Dragons Den winners: The original and the best
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‘Dadtrepreneurs’ Asi Sharabi, David Cadji-Newby, Tal Oron and Pedro Serapicos entered the Den in 2014 looking for £100,000 investment, for a four percent equity stake in the business. Originally named Lost My Name, Wonderbly has now sold over two million books worldwide, with revenue surpassing £30million.
Wonderbly combines the power of storytelling with a splash of cutting-edge technology to create a personalised experience for each reader.
It uses clever algorithms to create personalised children’s books, placing the young reader within the story.
During the pitch, the Dragons were impressed by the rapid growth that the business had experienced so far, having a turnover of £460,000 since they launched the business in 2012.
The idea impressed Piers Linney, who invested the full £100,000 requested for a four percent stake, the best equity deal in the history of Dragons’ Den.
Orders for their first book ‘The Little Boy/Girl Who Lost His/Her Name’, surged after the BBC programme aired in 2014.
The book created a story around the individual letters of a child’s name and cost £18.99.
In June 2015, the business closed a $9million (around £7.6million) Series A round led by Google Ventures which was topped up with a €4million (around £3.4million) Series A extension in 2016.
Additionally in July 2017 Wonderbly clinched a further $8.5m (around £6.4million) in a Series B led by Ravenburger.
The business has also scooped countless awards and was nominated for a BAFTA in 2016.
In August 2021, the publisher announced a joint IP project with the Roald Dahl Estate, facilitating the creation of personalised books which will place their readers inside Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory.
Wonderbly produces a range of 44 personalised children’s books. Revenue has grown by more than 20 percent per annum over the past three years to over £30million.
This year, Wonderbly was acquired by UK mid-market private equity firm Graphite Capital, a publishing platform for personalised children’s books.
Wonderbly chief executive Mr Sharabi said the firm had known Graphite for several years, and Graphite had been “top of our list” when the business started thinking about new partners.
He told Printweek: “We were impressed by the experience of their team, their expertise in brand development and their shared vision for our future.
“We look forward to working with them on the next stage of our journey.”
Omar Kayat, Graphite senior partner, said: “Wonderbly has a talented management team which, in a short space of time, has built a high-quality business with a worldwide footprint and market-leading technology.
“We will work with Asi and his team to develop further corporate partnerships and expand Wonderbly into a broader digital media and technology company.”
Wonderbly operates in a large and fast-growing sector.
The global personalised gifting market is worth £19billion and is growing at nine percent annually.
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