Den expert Richard Osman guides viewers through the most outstanding, shocking and emotional pitches of the last two years. Have they all gone from pitch to rich?
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In a deserted warehouse...
-Oh, my God, I'm so sorry.
-It's fine. Don't worry.
..on the dreaded third floor...
I'm sorry. My mind has gone just completely blank at the moment.
..people flock to the intense pressure cooker
that is the Dragons' Den.
Do you know what?
-We'll do that.
-We'll do it.
Real people with real dreams.
I like it.
Oh, my God!
Meeting real investors with real money.
I'm Richard Osman, and for me, watching Dragons' Den
is the perfect combination of business and pleasure,
with a little bit of pain, when I have to listen to Peter Jones
making his puns about, say, a trampoline for cats.
For years, I've been intrigued as those intrepid entrepreneurs have
stepped out in front of the Dragons.
Did you come in here looking for a fight?
Rooted for them, as they pitched for their future success...
I'm really sorry.
I'm sorry, I've just gone quite light-headed.
And squirmed, winced and, on occasion, hidden behind the sofa,
as they tackle the biggest interrogation of their lives.
That couldn't have gone any worse, could it?
How much profit are you going to make next year?
I'm looking to turn over...
No, no, no. Next word out of your mouth is a number.
Now I'm going to relive extraordinary moments.
You've got these crazy people walking in and saying, we've got small pencils.
-You're in trouble.
-Touker was crazy. Like, what?
Find out how those Den deals are doing.
Nice to meet you.
Am I worth 50%? Of course I'm worth 50%.
And discover if a Dragon's help really can make profits soar...
-Would you like a little bit of vinegar, sir?
OK, that's an extra 5p.
..in my continuing quest
to find out if pitches really do lead to riches.
The Dragons. The toughest investors an entrepreneur will ever face.
And they never get a second chance to make a first impression.
(This is it.)
(This is the moment of our lives.)
(Are you ready?
(I was born ready.)
It's never a bad idea
to come through those lift doors with a bang.
It's what I call theatre.
# What's that coming over the hill? Is it a monster? #
I don't care what anybody says.
They always form a first impression.
Have you ever met someone who's got that ambitious that he wants to be
free from life and be a billionaire?
It's a very, very high pressured environment.
They can win me or lose me in that instant.
If you come into the Den, I expect you to dress for the occasion.
What's wrong with a suit?
Nothing is wrong with a suit, Peter, but it's not me.
What's with the scarf?
Do you know what? You've got to stand out sometimes.
I am always so excited to see what is coming through those doors.
Look at them.
We have no idea what is coming next.
Is that me?
No, it's him.
It's a high-risk strategy, when you burst through the doors.
Because your business has kind of got to follow through.
# Gold Always believe in your soul... #
Did that just happen?
First up on their journey from pitch to rich are a duo
whose whole business is built on first impressions.
Beth Chilton and Sarah Sleightholm cat-walked out
of the lift with their fledgling fashion business.
I've invited both of them back to relive their Den experience
and shed light on what it's like to face those five formidable Dragons.
One of whom was particularly formidable that day.
Now you, I think, very specifically, and we'll see why,
you came in to try and get a deal with Touker.
-Is the truth. Shall we take a look?
Hello, Dragons. We started our business in October of last year,
and within four weeks, we had our first order.
And since then, we've grossed £530,000 worth of sales,
and we're currently at about a 28% profit margin with that.
Well, this is the big moment, right?
It's a huge deal in the fashion industry to get Touker on board.
-It can be utterly transformative, right?
-I know a little bit about clothing.
-I know all the pitfalls.
-Oh, God, this is where it starts.
You're not focused. You've got two brands there,
you've got to double your costs of marketing.
You're going to double your costs of website.
And already, you're stretching yourselves very wide.
You are in trouble.
What were you thinking when he first said that?
I ended up kind of just going,
"Oh, my gosh. This is going to be career suicide."
Like, white noise all of a sudden. I was like, "Oh, my God."
Touker has been in this game for a long time,
probably most of his adult life.
'What I heard him saying was that you haven't done very well,
'and actually, anybody to do this.'
Oh, no, don't say this, Peter!
'We know that it's sellable. People want it. They want it now.'
I think that after the grilling and Peter was saying,
"Oh, you just keep agreeing." So we were like,
"Right, we need to go... Let's just fight for this."
