- Dragons Den
Nick Jenkins is the founder of online greetings card retailer Moonpig.com.
He was also a “dragon” on the BBC Two business series Dragons’ Den from 2015 to 2017.
Entrepreneur Nick Jenkins founded Moonpig.com in July 2000 after spending eight years working in Moscow as a commodities trader. He returned to the UK in 1998 and, keen to start his own business, Nick wanted to utilise possibilities of the internet to find a gap in the market and provide a commodity that just wasn’t available on the high street.
Nick Jenkins’ instincts proved fruitful. He spotted his opportunity while buying greeting cards – he’d Tipp-ex out the card’s caption and write in one of his own. Allowing customers to create their own cards over the internet was his brainwave.
The original launch of Moonpig.com in 2000 coincided with the collapse of the dot-com bubble which meant progress was difficult at first. The advent of broadband and digital cameras together with news spreading by word-of-mouth meant sales steadily increased, with the first profits being made in 2005, after five years and four rounds of fundraising. Moonpig.com had created a new sector within the greeting card industry.
Nick Jenkins had no marketing budget, so during the first six years, 90% of sales came from word of mouth. It took five years just to break even, but it taught him a valuable lesson – that the most important part of marketing is getting the product right. If you have a good product, it will sell itself.
In 2007 Moonpig.com was responsible for over 90 percent of the online greeting card market in the United Kingdom. By February 2008 it had over three million customers, selling 12 million cards a year and is now one of Britain’s fastest growing companies.
Despite having chaired Moonpig.com for over ten years, Nick Jenkins maintains the same work ethic and excitement for his job than when he first started out, “it’s great, and for me, there is no distinction between running your own business and fun”.
Moonpig.com expanded into the Australian market in 2004, and in 2010 it launched in the United States. It was purchased by Photobox in 2011 for £120 million.
Since 2008, Nick has been actively investing in start-up businesses. He was a member of the Impact Ventures UK investment committee: an investment fund which invests in social enterprises using innovation to find better solutions to social issues in the UK. He is also involved with the educational charity Ark and Shivia.