The inventors of the world’s first crowd-sourced trivia game, Linkee left BBC2’s Dragon’s Den empty handed over the weekend – turning down a £50,000 investment offer from show veteran Duncan Bannatyne.
The team behind the quiz game reports that since filming the episode and walking away from the Scottish entrepreneur, the game has attracted nationwide stockists, including John Lewis and Firebox.com.
Bannatyne made the offer for a 40 per cent stake in the team’s business in return.
"We like to think of Linkee as the black sheep of quiz games," commented Linkee co-inventor, Dean Tempest. "In a way it’s not surprising that we walked away from the Dragon’s Den empty handed, by choice.
"Duncan’s offer was generous but we weren’t prepared to hand over so much of our business in return for this help. As it happens, even though none of us is from the toy industry, we’re managing to make Linkee a massive success without the backing of a Dragon.
"Linkee now has pride of place on John Lewis shelves nationwide, as well as being stocked by Hamleys and online giant Firebox.com and a wealth of independent toy stores across the UK."
The game is played by working out the link between the answers to its questions. It then invites players to write their own questions for the game, submitting them to www.playlinkee.com and potentially winning themselves a prize in the process.
The game was evolved through Linkee parties with colleagues and friends before being taken to gift fairs across the UK.
Priced at £19.99, the game is now tipped to be a top seller in retailers across the UK.
Tempest added: "We thought investment from a BBC Dragon would be the perfect thing to help us grow Linkee and get it noticed by the big stores.
"But, although Duncan recognised Linkee’s potential, we thought his demand for 40 per cent of the company was too much and so we decided to continue going it alone.
"We’d come this far, plus I’d already given up my full time job to see Linkee through to global superstardom, so why not?"