Sunday, March 3, 2024

Dragons’ Den investor a ‘perfect fit’ for Irish wellness company

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UK investor Peter Jones is “a perfect fit” for Irish wellness and journaling company The Head Plan, the couple behind the business have said after they secured investment from the businessman on Dragons’ Den.

On last week’s episode of the programme, Denise Kenny Byrne and Ciaran Byrne received offers from three dragons before ultimately deciding to take Mr Jones on board as a 5 per cent shareholder in the company.

Mr Jones’s £80,000 (€94,000) investment, the particulars of which were signed off recently after the episode was taped last summer, will help the pair to “scale the business” and “double down” on its marketing function, Mr Byrne said.

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Ms Kenny Byrne said the financial investment was only a small part of what they were looking for on the programme, however.

“We were a little bit different than other businesses going into the den,” she said. “We launched very late in 2019 and incorporated in 2020. We actually have been doing quite well on our own [and] never really needed the financial investment.

“What we really wanted was the dragon and the dragon’s expertise, helping us bring strategy together and really getting that foot in the UK and beyond.”

Born out of personal trauma after Mr Kenny was diagnosed with leukaemia, The Head Plan’s wellness and productivity journals have proved popular in Ireland, Britain and increasingly the US.

Turnover last year was €1.5 million, up 15 per cent on the previous year, and the company’s products are now available in some 50 countries.

In the den, the couple impressed Mr Jones, who said: “I think you are absolutely brilliant, you are going on a massive life journey and I want to be there with you.”

“We were actually in there for an hour and a half,” Mr Kenny said. “You guys only get to see about 10 minutes or so but [Jones] was so, so passionate about this space. After the show, he made a point of coming out and giving us a big hug and saying how excited he was.”

The Head Plan has traded well in the early weeks of 2024, the couple said and they expect sales growth of about 20 per cent.

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