Andy Murray invests in Dragons’ Den reject

By Laurence Gibbons contact

- Last updated on GMT

The Thuillier brothers have secured crowd funding for their Oppo ice cream business
The Thuillier brothers have secured crowd funding for their Oppo ice cream business

Related tags: Ice cream, Finance, Investment

Tennis ace Andy Murray has helped Dragons’ Den reject ice cream manufacturer Oppo secure more than £300,000 of crowd funding by investing in the ‘guilt-free’ ice cream brand.

Oppo hit its £150,000 funding target on crowd funding site Seedrs just four hours after launching and before it had gone public, with the business now valued at £2.8M.

The investment will be used to create a marketing campaign using Red Bull’s agency, hire a dedicated social media and design executive and take on 30 new sampling and brand ambassadors.

The success for Oppo comes just a week after the broadcast of the Dragons’ Den​ TV programme in which the Thuillier brothers – who founded the business – were rejected by dragons investors.

Supporting entrepreneurs

The value of Murray’s investment has not been made public.

Murray, who is ranked the second best tennis player in the world and won Wimbledon in 2013, said the investment was about supporting entrepreneurs – such as the Thuillier brothers who run Oppo.

“Giving recognition and support to British entrepreneurs is important to me, especially those who are the driving force behind growth-focused businesses,” ​the tennis star said.

“Every one of these entrepreneurs is inspirational and dedicated to their business and I’m excited to have invested in their team’s vision and work ethic.”

Oppo supplies:

  • Waitrose
  • Co-operative Group
  • Whole Foods
  • Ocado
  • Southampton Football Club
  • English Cricket Board
  • Holland & Barrett
  • Budgens
  • Marriott

To see Seedrs reach £100M on the platform and so many ambitious and dynamic businesses currently fundraising has meant it has been a great start to 2016 for the site, Murray said.

The firm was delighted that Murray has invested in it, Oppo md Charlie Thuillier said.

Healthy and indulgent

“I started Oppo because I believe food that isn’t both healthy and indulgent is broken. We are on a mission to eradicate tasteless health food and unhealthy junk by proving it is possible to fuse health with indulgence,”​ he said.

“We’ll be relentless in continuing to innovate across food categories, ice cream is just the start.”

This is the second time Oppo has turned to crowd funding, with it becoming the fastest ever food and drink start up to raise its funds on its last attempt.

This led to Virgin boss Richard Branson endorsing the business.

Oppo replaces cream and sugar with virgin coconut oil and stevia leaf and boosts each flavour with superfoods to make an indulgent, premium ice cream. One portion of Oppo’s ice cream contains fewer calories than an apple.

Related topics: Dairy, Frozen, Dairy-based ingredients

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