Tolulope and partners

Lekan Fatodu

It was a rare sight that got the UK viewing public completely stunned and left the fear-inducing multi-millionaire investors that constitute the Dragons’ on the famous business-oriented BBC TV show, Dragons’ Den, totally gobsmacked.

Nigerian Tolulope Ogunsina and his two partners, Austrians Paul Varga and Matthäus Ittner, the trio who became friends during their study at the University College London (UCL), had approached the super-rich investors on the Dragons’ Den show to invest £100,000 in their innovative mobile-game app business to help boost marketing, having made good outing in countries like Austria and Germany.

The smart entrepreneurs had built the tested and steadily growing mobile app called Playbrush. The app was designed to bring a lot of fun to children’s experience of brushing their teeth. Thus they made an impressive pitch to the Dragons for an investment of £100,000 in exchange for 1 per cent equity in the business.

Surprisingly, four of the Dragons offered to give Ogunsina and his partners the sum they requested for, an unusual gesture by the tough investors. But they asked that the young entrepreneurs should give much larger share from the business than the proposed meagre 1 per cent.

But to the utter shock of the influential Dragons, the tech-innovators suggested that they could only do 1.25 per cent. And when it was obvious the investors were still expecting more, the three friends turned down the Dragons.

Not just stopping at completely rejecting the fearsome Dragons, Ogunsina, speaking on behalf of his friends suggested that they would be pleased to have one of the Dragons on an advisory role in their business in which the evidently uncomfortable Dragons replied that the entrepreneurs had come for investment not for an adviser.

Meanwhile Ogunsina and his friends have sealed a worthy deal with Unilever and sold 100,000 products in the last 18 months.