You are better off focusing on one brand.
I don't know how we can stop something that's doing so well.
That's why we really want them both, and they both succeeding.
-OK, I've seen it before.
And, to me, two brands, two websites...
You are in for a disaster.
When we went into the Den, we didn't even consider another Dragon -
just cos Touker was so focused on the fashion and retail sector,
we were just like, "If we can get him,
"that would just be amazing."
I think, at this point, we were just trying to ride it through...
Yeah - get out with your dignity intact.
But were their fortunes about to change?
'I was waiting to see whether he's being cleverly tactical,
'by just talking, and it's just noise...'
-And putting us off!
-And putting us off.
I have a business...
Have you heard of Farrell, or come across Farrell,
-with Robbie Williams?
-You didn't look like you had. BOTH:
Even with what Touker is saying, if I invest,
could I make a difference and help you turn this into a great business?
Like, "Please, please, please...!"
I think I can.
'Wow. Thank you.'
-'So I'm going to make you an offer
'because I think you have done a great job.'
My heart was leaping out of my chest at that point.
'I'm going to offer you all of the money for 25% of the business.'
So, this is not something you were expecting at all.
-Not at all.
-Because you'd gone in to think about Touker.
Suddenly, you're presented with a different reality.
I mean, this guy is involved in Farrell.
I don't know if you know Farrell... LAUGHTER
-Just a scenario we hadn't even thought of, I think.
So, all of a sudden, it was just... We were like, "Oh, my God."
Peter Jones just had to put the dragon amongst the pigeons
and now, another was about to raise the stakes even higher.
I'm going to offer you all of the money for 20% of the business.
-OK, thank you.
'Oh, and I'm happy to share.'
This is properly confusing now.
Yeah, we're kind of like, "What's been happening for the last...?"
How has it come from thinking we've just had career suicide...
..to everybody jumping on board?
Just kind of like, "OK."
So, the last Dragon standing was their old adversary,
It was time to find out if, by playing Beth and Sarah down,
he'd actually been playing the Den all along?
Um... I know what's involved. I know what you need.
-And it's going to take a lot of time, a lot of energy,
to make this into a proper business.
I will make you an offer, for all the money,
but I want 40%.
What were you thinking when he first said that?
That was crazy! Touker was crazy.
'Shall we go and do our thing at the back of the room?'
'Yeah. Can we...?'
So, you have a big choice to make, which is the dream, which is Touker,
or people that you hadn't considered at all.
There's no way - there's no way -
that you would go with one of the other Dragons,
even if they made an offer, because he is Touker.
-That's all right.
So, we would like to see if,
Peter, you'd go in with Deborah...
..at all on the offer?
At this point, I thought he was going to go, "No."
And I was like, "Oh, God, I've made a mistake.
"We should have just asked for one, not two."
I would accept that offer if Deborah would.
I'd be happy to. I'd be delighted to, actually.
-Oh, look! That's so sweet.
Yeah, well done.
Figure out how we do this now. We're in business together.
Thank you so much.
I think, with Touker grilling us for so long,
it kind of felt like he didn't have confidence in us,
even though he put an offer forward.
We kind of felt that he just didn't believe in us enough
to accept, you know, his offer.
And how is it gone since you left the Den?
How involved have they been and what has been happening?
Since being in the Den, our turnover has doubled,
so our first year has been, like, incredible.
We've now got into all the retailers
that we wanted to get into.
So, our projections for next year are looking really, really good.
Everything has just been amazing for us.
It's lovely. You know, it was such a tale of the unexpected,
you know, to go in looking for one thing, and to actually have
the exact opposite, and for that to be the dream.
So, thank you so much for coming in and very best of luck with it all.
-Lovely watching it again.
-It was fun, right?
As one of Britain's leading hipsters,
I can totally understand why the Den's longest-serving Dragons
invested in Beth and Sarah's business.
And Deborah Meaden also had another reason to celebrate this year.
Ten years ago, the grand dame of the Den took her seat.
I'm not here to lose money. I'm here to make money.
Famous for her no-nonsense approach...
Stop talking over me.
..the press have even compared her to an EastEnders character.
I'm irritated. Yes, I'm blinkin' irritated.
You're feeling very uncomfortable at this moment.
