An entrepreneur who was rejected by Dragons' Den and claims he 'turned down a £90 million offer for his company' because he believed it was worth £1 billion has had to sell his car and home to keep it afloat.
Marco Hajikypri blames health food Pro Gains business' 80% sales slump on customers hating his "bragging".
They may be surprised to hear he's been forced to sell his £50,000 Audi Q7 - and start driving his girlfriend's Smart car around the streets of Birmingham.
He has also sold his house and is now renting while he ploughs £90,000 back into the business in a desperate attempt to keep it running.
Happier times: Marco was convinced his business would be worth £1 billion
Marco said sales have slumped after he was accused of "bragging" about his business
Back in July, Marco rejected a £90million offer for Pro Gains because he believed he could do better on his own.
But now he has told the Birmingham Mail : "I wish had taken a tenth of that offer now. I've had hate mail, it's been awful.
"Since I went public with my offer, my business has been massively affected.
"I've had lots of abuse from people thinking I'm money-grabbing and arrogant, and a lot of customers have stopped buying my product.
He insists he is not a "money grabber" and said he donates thousands to the homeless
Marco was sure his range of healthy meals were the recipe for success
"Sales are down by 80 per cent and I've had to sell my house and my car.
"I've even started selling cheap raw meat to get customers back and get my cash flow going.
"I'm really gutted. I'm driving a Smart car but it's not a joke."
Marco appeared on BBC's Dragons' Den last year but ended up rowing with the Dragons, particularly Deborah Meaden who believed he had over-valued his company at £2 million and described him as "like arguing with cotton wool".
Marco failed to impress the Dragons but was determined to prove them wrong
Deborah Meaden said speaking to him was like "arguing with cotton wool"
Marco was determined to prove the Dragons wrong, and within a few months had expanded to three units in West Bromwich and employed 33 people to prepare and deliver 7,000 healthy meals a week to customers' doors.
He claimed the business was worth £16 million, but Coventry multi-millionaire Jojar Singh Dhinsa offered him a staggering £90 million for the company.
However, believing the company was going to be worth £1 billion, Marco decided to turn down the offer. But it was after this that his luck turned.
Marco said: "I think I have been portrayed by some media outlets as a money grabber, which is not true because I'm all about giving back. Last year I donated £4,000 worth of food to the homeless.
Marco employs 33 staff at Pro Gains health foods
Now he has to drive his girlfriend's Smart car to work
"I thought my offer was something to be proud of after Dragons' Den, but people thought I came across as arrogant. I've been misperceived, I've worked really hard and slept in my car to get my business off the ground.
"I'm not going to give up though, my goal and vision are still the same and I will keep working."
Customers can order fresh meals, with balanced protein, carbs, fat and vegetables like Italian chicken and sweet potato, salmon and brown rice or beef stew and kale. They cost an average of £4.90.
Speaking in July, after turning down the huge offer for his company, Marco said: "I did it because I want to build my company up myself. I think it's going to be worth £1 billion pounds because of my multi-level marketing system.
"I'm glad the Dragons turned me down as I've done very well without their help."