Former BBC dragon helps Romford businessman secure hefty investment
PUBLISHED: 07:00 30 September 2014 | UPDATED: 13:02 07 October 2014
A software programmer is taking his family's 100-year-old fruit stall into the future with the help of a dragon.
Daniel Ox, 34, of Romford, who started his own business delivering the family’s fresh fruit to offices, has received a £500,000 investment after former Dragons’ Den star Simon Woodroffe put him in touch with a generous investor.
Daniel designed his own software to help offices order fresh produce online.
He started his spin-off business Fruits for the Office 12 years ago to compliment the family costermonger business - which is run by his stepdad Tommy Miles and mum Lesley.
The fruit distributor came into contact with Simon, the founder of YO! Sushi, after he was selected to take part in a mentoring scheme set up by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and The Times newspaper.
The impressed dragon then put him in touch with investment expert and director of security company Aegis, Hazel Hutchinson, who saw Daniel’s potential and invested £500,000.
Hazel said: “I think Daniel is quite an exceptional individual and I think he has got a very good future ahead of him.”
The investment will allow the Romford entrepreneur the chance to hire a dedicated sales manager to follow up all potential new leads, taking the business to the next level.
Daniel said: “I always remember Simon saying to me that when he was starting out he knocked on hundreds of doors and every time he got a no he celebrated, as it just meant he was closer to a yes.
“Advice like that has really helped me through this process. I’ve picked up some amazing tips and knowing that Simon and Hazel believed in me has given me the confidence to trust my judgement.”
The investment has even encouraged his parents, who wanted to call it a day, to stay on for at least three more years.
Mentor Simon added: “He’s a real hustler – a nice, decent and honest person, who’s learned from the university of life, from seeing his father build up a business.”