Dragons' Den: Sara Davies offer leaves contestant in tears in 2019
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The young entrepreneur appeared before the investors in the hopes of securing funding and support for his brand Mak Tok’s Authentic Chilli Pastes. The chilli paste was inspired by his mother’s own recipe.
Launching his pitch back in 2019 – which aired during the third episode of series 17 – Will sang about the story of how his condiment business came to be, all the while playing the guitar.
He explained he had missed his mother’s Malaysian chilli paste when he first began studying in the UK.
To help with his home sickness, his mum had sent him ingredients to make his own sauce and he later turned it into a business with the help of his cousin.
Met with smiles and applause after his performance, he informed the Dragons that Mak Tok started in May 2017, and have sold more than 8,000 units to date.
Having recently launched into their first supermarket, he also spoke about plans to export to different countries in “a couple of months”.
He informed the Dragons he was looking for an investment of £50,000 for a 20 percent share in the company.
But it wasn’t just the money which had motivated Will to pitch to the Dragons.
Asked by Sara Davies what he had come there for, the entrepreneur replied: “Your expertise and your contacts.
“I suffer from social anxiety, so I’m not the best person to go out there and talk to people and I’m not great at phoning up people. I get really, really scared to do that.
“But what I can do is stand in front of people and tell people about my product and my little story.”
Despite admiration and positive feedback from the Dragons, Will sadly wasn’t immediately inundated with offers.
“I’ve really enjoyed your pitch, it has led me to what you said – a little bit of joy,” Deborah Meaden said. “But unfortunately, I won’t be investing. I’m out.”
The rest of the Dragons also declined the opportunity to invest, bar one.
Luckily for Will, Sara Davies had something different to say.
“When I came into the Den, I set myself some clear parameters,” she said. “This is everything I said that I wouldn’t do.
“There’s loads of chilli pastes but there’s only one Will, and I think you are great.
“I just, I love you and I really want to make this work with you.”
Welling up, she continued: “I just think someone needs to give you that break,” leaving Will in tears and fellow Dragon Touker Suleyman wiping his eyes.
The entrepreneur announced she would offer him all of the money – the full £50,000 – in return for a third of the business.
The rest, would be divided equally between Will and his cousin, with whom he co-founded the business.
It required him to give away 13 percent more equity than he’d wanted to, but nevertheless, a visibly emotional Will accepted the offer.
Overcome with happiness, he said: “I started my business because of my mum, and she’s always been behind me all the way.
“And without her support and everyone else that’s behind me, I wouldn’t be here today talking to you guys.”
As he exited the Den, several Dragons were clearly moved by the meeting.
“Will leaves behind an unusually emotional Den and heads back to Sheffield with an investment from seasoned business builder Sara Davies,” presenter Evan Davis commented.
The company is worth an estimated £500,000, according to Insider Growth at the time of writing.
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