Last night’s Dragons’ Den saw London-based fashion entrepreneur Erika Nilsson-Humphrey pitch for £75,000 in exchange for 7.5 per cent stake. Her business, DAPPAD, is a high-end personal online stylist for men; a concept that resonated with the Dragons, but still left her without their backing.
Nilsson-Humphrey founded DAPPAD in 2015, after “too many failed attempts” to get her boyfriend (now husband) decent clothing in department stores. She left her career in investment banking and started her business. Sadly, that’s when personal tragedy struck. In the early years of founding DAPPAD, Nilsson-Humphrey was diagnosed with an aggressive breast cancer. Despite this Erika was determined to overcome her diagnosis and make a success of DAPPAD.
On the show, Nilsson-Humphrey got off to a strong start.DAPPAD has served over 200 men so far, including celebrities Ian Wright and Ronan Keating. Since starting the business in 2015, sales have grown by 600 per cent.
The company had been named in GQ Magazines ‘10 coolest things in the world this week’. However, almost immediately after the pitch, the Dragons took issue with the company name. Jenny Campbell said, “I don’t get the brand – DAPPAD.”
The other Dragons were impressed with DAPPAD’s shopping model, as personalisation and subscription services continue to boom in Britain. Touker Suleyman, “respected what Erika had so far achieved.” Peter Jones said Erika “is a very investible person.” To them, however, £75,000 isn’t enough of an investment to achieve wide-scale growth. According to the Dragons, it’s a £1 million enterprise. Nilsson-Humphrey left the show empty-handed, but renewed by the Dragons’ faith in her business model.