor bike park, via Crowdcube.

Crowdcube co-founder Luke Lang, says: “We’re seeing something of a ‘Dragon-off’ on the Crowdcube site at the moment, with three Dragons backing businesses looking for funding, which is quite exciting. This is a first for us, although we’re used to seeing big-name investors, entrepreneurs and even celebrities getting behind exciting new ideas and talent looking to raise money from the crowd.”

GripIt, whose young founder invented the product at the age of just 13, launched in 2012 and is now stocked in over 3,000 stores across the UK with plans to expand into the US and Australia.

The founders of the London Cocktail Club won BBC’s The Restaurant in 2008, judged by Raymond Blanc and, Sarah Willingham who are now both on the board. The company has raised £121,930 from 68 investors on its target of £750,000.

Dirt Factory will be the UK’s first indoor bike park based in Manchester. Catering for mountain bikes and BMXs, the company plans to create indoor trails to attract the growing community of cyclists in the UK, and plans to open two more indoor parks in the UK and Europe. Currently overfunding by 145%, Dirt Factory has already raised £436,350 from 543 investors with 1 day still left to go.

Photo Source: Crowdcube

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