You damn well ought be. Aren't you?
Every time somebody raises an issue, you are, "Yup, got it. Back at you."
But there is a way to get on her good side.
Before you say anything, there's my money.
You've got dogs. There's my money.
She loves pets almost as much as she loves patents.
Well, I was about to say I'd love to see the patent.
-I'll find it.
Absolutely understand how the patent system works.
You know, I hate to be boring - I'm going to have to look at the patent.
And she is especially good when it comes to manipulating digits.
I think this is right up your alley.
Is it cos I do that?
Deborah is the queen of the Den.
She is our in-house lawyer
and she is mother hen.
Three words to describe Deborah...
Absolutely bloomin' brilliant.
In the 11 years since the Den hit our screens,
it's become part of popular culture.
You simply can't move for Dragons on TV these days.
'Try Lady Yvonne Sparrow.'
You know Evil Yvonne?
Yeah! She's like a Dragon, ain't she?
Well, she wasn't easy to live with, but...
No, no! Dragons' Den. It's this TV programme
where poor people come in with all their dreams,
and rich people make them cry.
It's on YouTube.
During the recording
of the Kazakhstan TV's version of Dragons' Den,
there were very few takers for the automatic clothes drier.
We have seen some bizarre inventions on this programme,
but this one really takes the biscuit.
There is no way this thing will ever get off the ground.
I mean, there can't be anyone who hasn't heard of Dragons' Den.
In your everyday life, everyone must know who you are
and must want to talk to you about it.
What I love about it is
it's not always attached to me - sometimes, people will say,
"We're having a Dragons' Den style..."
You know, it's just incidental. It's not cos I'm there.
It's just entered the vernacular.
I also love...there is a whole age group of people
who have grown up with it.
So, they're sort of, 18, 19, now,
they talk about business like it's in their DNA.
I spend a lot of my time being shouted at in the street
and people shouting "Pointless!" at me out of van windows.
What do people shout at you?
Oh, all the time...
"I'm out!" It's like, you know, "Yeah... I'm out."
SHE LAUGHS WEAKLY
How many times a day, would you say?
Oh...I mean, if I'm walking through a train station,
without exception, two or three shouts.
You know, it's, "Oh, hello, I'm out!"
Now, do you think you will ever utter those famous words,
"I'm out for good", and leave the Den?
Or are you with us for the foreseeable future?
You know, every year, I wonder.
But every year, as soon as we start filming, I think,
"Oh, I love this. This feels like home. This is what I do."
So, as long as I love it, I'll carry on doing it.
Yeah, I'm guessing Deborah's actual home might be a little different.
But much as she is loving the Den and keen as ever to invest,
surely she wouldn't part with her cash for a piece of plastic with a brush on the end?
None of the Dragons would...right?
Cue the Dhillon family,
who hope to go from pitch to rich with just that.
-Hi, I'm Gurminder.
-Hi, I'm Arminder.
-Hi, I'm Rashpal.
So, here in my hands, I have the home-made prototype
of the Boot Buddy.
The idea came one day after football training,
when I decided there had to be an easier way
to clean my muddy football boots.
Now, we have our own proper Boot Buddy
in one compact, portable gadget.
To date, we've turned over £100,000 in the last year
and we sold 6,500 units.
Thank you for your time and I hope, together, we can...
ALL: Leave the outdoors outside.
But you need a lot more than a catchphrase.
And, after the boot cleaner had been thoroughly road-tested,
it was time for its 15-year-old inventor to leave.
Too young to negotiate with the Dragons directly, you see.
Now, the Den could get serious.
Would Peter Jones stick the boot in?
I have to say, until you said that you sold £100,000 worth of product,
I was a little bit in shock,
because it is just a water bottle with a brush on the end.
At that point, I was just weighing it up,
because even I know, sometimes,
the simplest ideas are not always the best.
My biggest issue is the fact you've got to continue to refill it.
Things were looking bleak for the mother and son duo,
but then, Touker Suleyman wanted
to brush up on the business side of things.
What's the structure? I mean, you are working out of home.
Yeah, we are, we work out of our home office.
So what's your real business?
-Fish and chips...
-Fish and chips?
Yes, fish and chips.
Oh, I love fish and chips.
I do. I really do, I love fish and chips!
And what's your share structure? I mean, who owns the business?
