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Manta founders turn down investment in the Dragons' Den

Lauretta Roberts
02 February 2024

Founders of the pioneering detangling hairbrush, Manta, Tim and Dani Binnington walked out of the Dragons' Den empty handed in an episode aired last night – not because they didn't received investment offers, but because they turned them down.

The husband and wife duo entered the Den asking for a £240,000 investment for 4% of their company. While Dragons Peter Jones, Sara Davies and Touker Souleyman were all interested in investing – perhaps mindful that the Den turned down the opportunity to invest in the wildly successful Tangle Teaser back in 2007 – they all wanted far more equity than the pair were prepared to sacrifice.

Retail entrepreneur Souleyman not only wanted a third of the business for £240,000 but also wanted £2 per product sold until his investment was paid back at which point he said he would cut his shares to 20%. Deborah Meaden who admitted she had regretted not investing in Tangle Teaser did not make an offer.

Manta co-founder Tim Binnington declined the offers and when asked if he would like to make a counter-offer he refrained from doing so, believing he couldn't come close to making an offer that would come near to the Dragons' expectations. He said the experience in the Den made him realise what value their was in the business, whose brush was developed to address problems with hair loss and breakage.


The Original Manta Brush

"There are millions of people who are suffering with hair breakage and thinning hair which Manta really knows it can help. Sadly the dragons were more interested in the money rather than solving the problem," he said.

Manta brushes can be used on dry or wet hair and can also be used to massage shampoo into the scalp when washing. Three versions are available including the original for £30, the Mirror for £35 and a pulsating version, known as Pulse, for £70. Its design incorporates patented FLEXGUARD technology enabling it to mould to the hand and head meaning it never reaches the stress point that causes breakage. It is also anti-static and heat resistant.

It was developed by professional hairdresser Tim Binnington, founder of the Headmasters chain of salons, for his wife Dani who, after a life-threatening illness, had lost her hair. Tim and Dani wanted to ensure her hair was protected as it grew back.

The brushes already have a cult following among beauty and hair connoisseurs and are used in Headmasters salons, among others. Stockists include SpaceNK, Cult Beauty and Amazon.

Dragons' Den can be viewed on BBC iPlayer. Main image: Courtesy, BBC

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