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Business That Was Called ‘Too Risky’ By Dragons' Den Now Worth £86 Million

Aisha Nozari

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Business That Was Called ‘Too Risky’ By Dragons' Den Now Worth £86 Million

Founders Harry and Charlie Thuillier pitched their business Oppo Ice Cream on Dragons’ Den back in 2015, but were rejected by the Dragons.

Fast-forward to 2022 and Oppo Ice Cream is worth approximately £86million, as well as winning numerous awards. 

What’s more, Oppo Ice Cream is now stocked in a whopping 1,300 shops, including Wholefoods and Budgens. 

Harry and Charlie Thuillier pitched Oppo Ice Cream on Dragons’ Den but were rejected. Credit: BBC
Harry and Charlie Thuillier pitched Oppo Ice Cream on Dragons’ Den but were rejected. Credit: BBC

Brothers Harry and Charlie were inspired to found Oppo Ice Cream after a 2011 trip to Brazil. Inspired by the country’s vibrant flavours, the siblings started experimenting with an array of ingredients to try and create a low-calorie ice cream that still tasted awesome. 

Hoping to bag themselves £60,000 worth of investment, Harry and Charlie pitched their ice cream to the Dragons, explaining it was made from meadow-grazed cow's milk, virgin coconut oil, and stevia leaf - with the last two ingredients replacing cream and sugar, making their product a low-calorie alternative to traditional ice cream.

Oppo Ice Cream is worth approximately £86million, plus has won numerous awards. Credit: Oppo Brothers
Oppo Ice Cream is worth approximately £86million, plus has won numerous awards. Credit: Oppo Brothers

However, Sarah Willingham was put off by what she described as a ‘slight after taste’ when she sampled the Salted Caramel flavour, with Peter Jones agreeing.

Peter then told the brothers that because of the aftertaste, he ‘was out’, despite admitting Harry and Charlie were ‘incredibly investable guys’, according to The Express

Sarah agreed, despite telling the siblings she was ‘quite shocked’ at how tasty their ice cream was.

But the Dragon decided against investing as she felt the ‘deal-breaking aftertaste’ would ‘impact repeat purchase’. 

She was also less than impressed by Harry and Charlie’s projected £1million turnover and £35,000 net profit for 2017.

After being shut down by the Dragons, Harry and Charlie turned to website Seedrs, where they launched a series of crowdfunding campaigns.

As of today, Oppo Ice Cream boasts around 538 investors - including Andy Murray and Richard Branson.

Among the awards Oppo Ice Cream has racked up are the Guardian’s Startup of the Year and several Great Taste awards.

However, speaking to My London this month, Charlie revealed it was actually the BBC that approached them about going on Dragons’ Den

"The BBC called us three times to go on Dragons' Den, but we declined them every time. We weren’t interested, we'd got investment, but they said, 'Well what are you doing then, with your time, what's your focus?',” he shared.

"And we said, 'Marketing, we need to tell people about this.' They said, 'well you’re idiots, 4 million people watch each episode'. And they were dead right.”

LADbible has approached Harry and Charlie for comment.

Featured Image Credit: BBC

Topics: Food And Drink

Aisha Nozari
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