Well, obviously, Mum is the boss. She put the money in.
Mum's got 60% and...
Everybody else has 10%.
Right. And how much did Mum put in?
Total, just below 250,000.
Wow. Good God.
That's a lot of fish and chips you must have sold!
Half of me thought, "What an amazing mum."
I mean, such commitment.
She was so incredible.
And then the other half of me was thinking,
"Oh, God, no, that's bonkers! No!"
I'm going to say no. I'm afraid I'm out.
You would have to more sell more than I believe that you can sell
so, for that reason, I'm out.
The chip shop owners were taking a bit of a battering -
but was Touker Suleyman feeling any more chipper?
On paper, there was a lot of work to be done, but it did something to me.
My soft side came out.
It needs a lot. It needs...
To be focused, to sell it.
Somebody who has got the contacts.
Somebody who can run the website.
Somebody who can give you some offices to work out of.
I will tell you what I'm going to do.
I'm willing to give you all the money,
but I want 35%.
I think you've done an amazing job and I...
I think it's a good product.
So, I'm going to offer you half of the money...
..and I would want...
..12.5% of the business.
On paper, this business doesn't look good.
A quarter million in the red,
so much money invested in IP, but you know what?
I thought..."We can make a lot of money from this."
I wonder whether three Dragons
could give this exactly what this needs?
So, I will offer you...£20,000 for 10%,
if the other Dragons agreed, but you get three Dragons.
The three of us will make a fantastic team.
It was decision time.
A rare offer from three Dragons, but that comes at a price.
In this case, they wanted 30% of the business -
three times more equity than the Dhillons had originally offered.
Um...yeah, we would love to work with all three of you.
Three is my favourite number, anyway!
-Is it your lucky number?
-It is my lucky number.
-There you are, well...
-Fantastic, well done.
-The man of the hour!
Do you think Mum made the right decision?
Yes, the best decision.
When I watched the Boot Buddy pitch,
I had to come and see Rashpal and the boys - firstly, cos
I have a lifelong fascination with how people clean their boots,
and secondly, they work in a fish and chip shop.
As one of the world's leading Dragons' Den experts,
nothing will distract me from investigating what has happened
in the five months since the deal...apart from chips.
That is lovely. Thank you very much.
There you go.
Every single thing we shoot should be like this.
Now, I'm going to be honest with you, it's not only me who is here today.
There's another gentleman I met at the Great Britain Tall Men's Club
who has come to see you as well.
What are you doing there? You should be selling Boot Buddies!
What can I say? Got to do both at the same time.
-Hey, Peter. How are you?
-How are you?
-I'm very well. How are you?
-Guess who's here? Look. Look who's here.
-Hey! How are you?
-Nice to meet you.
-How are you doing? The genius.
-Good to see you, Peter.
-Are you well?
-Yes, good, thank you.
-I've got some good news for you.
-I know we've got a big delivery of stock coming in, haven't we?
We've got 20 to 25,000 units.
At the run rate at the moment, it would take us, probably,
about four-and-a-half months, four months,
-to sell 20 to 25,000, wouldn't it?
Unless, of course, you've got a good relationship
with the biggest sports company in Britain, Sports Direct,
who have decided to take all of your stock.
They've ordered for 20,000, and they'll take up to 200,000.
You are off and running. Well done.
-Nice, man, well done! Well done you.
You could end up selling a million Boot Buddies in the next 12 months,
and, most importantly, get all of your money back.
It'll be the best investment you've ever made.
-Sorry, Richard. There you go, Peter.
-Thank you very much.
So, Arminder, as the inventor of the thing,
how does that make you feel?
I'm blown away, to be honest with you.
I mean, it's amazing to know that it's going to get into
every household, potentially, in Britain and then, hopefully,
we can expand and take it global.
You've got to go back to school tomorrow
and you'll be saying to everyone, "I got an absolutely huge order for my invention."
How do your school friends take this whole adventure?
Well, they're shocked, really.
Has anyone asked to borrow money yet?
No, I've had people ask for jobs.
I've told them, "Get a degree first, and then I'll see!"
Oh, man, this guy is going to go a long way!
So lovely to be here, as well, when that news is broken to you.
What a treat. That took me by surprise as well.
It's lovely, I'm so happy.
Last year, turnover for the product was £100,000.
