Man Who Turned Down £75,000 From Dragons Den Has Firm 'Valued At £6 Million'
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Dhruvin Patel appeared on the show - in which entrepreneurs pitch for investment from the multimillionaire 'Dragons' - last year alongside his business partner, Asad Hamir.
The Dragons were impressed by Ocushield - the company he launched while at university in 2015 - which specialises in medically rated screen protectors that combat the harmful effects of blue light emitted from devices.
They secured £75,000 worth of investment from dragons Peter Jones and Tej Lalvani for a combined 15 percent stake in the business, but in the six months after the show was filmed, before any agreements had been signed, the company raked in £750,000.
They were subsequently unable to negotiate a new agreement reflecting the company's growth, so they walked away; and it seems like it was the Dragons' loss, as Dhruvin said the company is now worth around £6 million.
Speaking to The Sun, optometrist Dhruvin said: "After appearing on the show, our brand and revenue went up and up.
"We realised we were giving Peter and Tej too much of a good deal, but the Dragons couldn’t negotiate outside of the Den to make the deal more palatable.
"The business had growth five times in the period of negotiations, so for us as a business, we had to say no.
"While it was a shame we couldn't have them involved, we're sure Tej and Peter would have made the same savvy moves in our positions as budding business titans, so there's definitely no hard feelings."
Indeed, with hindsight, the decision to walk away seems very savvy indeed, as Ocushield has since acquired almost £1 million in investment for a smaller stake in the company.
Dhruvin said: "We raised 12 times the amount and gave less away that we would have with the deal with the BBC's Dragons at 13 per cent compared to 15 in the Den."
The company's growth is in part due to the impact of the pandemic and lockdowns, which has seen people's screen time increase, which in turn has caused people to experience eye strain, fatigue, headaches and blurry vision.
Ocushield's screen protectors are designed for a range of devices, as well as lamps and glasses.
The company's 'manifesto' reads: "Your eyes are everything
"When your eyes are healthy, you sleep better, you feel better, you get more done. By taking care of your eyes, you take care of so much more.
"And they need taking care of. Because with so many backlit screens and digital devices, we put our eyes under far more strain than we ever used to. On their own, they can’t keep up."