Dhruvin Pate, founder of Ocushield.
Austen Shakespeare

London eye health firm turns down Dragons' Den offer and lands other funding

A start-up founder has turned down two of TV’s entrepreneurial ‘dragons’ to furrow his own path and has landed outside investment.

Eye health innovator and qualified optometrist Dhruvin Patel, 29, created Ocushield while at university in 2015 to combat the effects of harmful blue light emitted from the tech devices we use every day. Ocushield produces and sells the world’s first medically rated screen protectors to fit everyday devices, helping to cut blue light.

Smartphones, tablets and computer screens emit blue light, causing headaches, blurred vision, fatigue and dry eyes. Blue light can also negatively affect your sleep hormones. Ocushield’s technology – from screen protectors to bedside lamps, and even glasses – blocks up to 90 per cent of blue light wavelengths.

With more than 150,000 products sold far worldwide, Dhruvin wants to take his business to the next level.

Last year, he and business partner Asad Hamir, impressed on BBC’s Dragons’ Den and secured £75k worth of investment for a combined 15 per cent of the business from Peter Jones and Tej Lalvani.

But during the six-month period after filming and before agreements could be signed, the business exploded with a further £750k in sales, which naturally shifted the valuation of the company. The Dragons couldn’t negotiate a new investment reflecting the increased value, so Dhruvin boldly turned down their offer

After further growth, especially during the coronavirus pandemic as screen time shot up so did the demand for Ocushield products, the business is now valued at around £6m – and growing.

Now Dhurvin his setting his sights on big things for the brand after landing £910k worth of investment from a suite of private investors – for just 13 per cent equity.

Investors include Rubix Ventures – a fund built by athletes and other high-profile founders – and ex-Balenciaga and Gucci Group leader James McArthur, who was also the co-founder of the highly successful Pasta Evangelists. Former Irish Olympic cyclist Dan Martin and ex-Premier League defender Scott Dann are also invested.

The increased level of investment will now be used to enhance Ocushield’s product line, help more people realise the effects of harmful blue light and improve eye health worldwide.

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