Do you mind if I come and grab some chips myself?
The deal that Peter has just orchestrated
is set to make the business £1 million.
Right, what do you do?
Just like that?
You all right, love? Want some chippies?
Next job, a lesson in upselling.
Is there nothing this man can't do?
Would you like a little bit of vinegar, sir?
-Yes, please. Thank you.
-That's an extra 5p.
-Would you like some salt, please?
That's only 10p, so that's perfect.
It's 9.80, but actually, for an extra 20p,
you can have something to eat it with.
There you go, perfect. £10 for cash, sir.
-Thank you very much indeed.
Thanks for visiting Peter's.
-I'll talk to you about that later, it's a takeover.
So, Peter, it's quite unusual for three Dragons to go in on a deal.
It does happen, but it's quite unusual.
So you are in this deal with Deborah and Touker.
How is that working for you?
I think it's working, you know...
It was working fine,
up until the fact that I ended up getting the order,
and then I did think to myself, "What am I doing?"
No, I am quite pleased. I'll tell you why I'm really chuffed -
because Touker spent so much of the series
trying to give his office away to someone,
and he managed to find a 15-year-old to give his office to.
So, the big deal you've just done,
how much of that is, "It's a great product",
and how much of that is, "A Dragon is selling that great product"?
I do think it is a combination.
It has to be a good enough product to sell,
but if you know the person that owns the company,
that has major influence and you can pick the phone up,
it's...it's really easy.
And they know you've got a track record and that, you know,
you back winners.
I suppose so, to a certain extent. I like everybody to think that,
but the reality is that I've got a long stream of things that haven't
gone well behind my back...
-Oh, yeah, me too.
-But let's not talk about those today.
Throw enough mud at the wall, some of it sticks eventually.
Well, best of luck.
-Oh, thank you. I'm terribly excited. But, you know...
Into chips. Do you think this would make a good investment,
the sort of place, or not?
Still to come, the secrets of the back wall revealed.
Sarah always gives me a little nudge.
(There is no chance he'll accept 20 in a million years.)
And did this man go from pitch to rich?
But before that...
Grab your organic popcorn,
as two more entrepreneurs relive the moment
they faced the formidable five.
Ross Williams and Surlender Pendress entered the Den,
hoping their pint-sized pencils would be big enough to land a deal.
But did they make the grade with the Dragons?
Surlender and Ross, thank you so much for coming and joining me.
We are going to watch your pitch.
It's the sort of thing that sometimes happens -
people bring in products, you just go,
"Is that the worst idea I've ever seen,
"or the best idea I've ever seen?"
Shall we watch?
-Let's do it.
Thank you for your time.
What we want to show you today
is something we've created based upon two things -
maths and logic.
If I can show you this...
Would anybody use a pen of this size?
I don't think so. It's not the right-sized tool.
That's a good visual aid.
It was rubbish.
'But here's the thing.
'When you have a child who is five years old,
'they are about 55% the size of us, and when you give them this'
to learn to write with,
to them, it will actually feel like this, because of scale.
'This is the right-sized tool for us,
'and these are the tools'
that we've made.
So, what we have here, essentially, is shorter pencils...
But shorter than normal pencils.
Not just shorter, because obviously, we've made them...
We thought, "What is the best thing you can make for a child?"
Therefore, we made them with greater diameter,
with a slightly thicker core.
We didn't just do this for a laugh - this is...
It makes sense.
-I hear you.
-Yeah, it is.
It is logic. It is sense.
Hey, it's logic, it's scale, it's a slightly shorter pencil.
Why wouldn't we do that?
Why do it?
Why would you want to buy different size pencils?
'They don't have the same size shoes,
'they don't have the same size anything,
'and this is a tool, a craftsmanship...
'We forget this - learning to write is a craftsman...'
'I see your salesmanship, but...'
'They are smaller people, Peter.'
'I understand that. But I'm questioning why.'
Everyone at home is thinking that as well, by the way, at this point.
But we've answered that question in the pitch.
As Surlender said, it's to make learning to write more easy.
It takes six years to learn to write for the average child. Six years.
So if you can improve that speed by...15, 20%?
'In every adult profession,
'where somebody learns a dextrous skill,
'we give them the tools to fit their hands.'
All tools fit our hands. They are adult tools.
