Dragons Den success: Cycling innovators CYCL wins investment
Another great pitch has won an investment in the den. On the 29th of January, the hit BBC series; Dragons Den included the team behind WingLights from CYCL. They came, they pitched and they conquered the den, by securing £45,000 from Nick Jenkins. The product was developed following experiences of navigating the streets of London by bike. The creators aimed to make cycling safer with their hit product.
Founders Luca Amaduzzi and Agostino Stilli went face-to-face with the investors and managed to hold their nerves long enough to deliver a successful pitch.
Nick said of the pitch, “I’m really impressed with how Luca and Agostino set up the business, started selling the product and broke even in the first year. That is quite rare and is a pretty good indication that they are backable which is impressive. Put simply, it is a brilliant product.”
Over the last decade the number of commuters in London has increased by 144%*, making cycle safety a key issue now more than ever. As most cycling accidents take place at junctions the need for bicycle indicators was a priority for Luca. A keen cyclist, he along with childhood friend, Agostino, designed and created WingLights from scratch to address pressing issues within cycling safety - in particular, visibility when turning.
Dragon Peter Jones appreciated the high-quality design of the WingLights, stating that the bicycle indicators were “exceptional” and commenting "The quality and the way you’ve put this together, I think, is as good as I have ever seen in a product.” However, it was left to Dragons Touker Suleyman and Nick Jenkins to put forward offers of investment in the direction indicators for bikes with Nick ultimately negotiating a £45,000 investment for 12.5% share of the company, up from the 5% share proposed by the founders.
CYCL has already sold over 16,000 units worldwide since July and anticipates doubling the profits annually over the next three years. The company saw a turnover of £64,000 in their first year, growing to £215K in their second year with a projected turnover of £430K in the next financial year.
Luca Amaduzzi, CEO of CYCL said of the deal: “We’re extremely excited to have Nick Jenkins on board. We created WingLights with the aim of making cycling safer worldwide and we’re sure that having Nick’s expertise and skills available to help us realise that goal. The last two years have been an exciting time as both the product and the business have developed and we’re looking forward to seeing what the future holds.”
Dragons Den has featured some incredible businesses since the show begun and this has continued to be the case. CYCLshows just how valuable it is to create a product or service based on experience; this means someone else may share the same issue.