Dragons’ Den pitch rejected for having ‘too many pitfalls’ outsells Monopoly in first year | Personal Finance | Finance

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With Dragons’ Den returning to screens this evening, it is interesting to look at previous pitches that left without investment but still managed to do well. Despite leaving the experience with no investment, Destination London went on to become a popular name in the board game business.

Rachel Lowe entered the Den in 2004 seeking £75,000 for 30 percent of her business, Destination London.

Destination London is a fast-moving taxi board game aimed at families and tourists.

Although leaving the Den empty-handed, her current net worth skyrocketed to an estimated £96million in 2021, according to The Sun.

She was able to secure a deal with retailer Hamleys and the London version of the game sold best.

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Destination London sold more units than Monopoly in its first year.

In the Den, she was grilled by the Dragons and penalised for her lack of experience.

She explained her board game was set to launch in Hamley’s as a way to gain support, however, Duncan Bannatyne explained she may not get anything out of her launch – especially if the story was not picked up by the press.

Peter Jones was sceptical to invest as he believed the board game market was very competitive, especially if she is up against big names like monopoly.


The board game even outsold its greatest competitor, Monopoly, in 2005.

Ms Lowe had been in the board game business since 2002 but was turned down as she didn’t have much experience with running a business.

The entrepreneur was working as a taxi driver, to earn money for her law degree, when she came up with the idea for her game – Destination London.

To play the game, players compete as taxi drivers to acquire play money by moving from destination to destination using dice.

In 2009, Ms Lowe was awarded an MBE for her services to business.

In 2017, she founded Rachel Lowe Games & Puzzles, which has since created games and puzzles for Hotel Transylvania, Call the Midwife, Mr Bean, Friday Night Dinner, Laurel and Hardy, and WWE.

Shortly after founding the company, Ms Lowe launched a board game for the Jumanji film series, which became a top seller on Amazon and won Product of the Year at the Toy Industry Awards in 2019.

She launched a new Beano board game at the start of 2022 to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Dennis the Menace’s first appearance.

Dragons’ Den season 20 begins January 5, at 8pm on BBC One.

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