Yes, but I'm not teaching my five-year-old to be a calligrapher.
It's not chiming with their business brain, perhaps.
I can understand it from their point of view.
You've got these crazy people walking in, saying,
-"We've got small pencils."
-Less of the crazy!
Where are the crazy people coming from?
Where is the crazy coming from?!
Very often, you think, "Why hasn't anyone looked at this before?"
-It isn't that they haven't looked at it before -
it's that they looked at it and thought it wasn't worthwhile.
There are lots of things, like dog nappies -
why hasn't anybody come up with dog nappies before?
Probably have, decided it wasn't worthwhile.
-That's a good question.
Can't you apply that to everything in life?
Yeah...otherwise, nobody would ever make anything.
"I don't know why they came in with that. Somebody will have thought of that before."
-Nobody would ever go in with anything.
-There would never be another new invention.
They've all been thought of before and it must be wrong.
Nick Jenkins put the first black mark
against the petite pencil business proposition.
I sort of see the point, but I think it's a bit too narrow,
so I'm afraid I'm out.
And soon, three other Dragons also drew a line under the deal.
It's not for me. I'm out.
I'm not going to be investing, I'm afraid. I'm out.
The 50,000 that you're asking for
won't cover the stock, the marketing, the online.
You probably need 500,000.
So, on that basis, I'm out.
He's right. It is going to take some money to get the brand out there.
But the marketplace is huge.
Children will always have to learn to write, and they always have
to learn to write with pencils.
But could Sarah Willingham see the potential market
and put very small pencil to paper on a deal?
Do you know what? I can't work out if this is completely bonkers
or...there is a moment of brilliance where, actually,
marketed right, are you going to get loads of mums
buying lots of different size pens for different age kids?
-This is the...all or nothing.
And this is sort of, probably, the person you want, maybe...
We did, yeah. I always thought...
-Everyone wants Sarah.
-She's got kids.
And I can see mums buying it.
But I just can't see it being mass market,
unless there really is concrete evidence that kids
are better off with a smaller pencil,
and I just think it's too big a hurdle,
so I'm afraid it's not an investment for me, so I'm out.
Do you have any regrets at all about going to the Den?
-Maybe too soon.
-In the history of the company.
If we'd had the evidence we have got now, about,
you know...from universities,
about how would this mathematically is correct...
-If we could have presented that...
I'm still not sure,
but I would have preferred to have been in that position.
So, what has happened since the Den?
Have you moved on with the product?
Yeah, definitely. We've...
We've launched in Dubai and Peru.
-The two big markets!
-The two big pencil markets.
-..and we're in the UK.
We are just signing off deals for South Africa.
But, I have to say, I have genuine sympathy with you.
I do think pencils are incorrectly designed for people's hands.
I've actually got my own product range for the taller gentleman... here.
I've got it...
LAUGHTER It's literally perfect.
So, listen, I'm deeply sympathetic with your plight.
Surlender, Ross, very, very best of luck.
Absolute pleasure to meet you as well.
Thank you so much, thank you.
That's too big, even in your hand. Length does matter.
Goodness me! Only time will tell if Ross and Surlender
become the next entrepreneurs to slip through the Dragons' talons.
Like these two classics from the Den archive,
who proved that the Dragons don't always get it right.
The Dragons initially played nicely
when Linkee pitched their new board game.
The aim of the game is to guess the common link
between four answers.
So, penguin, taxi and club - can you see a link?
-Very nice with a cup of tea?
But the fun ended when they started talking financials.
What's your turnover so far this year?
And it was game over when they revealed
they wanted to take their board game to the small screen.
You are delusional if you think this will go on television,
because the reality is
it's got to be really, really something special.
Wrong answer, Mr Jones.
It was made into a TV programme
and it sold an awful lot of board games, too.
Andy Needham and Dan Cludery offered the Dragons
a stake in their online grocery site,
selling food coming up to its sell-by date.
We sell both clearance and regular products
at significantly cheaper prices than the high street.
Deborah had a taste for the business...
There is so much I like about it.
..but she didn't like it enough.
But I'm sorry, I won't be investing. I'm out.
Oh...what a waste.
That's one you missed out on, Deborah.
So, it appears the Dragons are fallible after all.
But there is one Dragon who is perhaps more prepared
to take a punt on the more...unusual investment opportunities
and even break the odd product along the way.
