Hanna Sillitoe is a health brand, focused on providing exceptional skincare. It offers botanical skin and hair care, wellbeing retreats and online coaching.
The company was inspired by Hanna’s own struggles with effective skincare. Since the age of 15, she had struggled with severe acne, eczema and psoriasis. After being offered a chemotherapy suppressant drug by her doctor, she dramatically changed her diet and lifestyle and began to see rapid improvements in her skin. Through Hanna Sillitoe, she wants to help customers take charge of their skincare, and to help educate people about the importance of the products we put on (and into) our bodies.
"I accepted an offer from Tej on last year’s Dragons Den. Having learned some deals in the Den fall through at due diligence stage, I felt daunted at how complex this might be. Thanks to Tej’s team and their hard work and dedication, they superbly guided me through the process from start to finish. We finalised the deal in record quick time and I signed with Tej the week before my episode aired. Since the show, they have been arranging retail introductions, supporting my PR strategy and helping me to make decisions for the business - big and small. His team are constantly on hand and asking questions is made as simple as sending a direct message, often with an immediate response."
Hanna Sillitoe, Founder
Look After My Bills is a new free service that cuts your gas and electricity bills without you having to do a thing. A two minute sign up then you're automatically moved to the best deal from a decent supplier. When that deal ends you are automatically switched to another deal so you are always saving.
As of November 2018, Look After My Bills is the largest auto-switching service in the country with over 85,000 people signed up since its launch in January 2018. It has already saved the British public £10 million on their energy bills and moved over £50 million in energy custom. On average people are saving £253 per year. 10% are saving over £450.
"We count ourselves very fortunate to list Tej as one of our investors in Look After My Bills. He invested on Dragon's Den when we had 15,000 users, and within a year we had 10x'd in size and sold to one of Britain's best known companie's GoCompare. Tej's advice and profile helped us build a highly trusted brand and market effectively to a mass audience, all in double quick time. He is simply a fantastic person to have on your cap table!"
Henry De Zoete, Co-Founder
Wool Couture is a leading designer and retailer of luxury yarns, DIY knitting and crochet kits, and DIY weaving and macramÃ© kits. The company creates stylish, unique kits that are innovative, accessible and ready to make for today's busy committed crafter and casual creative; and to inspire and nurture artisans in their own handmade journey. Its high quality range of pure merino wool also come in giant balls of yarn that make knitting fun and faster to create your ideal piece of accessory.
"What Tej’s team brings to the table is a range of expertise, which has been so valuable for my business, from marketing, social media, HR advice, and financial forecasting. When I needed to reconfigure my workspace they had access to a really great expert in redesigning work flows and improving productivity. I left my career as a NHS Director and to be honest I never thought I would be running a successful online business a few years later…they've helped me with every aspect of building my website and getting the best from it. Tej has the best contacts and support when it comes to online business.
Often I just need a second opinion, what I like about Tej’s team is that they adopt strong coaching principles and encourage you to find the answer by working through the question with me. Tej was the first Dragon in the Den to make me an offer and whilst he wanted a fair slice of my business, I can certainly say that the support, advice and expertise brought to the table has certainly exceeded my expectations.
I always get asked if I actually get to see Tej and the team - the answer is YES! And finally I would just like to say a big Thank You! To Stepan, he is my main contact with Tej’s team"
Claire Gelder, Founder
A range of super teas containing functional herbs, natural fruit flavours and vitamins, TEA+ is a new generation of vitamin super tea. The brand combines green tea with herbs, fruit flavours and nine essentials for detox, immunity and energy.
"Tej has played a huge role in both TEA+ and my personal development in the last 2 years since meeting on Dragons Den. On both our wider strategy, marketing and brand development, Tej’s time and advice have been valuable in getting our brand to the next level and a position where we are growing substantially."
James Dawson, Founder
Nestor is a London-based short-lets management company, managing properties on behalf of corporate clients and individual owners, offering an exceptional service for both owners and guests.
The company was founded in October 2015 by friends Fran Milsom and Mark Hudson after both had travelled South America, staying in holiday rentals and noticing a lack of consistency and quality in the accommodation. Whilst loving the Airbnb ethos and experience, they recognised a need for management companies to increase standards, provide consistency to consumers and further create amazing experiences for guests, hence Nestor was born.
The company has experienced rapid growth since it began and now manages nearly 650 properties throughout London with plans to increase this to 1,500 by the end of 2018.
