Natural energy drink startup Füd has chosen to walk away from a £50k cash offer from Dragons’ Den Peter Jones in favour of a crowdfunding campaign to raise double that amount.
Füd, which rebranded from Brain Füd following the raise, appeared on Sunday 22 March’s episode of the BBC Two show, and after two hours of grilling, accepted Jones’ £50k offer for a 30% stake in the business.
“The experience was pretty nerve-wracking,” said founder Philip Udeh. “It was intense having these super-intelligent, successful and very opinionated people interrogating your business.”
Following negotiations held after recording the show, however, co-founders Udeh and Jess Gould decided to turn down the offer and launch a crowdfunding campaign on Seedrs targeting £100k in exchange of 7% of the business, valued at £1.4m.
Füd was able to exceed its target by £10k, bringing in over 200 new investors and enabling the revamped brand to launch in the UK this spring.
The drinks duo – Berry & Coconut and Pineapple & Ginger – combine natural caffeine, B-vitamins and electrolytes to deliver a “natural energy boost”.
The range contains no added sugar or sweetness, is naturally low in calories and it is currently stocked on Amazon (rsp: £1.95/250ml) and foodservice outlets across the UK.
Udeh added: “With our relaunch, we’re aiming to bring health-conscious women into a category where they are generally ignored or objectified.
“Not only that, so many energy drinks on the market are packed with artificial ingredients, preservatives and added sugar, so we’re pleased to be offering an alternative that provides a natural and hydrating boost to your energy levels, brain power and muscle function.”