-Pleasure to have you here.
-I'm going to say, amongst the Dragons,
I'm going to call you the wild card.
-Would you agree with that?
-I'd say I'm a little bit wild card.
If ever there is anything physical to be done in the Den,
you tend to be the first up out of your seat.
I know all about these garments, inside out.
Let the expert have a look.
Wow! 'Ey up, our kid!
-Look at you!
ROCK GUITAR SOLO
LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE
Let's go to bed...
What happened, there?
-You broke the bed.
You've set up a number of very, very successful businesses.
You are a very successful businessman.
You are happy to appear to be a figure of fun in some way.
That must work you, somehow.
Does it make people underestimate you, maybe?
Um...I think what it does...
-It makes people feel like I'm a real person.
I'm at their level, and it's easy to communicate with me.
And is it also that you really enjoy the process of being in the Den?
It looks like you do.
-Well, I'm there. I might as well have fun with it.
I'm giving away my money, so, on that basis,
let's make the most of it.
Hoping Touker Suleyman was entertained by his product -
and didn't break it -
was this sharp-suited and well-booted entrepreneur.
Next up tonight, Dragons, from his home in Tunbridge Wells, Caner Veli!
Liquiproof produces advanced nanotech coatings
for almost any surface.
We're best known for our innovative
and award-winning footwear protection.
My first impressions of Caner as he walked through the lift door -
he looked like a clean-cut, credible young man.
-His pitch was amazing.
-Let me show you how amazing it is.
Shoe under the tap.
Poured cola over it.
Put tomato sauce over it.
-And the grand finale...
..we can make Liquiproof
a household name.
It was real theatre.
I loved it.
The young entrepreneur wanted £100,000 of Dragon cash
and was only offering 5% of his business in return.
That valued his business at...well, you do the maths, but a lot.
I realised it's a common problem that Caner had just solved.
After that demonstration,
I had that tingle inside me and I wanted him to be good.
-Caner Veli, right?
THEY SPEAK TURKISH
-Are you Turkish?
-My father's Turkish Cypriot.
-Oh. I'm Turkish Cypriot.
Caner and Touker had bonded in Turkish,
but it takes more than that to prise the cash out of a Dragon,
otherwise we'd all be doing it.
Now the fashion supremo wanted substantial proof
of the waterproofing substance's substance.
It might have been easier to have said that in Turkish.
What patent to you have?
I've partnered with the R&D lab that owns the patent to this,
so I have sole exclusive rights.
So this is not your technology.
What happens if tomorrow they take this and go to somebody else
that's going to really take it worldwide?
Unless you've got the IP,
everyone's just going to sit here and rip you apart.
Have you got your contract here?
So who would like to have a look at this first?
Without owning the intellectual property on the product,
Caner had to put all his faith in his licensing agreement.
But surely that would be watertight.
I mean, you wouldn't give it to the Dragons if it wasn't,
It's not a licensing agreement, it's a distribution agreement,
really, that's giving you distribution in certain territories.
Caner's contract was just gibberish.
Did a lawyer write this?
-I put the majority of that together personally.
And I had it sort of glanced over by a family friend who doesn't...
That's not their expertise.
If you're going to ask for a two million valuation,
spend a couple of grand on your contract.
Lawyers exist for a reason.
This is the only thing that you have, the only thing.
I've read a lot of legal documents
and I can sniff something bad when I see one.
This isn't a business. Next time you do this, do it properly.
I'm afraid I'm out.
So Nick made his position abundantly clear,
but Dragons aren't sheep.
I'm sure the others wouldn't be influenced by him.
-I'm going to say that I'm out.
You don't really have a business. I'm out.
When all the other Dragons were out,
I realised I was the conductor and I had the floor to myself.
I sell a lot of shirts to a lot of people
in this country and worldwide.
Suits, the same.
Have you ever worked out what it would cost
-to have this coated on a metre of fabric?
-It would work out about 4p.
I found my moment to make my move.
I'm going to make you an offer.
I like the brand, I like Caner,
but I also realised there's a lot of work to do.
I'll give you all the money for 50%, but it has to be subject to
sorting the contract out properly so that we're all secured.
50% was me weighing up the amount of risk I was taking
and I think it made it worthwhile.
