A firm founded by the youngest entrepreneur to secure investment on the BBC’s Dragons’ Den is on the brink of insolvency.
Gripit Fixings makes a product designed to fix heavy items to plasterboard. Its inventor, Jordan Daykin, was just 18 when he appeared on the programme.
The firm’s board told them it was in “a precarious position”.
Some complained they had been misled about the company’s strengths, others that Mr Daykin, who is now 24, had ignored requests for information.
One said: “The company is on its knees and Jordan has left it without any cares. I asked him a polite question on LinkedIn about it this afternoon and he very swiftly blocked me and removed my comment.”
It came after Gripit tried and failed to raise £1m in new capital by issuing new shares to existing investors.
Gripit said the funding round had been under-subscribed and was therefore being cancelled.
Mr Daykin patented his product in 2012. He came to prominence when he appeared on Dragons’ Den in 2014 and successfully secured an £80,000 investment for 25% of his company from one of the show’s stars, entrepreneur Deborah Meaden.
By 2016, Gripit Fixings were stocked in more than 3,000 UK outlets and exported to 32 countries.
Ms Meaden confirmed that she was still an investor in the company.
“I will support them in whatever practical way I can as they work towards achieving the best possible outcome for all stakeholders.”
‘Will not respond to questions’
Now its investors face the prospect of losing all their money.
“Without a substantial cash injection, the company is not able to continue to trade into the future or deliver on its growth plans,” said the update from Gripit.
Options included a restructuring plan or a sale of the business.
“Rest assured the management team and board will leave no stone unturned to secure a future for Gripit,” the statement said, adding that the company would not be in a position to respond to questions for the next two to three weeks.