Protec Covers win investment on BBC's Dragons' Den despite 'boring pitch'

Anne and Keith Proctor demonstrate their product to the Dragons
Anne and Keith Proctor demonstrate their product to the Dragons

Monday, 12, Nov 2012 04:42

by Ben Wilby

A caravan covers company walked away from Dragons' Den happy yesterday (11 November), as both Duncan Bannatyne and Hilary Devey invested £37,500 each in their business.

Protec covers secured a grand total of £75,000 in exchange for a 26% share in their Bradford-based business.

Hilary was the more eager of the Dragons, driving a hard but fair deal from the entrepreneurs, who survived having their pitch described as "boring" to get the money they were looking for.

The product, a range of high-quality, easy-to-fit caravan covers that protect your tourer from the weather, was designed by husband and wife team Anne and Keith Proctor who are themselves eager caravanners.

They used their experience to design the covers which have sold extremely well throughout Britain, winning numerous awards as well as being approved by the NCC.

The company has begun to branch off and now offer towing covers, motorhome covers and even flatscreen TVs.

Enter the Dragons

But in the Dragons' Den their pitch, a demonstration of the fabric's ability to withstand water, was described by Peter Jones as "boring".

Peter, who didn't even pretend to find anything interesting in a product he described as "a cover with a pole on the end" was silenced when the couple presented their very impressive sales figures.

This led the host, Evan Davis to describe him as "floored by the entrepreneurs success," a rare feat that demonstrated the viability of the product and turned the sceptical and disinterested Dragons into keen listeners, eager to find out more about this business.

A major stumbling block was the eagerness to keep stocks and shares within the , which put off two of the Dragons who felt this would give them too little say in business decisions.

Deborah Meadan was the first to say the infamous words "I'm out", closely followed by Peter who, stated that he would "struggle to get any excitement out of the business or the investors".

Despite Theo Paphitis also pulling out, the couple were happy to negotiate after and were pragmatic and practical, accepting the offer of losing 26% of the company, 16% more than they had wanted, for the money that Duncan and Hilary offered.

Of course, this is not the first caravan company that Hilary has invested in, with the Dragon putting £80,000 into the Raskelf Duvalay last summer.

A bright future

Protec plan to invest the money in new machinery and expanding into the European market - a move they hope will grow the company exponentially.

The Protec website described their feelings; 'They said it was one of the most nerve-racking things they've ever done but they started to become more relaxed as the show went on.'

This was clear as Anne and Keith grew in confidence from a shaky start to the clear and concise way they agreed to the deal at the end.

Protec Covers are available now from www.pro-teccovers.co.uk and are individually tailored to fit each caravan.

If you missed Protec Covers appearance on Dragons Den you can watch it on BBC iPlayer.

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