Monday, February 10, 2014

A Dance With Dragons - update

Local media have reported on Seaward Kayaks' appearance on the Dragons' Den in late January. In a brief interview with the Cowichan News Leader last week, Seaward's owners reported that they were mulling over the details of the offer. Their report continues:
“The due diligence is in place, and we look forward to a follow-up,” Jacquie Ree told the News Leader Pictorial Thursday. “The pitch was to expand our product line of lower-end kayaks.”
Seaward Kayaks planned to use the investment to manufacture a line of rotomolded kayaks, something they currently don't offer, but a product line that they believed would be a big seller for them.
Now comes word that Seaward has rejected the Dragon's offer. Market conditions have changed since the show was filmed last April. "We've changed direction a lot since then and decided against moving forward with our concept for the rotomolded plastic kayaks," co-owner Jacquie Ree told the Nanaimo Daily News. "It seems that all kayak manufacturers are into plastic kayaks these days and the market is being flooded. Besides, we've been in this business for 25 years now and if we wanted money to expand, we'd go to the bank and get a loan without having to exchange a part of the company for the money." All was not lost, as she added, "Appearing on the show wasn't a waste of our time because our email has been going crazy ever since it appeared in January. The experience gave us much more than we wanted or expected."
Jacquie told Adventure Kayak magazine:
"You have a five-minute window at the show to review everything and make a decision...after we got home and went through the due diligence period with Dave Chilton, we decided we didn’t want to bring him in as a partner... We decided to go back to our roots, staying with higher end fiberglass and Kevlar boats. The low end rotomolded market is already so flooded. With all the challenges of building boats in Canada, we did more research and decided we didn’t want to get into it."
You can watch Seaward Kayaks make their pitch to the Dragons here.

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