"Working with Tej and his team has had a huge impact on our business and has really taken us to the next level. Through Tej's contacts and the extra credibility he has brought us, we have been able to win several new contracts, plus the advice and guidance has really helped us when faced with important decisions. It is been a great experience so far. In addition, Stepan from his team has wealth of experience working with various start-ups and has contributed greatly with our financial modelling."
Fran Milson, Co-Founder
Splento is the 'Uber for photography' - opening up professional photography and videography to be as easy as hailing a cab. They help businesses to sell more with great visual content and create the memories and stories that humanity remembers.
In just 4 years they have grown exponentially and have attracted many significant corporate clients such as Google, Visa, Facebook, Investec and Gucci to name just a few.
From conferences and weddings to start-up team photos and marketing photography, Splento is the easiest way for businesses and individuals to get their professional photos and videos done and delivered.
"Right investors give you wings, and these wings come in different shapes and sizes. We've been very lucky to have Tej Lalvani our investor because of the value added both through advice and limitless Rolodex of connections across a whole range of industries. There are 945,000 results on Google for "product-market fit", 7,770 for "founder-market fit" and only 515 for "founder-investor fit", yet the latter one can make all the difference in your journey from 0 to 1."
Foman Grigoriev, Founder
ShakeSphere is the ultimate shaker bottle that deals with all the problems of making a workout protein shake, by using its patented capsule shape to do the mixing in a flash and more effectively.
The centrifugal force breaks down protein in seconds, so no powders get stuck in the corners or on mixing accessories - as there aren't any. What you're left with is a clean bottle with no remnants of protein powder left behind, saving you money, cleaning time and avoiding the accompanying potent smells!
Its convenient leak proof design also allows you to store your vitamins and supplements in an unique rotating pill section while also providing a screw off storage section hold your powders or snacks.
"As a busy director trying to expand my ShakeSphere business it was always a difficult process to expand as fast as we wanted. We required investment from the Dragons to upscale our tooling, increase capacity and develop new models. This saved us time to launch our business globally. The initial support was also especially useful in understanding who you are selling to and the pricing model for different channels. As with any new business there are always difficulties. Tej and his team have been valuable throughout for discussions and as a sounding board during this process. There is no magic wand to launching any successful business, but having the backing and support when needed has always helped."
Rick Beardsell, Founder
ASYSTEM is a health and wellbeing brand designed for men, with a product range spanning supplements, vitamins and personal care, with a focus on skincare. They use the best natural products, backed up by the latest science, to help men look, feel and perform at their best .
The California-based brand was founded by Josh LeVine and Oliver Walsh. Observing that men were underserved in the wellness and skincare space, they built a brand for men that's modern, inclusive and aspirational. The core product is a subscription service that delivers daily nutrition pills and skincare products.
“There's a clear opportunity in the male wellbeing industry, especially in skincare, and ASYSTEM are well-placed to make a big splash in this growing market. As a fan of wellbeing and a strong believer in the power of vitamins and supplements, the brand immediately struck a chord with me. I'm looking forward to helping ASYSTEM grow their customer base, here in the UK and internationally.”
Matchstick Monkey is a baby brand, focused on making teething trouble a thing of the past. It offers fun, ergonomically-designed teethers, which help provide comfort and relief at every stage of teething.
The UK-based brand was founded by mum-of-three Katie Windridge. While struggling to massage her daughter's gums without getting badly bitten, she decided to invent a solution of her own, and Matchstick Monkey was born. The core teething product is safe and easy to hold, and babies love it. This has led to a rise from humble beginnings to becoming a multi-million-pound, award-winning global brand.
"Matchstick Monkey is a really exciting brand to be collaborating with, and one that I have had my eye on for a while. I'm delighted to be teaming up again with Touker and the team to take Matchstick Monkey to the next level. I'm keen to create new valuable inroads for the brand, including tapping into new international markets."
Reaching 9 million users every month with over 102 million monthly engaged content views, POPxo is India's online community for women that deals everything from fashion, beauty, lifestyle, work, and more. It focuses on reaching the young women in India who are growing in confidence, in independence and in spending power.
Launched in March 2014, it's become the go-to lifestyle resource for woman aged 18-34.
"POPxo is a real testament to the growing empowerment of women in India and I'm extremely proud to be a backer of this project. It's always been a great pleasure to work with the entire POPxo team and with new technology at our fingertips, we're all very excited about where we're it can go next."