Stroke of genius: Magic wand entrepreneurs secure highest ever Dragons’ Den investment

August 24, 2010 | by | 0 Comments

A pair of British inventors were celebrating today after receiving the largest ever offer from a single Dragon for their hit gadget – a MAGIC WAND.

Entrepreneurs Chris Barnardo and Richard Blakesley accepted a £200,000 offer from tough-talking Duncan Bannatyne for their Kymera Wand on the hit BBC2 show.

The device resembles a traditional Harry Potter-style wand but is in fact a buttonless universal remote control that can command any infra-red device with a flick of the wrist.

Users can change channel, volume or pause a DVD simply by using one of 13 different gestures which wave the 14-inch device in certain directions.

The Dragons offered a combined total of £900,000 but Chris and Richard accepted £200,000 from Bannatyne – the largest deal made by one Dragon in 57 episodes.

Dad-of-four Chris, 47, of Bishop Stortford, Herts., today revealed that he was ”terrified” when all five Dragons offered him and Richard investment.

He said: ”It was hugely exciting to be on the show. We planned our pitch very carefully and looked at the presentations of hundreds of previous entrants.

”We expected that we would be questioned strongly so we prepared our answers. When they all put their money in it was a real thrill.

”The whole thing was knee wobblingly scary and I’m not ashamed to admit that I was very nervous. It was terrifying when £900,000 was on the table.

”We are looking forward very much to working with Duncan because of his vast business experience.”

Richard added: ”I didn’t expect all five to like the product and I thought we would have some of them saying ‘fine but it’s not my cup of tea’.

”They were all pretty good offers so we just picked one.”

Chris and Richard appeared on BBC show Dragons’ Den on Monday night to offer the Dragon’s a ten per cent share in their Kymera Wand business.

The Dragons offered a combined total of £900,000 for the product with £200,000 from Peter Jones, Theo Paphitis and James Caan, and £100,000 from Deborah Meaden.

But Chris and Richard opted to sell 20 per cent of their business to Bannatyne for £200,000, which reduces to 10 per cent if they make £1.2 million profit in their first year.

The landmark deal marks the largest amount ever invested by a single Dragon since the show began in 2005.

Bannatyne thanked Chris and Richard for accepting his offer and admitted it ”feels sweet” to be picked ahead of his four rival Dragons.

He said: ”It feels good when all five dragons make an offer because it backs up the fact that everybody believes in it and can see something in it.

”When they actually decide that they are going to accept my offer that makes it even better. It’s nice and sweet to get one up on the rest of them.

”I see the magic wand rolling out very quickly over the next six months and I think it will do very, very well.”

The £49.95 Kymera Wand can be used as a remote for televisions, hifis, DVD players, laptops and even remote-controlled light switches and curtains.

It movement control technology similar to the Nintendo Wii, and can ”learn” up to 13 infra-red codes from existing remotes and assign each command a gesture.

Owners will be able to turn up the volume by rotating the wand or change channel with a flick of the wrist.

Different moves can also be assigned to different gadgets, so the same wand can control a variety of devices.

The wand runs on two AAA batteries and enters a low-power ”sleep mode” after 60 seconds on inactivity.

It uses a three-axis accelerometer to detect movement, similar to technology in mobile phones where a picture turns to remain upright when the phone is rotated.

A tiny piece of silicon the size of a grain of sugar detects which way up the wand is and interprets its movements.

Chris and Richard have already sold over 20,000 Kymera Wands since the launch in September last year and it is now on sale in 41 countries.

They expect to turnover £2million in the next year with the help of Duncan Bannatyne.

A BBC spokeswoman yesterday confirmed the deal is the largest on record and wished Chris and Richard the best of luck working with Bannatyne.

She said: ”We can confirm that this is the largest amount to be invested by one Dragon.”

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