As someone new to the Rehook team, it has been deeply interesting to learn the story of the business I am now a part of. While learning this story, I decided to turn my research into an article, to share Rehook's journey.
Rehook started when our founder, Wayne Taylor, was late for a meeting due to the chain on his bike coming loose. It is a common problem among cyclists, and nobody wants to show up late covered in oil. From this experience, Wayne started developing a specialised tool for the easy fixing of dropped chains as there simply wasn’t any effective tool for the job on the market. Using 3D printing to prototype and test his designs, Wayne eventually came up with the very streamlined and effective Rehook design that allows anyone to quickly and easily hook the chain back onto their bike without making a mess.
The product was a hit with cyclists, and sold well enough for Wayne to consider turning it into a full business rather than a part-time one. After applying for Dragons' Den, Wayne was accepted onto the show.
While Wayne was initially just hoping he didn’t look silly going into the meeting with the Dragons, the product excited all of the Dragons to the point that a bidding war broke out, with every one of the Dragons eager to invest. Wayne eventually accepted the offer from Deborah Meaden of £50,000 for 25% of the company. It was from this investment that Wayne was able to dedicate himself full time to Rehook, going on to develop a new version with even more utility as well as a number of other cycling products.
You can watch what happened here:
Now that the business has grown and benefited a great deal from the investment, I sat down with Wayne to ask him a few questions about his experience on Dragons' Den that helped lead him to this point.
Q: How long had Rehook been selling and where before Dragons’ Den?
A: We had been trading for three years before Dragons' Den. We first launched at some face to face shows to receive customer feedback, then started selling on both Amazon and our own website.
Q: What made you first apply?
A: I applied on a whim and forgot about it for a while, but then they got in touch about a year after I applied. I was about to visit my sister in Australia so had next to no time to prepare. I had to prepare my pitch overnight and rush off to London.
Q: Were you hopeful for investment on your terms or prepared for negotiation?
A: Through the entire process I was worried that they had brought me on as a joke pitch. My main focus at the time was just not looking silly in front of the dragons. I was prepared for negotiations, going in I had no idea I would be receiving five offers.
Q: How was facing the Dragons?
A: The experience was nerve-wracking and exhausting, they really pepper you with questions for a long time, looking for any mistakes or inconsistencies. Your brain is really fried by the end of all that.
Q: What made you choose Deborah out of all offers?
A: I knew that she gets quite a bit more involved in businesses that she invests in, and tends to invest in businesses that she is personally passionate about. I’m very passionate about my business so I wanted to work with someone who felt the same.
Q: Looking back on it, is there anything you would have done differently when you went in to meet with the Dragons?
A: Looking back on it now I probably would negotiate for a better offer. At the time the pressure of all the offers was quite overwhelming so it was hard to think about much more than who to go with. All of the offers were slightly different so it was quite challenging to decide who to go with in the end.
Q: What was the reaction of your family when you told them the good news?
A: When I called them they were over the moon to hear the good news. They didn’t believe me at first. Since then they've all been so supportive of me as I've set up the business properly.
Q: How often do you speak to Deborah, and what does she think of the business now?
A: We send Deborah an update every month and she is always really supportive and detail oriented. She always gives us some useful advice based on what we tell her. We also catch up on calls whenever we need to discuss things in more detail. She is clearly very experienced so always glad to have her input.
Deborah Meaden has her main reason for investing in Rehook listed on her personal website with the following quote:
'I am not a cyclist but thanks to Theo's demonstration on why the Rehook is so much better than the fumbly, messy alternative which leaves your fingers dirty and greasy, it was easy to imagine that it would become a must have item for cyclists. At £12.99 it is also at a price point which makes it very accessible and the perfect gift….we all know a hard to buy for cyclist! Wayne's key competence is in online space so he has the skill to maximise our presence and make us available to a wide online audience. A great combination and I can imagine we will be exploring further developments in the not too distant future.'
Deborah also recently tweeted about her investment in Rehook, talking about how the business has grown so quickly.
Wayne had an idea, acted and has built a great business in short time… not surprising I invested when he came into Dragons Den.. but I had to fight the others off 😂😂😂😂😂 https://t.co/RjpMwU8QED— Deborah Meaden 💙 (@DeborahMeaden) July 23, 2021
Being on Dragons' Den was certainly a great help to Rehook, giving us both the funding and guidance we needed to start expanding our company. The Dragons saw not only great potential in our product, but our founder who came up with the unique design. Since appearing on the show, Rehook has gone on to develop a number of additional cycling products, including an improved version of our original product with even more utility, and we have many more additional ideas in development. With the future of the company looking bright, be sure to follow our journey by subscribing to our newsletter, and leave us a comment to let us know what you thought of our appearance on Dragons' Den!
About the author:
Oliver Laws - Cycling Blogger
Oliver joined the Rehook team in 2021, and has been recording his journey into the world of cycling through his blog. In his free time Oliver enjoys writing fantasy and sci-fi stories, with the hope of one day publishing a book.
Sign up to our newsletter to follow Oliver's journey.