Published On: Wed, Jun 7th, 2023
Business | 2,991 views

Dragons’ Den reject business branded ‘worthless’ with ‘rubbish’ design sells for £12m | Personal Finance | Finance

A Dragons’ Den reject that was slammed as having a ‘worthless’ business by Peter Jones has gone on to sell for £12million.

Creator Rob Law to pitch Trunki, a colourful ride-on children’s suitcase.

He wanted £100,000 for 10 percent of his business and gave a confident pitch for his playful product.

Mr Law said things went “tumbling down hill” when the dragons got their hands on the sample suitcases, with Theo Paphitis easily breaking a strap on the top of the suitcase.

The dragon told him the design was “rubbish” with Deborah Meaden adding: “The moment Theo pulled that handle off, the whole integrity of the quality of that product was compromised.”


Peter Jones thought the £1million valuation was unrealistic. He said: “This type of product is not patentable. That’s why I’m really concerned.

“Within seven days, I could do a better job than that, make sure the clips are working. I could have this in production by the end of next month. Your company is currently worthless. I’m out.”

Mr Law was given a brief glimmer of hope by Richard Farleigh, who suggested offering him the £100,000 for half of the company, but the entrepreneur said this was too much to give away.

Despite his grilling in the den, Mr Law continued with the business, and Mr Paphitis went to see him three years later at the group’s base, ‘Trunki Towers’, in Bristol.

He had developed the product with upgrades to the suitcase and a new backpack concept. He told Mr Paphitis how his turnover for 2009 was £1.14million, up from the previous year at £700,000.

He was predicting turnover for 2010 would grow again, up to more than £2million, with a net profit of £100,000.

Mr Paphitis warned him the low profits were concerning as the business may struggle with cash flow in the future.

More promisingly, Mr Law had secured an investment from a private equity investor, of £200,000, for 10 percent of the business.

The customisable product went on to be a huge success selling more than two million of the suitcases through major retailers including Argos and Halfords.

Mr Law has now sold the brand’s holding company, Magmatic, to e-commerce Heroes, in a deal worth around £12million. The entrepreneur is set to get £7million from the sale.

He has also created other travel products for children, including the Boostapak car booster seat which is also a backpack.

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