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Collagin founders land Dragons’ Den investment

Collagin, a gin distilled with pure collagen, has received a £50,000 (US$65,139) investment offer on hit BBC programme Dragons’ Den to help grow the brand internationally.

(L-r) Collagin founders Liz Beswick and Camilla Brown on Dragons’ Den

Young in Spirit, the UK-based team behind the ‘world’s first’ gin containing collagen, appeared on the BBC Two programme, which sees entrepreneurs pitch their businesses to a group of famous investors, on Sunday (9 September).

The company’s founders, Camilla Brown and Liz Beswick, launched the gin in March 2017. Collagin is described as a spirit that could “sit on the back bar and also in a beauty parlour”.

The brand is on track to sell 8,000 bottles, with a turnover of £250,000, by the end of the next financial year.

Oxford-based entrepreneurs Brown and Beswick entered the show asking for £50,000 in return for a 10% equity stake. The investment will go towards new product development, “keeping up with UK demand” and to help the brand grow internationally.

Fashion retail magnate Touker Suleyman and Vitabiotics CEO Tej Lalvani offered the agreed sum but for a higher stake in the business at 30%.

Following a tense deliberation between the Collagin founders, Suleyman and Lalvani offered to split the investment and 30% equity, with both Brown and Beswick agreeing.

“We are still on a high from the whole experience,” said Brown. “The outcome was amazing and we definitely ended up with the best dragons for our business. With Tej’s health background and Touker being the king of retail, we can take the brand so much further.

“It’s only ever been Liz and I, but we managed to take a product to market and become a big contender in a very saturated world. With their backing, there’ll be no stopping us now.”

Beswick added: “We may have given away more equity than we had hoped but it was time to take the business to the next level, and we know Touker and Tej will help us get there and accelerate the growth.

“It was such a brilliant yet daunting experience, especially being six months pregnant at the time. We can’t wait to see where the next few years take us with two amazing businessmen backing us.”

Collagin tapped into the pink gin trend with the launch of a rose-flavoured expression in July this year.

The firm also came under fire after industry watchdog the Portman Group upheld two complaints alleging that Collagin wrongly implies it has “health and beauty benefits”.

Collagin contains 100mg of pure collagen

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