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Dragons' Den: 5 of the most successful rejected businesses

The Dragons have missed out on millions

dragons den
Eve Crosbie
Eve CrosbieTV & Film Writer
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Dragons' Den has been a launching pad for some incredibly successful businesses in recent years. 

MORE: Meet the partners of Peter Jones, Deborah Meaden and more

However, while the multi-millionaire dragons can often sniff out a lucrative business opportunity miles away, they don't always get it right and over the years have let many winning business ideas walk out of the den without a deal.

Keep reading for the most profitable businesses we bet they're still kicking themselves for missing out on...

dragons den s16© Photo: BBC

The Dragons have missed out on millions from these businesses

Pasta Evangelists

When Alex Savelli and Finn Lagun entered the den in 2018, their business Pasta Evangelists was brushed off by the dragons as nothing special and their request for  £75,000 in exchange for a 2.5% equity stake was rejected.

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However, the fresh pasta delivery service got the last laugh as after the episode aired, sales almost doubled and they managed to acquire £3.5million in funding from investors. Since then, the brand has continued to grow and counts many famous faces such as Bake Off's Prue Leith, Giles Coren and more among their customers.

Tangle Teezer

Shaun Pulfrey appeared on the show back in 2007 with his is genius invention, the Tangle Teezer, hoping for an £80,000 investment for a 15 per cent stake in the company. Sadly for him, his pitch went south after he struggled to demonstrate the product's painless detangling abilities on a severely knotted head of hair. The idea was branded "hair-brained" by the dragons and he ended up walking away empty-handed.

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Flash forward more than a decade, and Tangle Teezer is not only a household name but the company is now worth an astonishing £65million and has been endorsed by many celebrities such as Cara Delevigne and Victoria Beckham.


It might have been a while since we've been in an airport, but we've bet you've all seen these colourful ride-on children's suitcase that make travelling with young kids a breeze.

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Founder Rob Law pitched the business to the dragons in 2006 but was sent packing after Theo Paphitis broke a strap on one of the cases, suggesting that the design still needed more work. Even though he didn't get the £100,000 investment he needed, Trunki has gone on to make millions, won over 100 design awards and is now believed to be worth an estimated £8million.

Hungry House

While online takeaway order and delivery services hardly seem revolutionary these days, back in 2007 when Shane Lake and Tony Charles pitched their idea of Hungry House, they were definitely on to something new.

MORE: Dragons' Den: 5 of most successful businesses from the show

The pair managed to secure an offer of £100,000 from James Caan and Ducan Bannatyne in return for a whopping 50 per cent stake in the business, but the deal later fell through during post-show negotiations. Luckily, they managed to raise £150,000 from other investors and in just three years increased their number of restaurant partners from 150 to 2,500. In 2016, the company was bought by Just Eat for an impressive £200million.

Skinny Dip

Skinny Dip may sell everything from clothing to lifestyle products now, but when they launched in 2011, they were primarily focused on creating fashionable and quirky phone cases, headphones and tech accessories.

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Seeking a £120,000 investment for a 20 per cent share of their burgeoning business, founders Lewis Blitz and James and Richard Gold, appeared on the show and managed to Peter Jones, but sadly the deal never went through.

It didn't hamper their success, however, and Skinny Dip now has more than eight brick-and-mortar stores and can also be found in retail concessions at fashion giants such as River Island, Harvey Nichols and ASOS.

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