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Alcohol-free drinks brand Smashed secures £125k investment on Dragons' Den

A UK producer of alcohol-free drinks is raising a toast after securing a game-changing investment on the BBC's Dragons' Den. 

Drynks Unlimited, which uses pioneering vacuum technology to remove the alcohol from its range of Smashed drinks, went head to head with the famous Dragons on 8 March and is now raising a toast to a game-changing investment.

Richard Clark, founder and managing director of the Manchester-based business, and Paul Briscoe, UK sales director, went into the Den asking for £125,000 for a 5 per cent stake in their business.

Both Sara Davies and Deborah Meaden expressed an interest in the growing brand, but it was the former Dragon who made an offer to the pair: a £125,000 investment for 7.5 per cent equity. After some deliberation, Richard and Paul accepted her offer. 

Richard said: "I am passionate about producing 0% ABV drinks that taste as good as their alcoholic counterparts and that are genuinely sessionable. My aim is to get more people to start rethinking drinking.

"Having the chance to pitch to the Dragons was incredibly exciting and a little bit nerve-wracking, but they know their stuff and the experience was invaluable. It has helped spur us on and resulted in us investing more than £1 million in our state-of-the-art cool vacuum distillation plant in Robinson's Brewery, Stockport."

Drynks Unlimited's Smashed beers and cider - all 0% ABV - are available in Booths stores and at more than 500 UK on and off-trade venues including pubs, bars, restaurants, health stores and grocery outlets. 

11 March 2020 - Bethany Whymark