Aspiring entrepreneur gets six-figure job offer on Dragons Den

REMY founder Abeer Iqbal entered the Den, and despite intense grilling and no investment, left with a six-figure job offer from Peter Jones.

Abeer's pitch began with the Dragon's keen to experience his sleep-enhancing furniture. When Steven and Peter laid on his hero  'The Pod', a reinvention of the beanbag, and under REMY's best-selling 'The Lounger' weighted blankets, the dragons closed their eyes and pretended to snore. Which was ironic, as despite being told he'd enter the Den around 5pm, Abeer actually went in at 9.30pm, after the dragons had been receiving pitches since early that day, which to Abeer's own admission "wasn't easy". Deborah Meaden said: "This might have been a fatal mistake to put your dragons to sleep before we start the pitch".

After 10+ years working in tech, helping multi-million-pound businesses grow their empire at software giants like Shopify, Abeer experienced burnout, which led him to develop REMY. Despite Abeer telling the dragons that he left the high-pressure industry due to stress and anxiety Peter Jones still offered him a job back in the rat race with a six-figure sum (which he still hasn't taken).

After leaving the Den, Abeer admitted feeling the "most anxious ever" and that he "just wanted to get back to his wife for a hug".  Abeer shared: "I didn't sleep for days, replaying every moment in my mind. I wanted to forget it." But it's not all bad, as Abeer explains: "The anxiety I experienced from the Den gave me a lightbulb moment and led me to create our most popular product yet – The Hugger Pillow. I needed a hug, so I created one".

Abeer continues: "I returned the next day to collect my items from the studio. I bumped into a fresh-faced Peter and Toukar in the carpark, they both praised my experience, Peter once again offered me a job and Toukar asked me to call him when I start the next business."

The global 'sleep economy' is booming, projected to reach a record high of $585 billion this year. But Abeer felt he was unable to communicate this: "If I could have my time again, I would focus on the industry of Rest and Sleep rather than the specific products we were trying to innovate. I don't think I articulated to the Dragon's the size of the business opportunity that there is with REMY. In terms of what's next, we are moving towards becoming a household name in rest and sleep but offering products in multiple categories."

The Dragon that seemed to understand Abeer's passion for this industry was Sara Davies, saying: "I actually fundamentally don't agree with what I've heard here. What I see in front of me, yes, he is great at the e-commerce side of things but he gave up a career in corporate because he was passionate about this area. And if there's one thing I know about business it's that you will succeed when you pursue the thing you are passionate about. I wouldn't discourage you to give up. Keep doing it and good luck. I think you could sell anything."