Two years ago, we wrote about Umbrolly, a British umbrella vending company that was just getting started. The company places umbrella vending units in public spaces, selling advertising space alongside brollies. Since then, the concept has come along nicely. Umbrolly won funding in the Dragon’s Den, a BBC television series that lets entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to a panel of investors to secure investment. Umbrolly has signed deals giving them access to almost all of the United Kingdom’s busiest shopping malls and rail stations. They’ve also appointed franchisees and distributors in The Netherlands, Australia and Ireland. Not just working on sales, Umbrolly also managed to make time for innovation, adding a new mini vending unit to their range. The mini unit will be launching next month, and has become the focus of Umbrolly’s business. It’s compact size and battery operation allow it to be placed where customers are most likely to need an umbrella (usually near an exit). Over 700 units have already been ordered for the UK, and the machine is up for a British design award. Opportunities? Umbrolly is actively seeking international distributors and franchisees, and has pointed out that smaller units mean lower start-up costs. Time to partner with them!