Jacob Thundil, Cocofina

Jacob Thundil, Cocofina founder

Organic food and drink brand Cocofina has secured a £75,000 investment from BBC TV show Dragons’ Den.

Dragons Nick Jenkins and Sarah Willingham made a joint pledge of the money to Cocofina founder, co-owner and ‘chief nut’ Jacob Thundil in exchange for 20% of the business, with the opportunity for Thundil to buy back 10% at a later date.

Kerala-born Thundil, who set up his business 11 years ago, arrived on the show with the aim of creating a ‘super brand’ and moving into pharmacy retailers, Marks & Spencer and then Waitrose. Cocofina – which produces a range of 30 coconut-based products including snacks and soft drinks – is currently listed in Harrods, Fenwick and Holland & Barrett, with exports making up 45% of sales.

Turnover for the past three years was around £1m, £600,00 and £300,000, and profits were at £70,000, £50,000 and £12,000, Thundil told the Dragons. The first to make an offer of £75,000, Deborah Meaden, wanted 20%, praising Thundil for his strategy but adding there was “a little bit of work” needed on the brand’s development.

Jenkins also suggested development was necessary, while Willingham confessed to being an “enormous user” of Cocofina products. Touker Suleyman offered £100,000 for a 25% share, with the option of buying back 5%. But Thundil rejected his approach, as well as Peter Jones’ offer of £75,000 without the possibility of a buyback, in favour of Moonpig.com founder Jenkins and Willingham, the former owner of the Bombay Bicycle Club restaurant chain.