Flavourly, a gourmet food and drink subscription company that turned down four investment offers from TV’s Dragons’ Den, has topped the Dragons’ £75,000 total offer within hours of the programme’s broadcast.
The sum has been raised through a pitch to the public through crowd-funding platform Crowdcube, which went live soon after Sunday night’s programme aired. The pitch is seeking to raise £300,000 for a 17% stake in the business. By lunchtime on Monday, nearly £100,000 had been raised.
Flavourly is the brainchild of 26-year-old Scottish entrepreneur Ryan O’Rorke. Having seen his father, an amateur honey maker, struggle to sell products outside his local circle, O’Rorke found 75% of small British producers do not have the resources or infrastructure to sell direct to consumers or the multiples.
Flavourly seeks and selects the finest independently-produced gourmet food, drink and craft beer and delivers them in a package to customers each month. Popular products include bacon jam, chilli popcorn and venison, mushroom and whisky pasta sauce.
O’Rorke launched Flavourly in November 2012 from his grandmother’s garage in Edinburgh. Since then the company has grown 500% year on year, shipping more than 500,000 products from over 300 small British producers. Its craft beer club was launched in 2014 and received 4,000 orders on the first day.
Flavourly has helped break many small food and drink producers into the mainstream and last week launched its online marketplace where customers can rebuy favourite items at the most affordable prices on the web.
On Sunday night’s Dragons’ Den, O’Rorke was seen pitching for £75,000 in return for a 5% stake of the business. He received four separate investment offers, plus a job offer from Kelly Hoppen. Viewers saw O’Rorke accept a joint bid from Piers Linney and Peter Jones for the full amount in exchange for a 20% stake.
However, following the show’s recording last March, O’Rorke and Flavourly CEO Assean Sheikh decided to decline the Dragons’ offer and pursue other investment opportunities. Since March, Flavourly’s sales have more than doubled and the company has added 40% more products and 33% more producers to its range.
Since Dragons’ Den aired, more than 20,000 people have visited Flavourly’s website leading to thousands of new subscribers and hundreds of requests from potential investors.
Says Ryan O’Rorke: “The Dragons loved Flavourly and I’m hugely grateful to them for their support and encouragement. But we’re thrilled at the tremendous public reaction so far and the excitement for our brand. The investment offers are flying in thick and fast and we’re well on the way to smashing our next funding target.”