I think Caner probably realised
that he didn't have that much to bargain with.
Actually, what he really had was some enthusiasm
and probably a distribution agreement.
But would Caner be willing to give away 50% of his company,
ten times his original offer?
-Let's do this.
Am I worth 50%?
Of course I'm worth 50%!
That's a lot of Touker time.
Well, it's a year and a half in normal non-Touker time since Caner
and his new business partner shook hands in the Den.
But the reality of the business world
is that in the cold, cruel light of day,
due diligence can see deals fall through.
Remember, Touker said he would only sign on the dotted line
if the contract got sorted.
-Hi. How are you doing?
-Very, very nice to meet you.
Caner has opened a shop
where customers can get their clothes waterproofed,
hang out with like-minded entrepreneurial types
and, it seems, park their motorbikes in the middle of the carpet.
This is essentially like a teenage boy's perfect office.
But is this just kids' stuff,
or is Caner playing with the grown-ups now
and is Touker actually involved?
This is glamorous shop front,
but where's the bustling corporate headquarters?
-Ah, let me take you through the secret door.
-A secret door?
This place gets better and better.
Caner... Oh, dude, look at that.
The last we saw at the end of the Den, I think Touker wanted to
invest but he's saying, "Oh, I don't know about the contracts and stuff,"
but look - you have an office.
There's people here, there's people everywhere,
so something went right.
So can you tell us - are you and Touker in business?
-You are? That's good news.
-We got there eventually.
I didn't realise how long the due diligence would have taken,
but I went off straight away, got the contract sorted,
got that tightened up, the agreement,
and I was conscious that I had to provide value,
-deliver on what I said in the Den.
-And what are the big plans now?
OK, we're working to integrate the technology
into the manufacturing process
of various garments of clothing, shirts.
-So you get shirts that are already Liquiproofed?
-Yes, that's it.
That's what you talked about in the Den.
-That's where you could see dollar signs in Touker's eyes?
I am delighted to be in business with Caner.
He is an entrepreneur to heart.
We're not competitive - I just set the bar for him,
so he can see where he's going.
I'm very confident in Caner
and I'm very confident in the future of the business.
We all know that in their chairs, the Dragons are a formidable,
but there's another presence in the Den, just as menacing,
just as formidable,
but slightly less argumentative. It's more of...
-You can go to the wall, if you want.
-The famous wall?
-The famous wall.
OK, thank you.
-Can we have a few minutes to have a chat?
-Go and talk to the wall.
-It's the wise wall.
When an entrepreneur goes to the back wall,
that's the only time they're in control of the whole Den.
Right, show time, Johnny.
What do you think, buddy?
I don't feel any pressure. I think the pressure is all on them.
See, when they go to the back of the room, I like having a little chat.
Sarah always gives me a little nudge.
(There's no chance he'll accept 20 in a million years, no way.)
We always want to know, we always try and guess. I can't wait.
(I would have gone for 40.)
At that moment, there is definitely a switch in power.
There's definitely a moment of tension there.
If the entrepreneur needs to think about it for more than 30 seconds,
I'm not sure I want to be in.
I call the wall a wise wall, but every now and then,
the wall gets it wrong.
It's not a decision we can make now.
We need to have a few drinks with you.
Seriously, Yann, are you for real?
I think you made a big mistake by not choosing me.
He always thinks that.
Mind the trap door.
-Here we go.
-But before you get to the wall,
you have to clinch a deal.
Tame you, got to tame you, got to tame you, got to tame you.
When Nick Coleman and Andy Allen walked in with their snack business,
they hoped to add a certain special someone
to their blossoming business bromance.
I'm Nick and I'm here today with my business partner
-and marketing director Andy.
We are looking for a £70,000 investment
for a 10% stake of our business,
The Snaffling Pig.
When the lift doors opened and the guys from Snaffling Pig came in
and pulled back the curtains for what they would probably call
the "pig reveal",
-I was excited.
We present to you...
..the pork scratching.
For over 250 years, this cheeky indulgence of a snack
has been loved by so very many people,
but has remained completely and utterly unchanged,
so we set out two years ago to take this little piggy to markets
he's never been before.
To make that pigging vision a reality...
They were doing piggy play on words and pig puns
and I didn't like that at all.
It turns out he's quite a versatile swine.
Let's make the piggin' magic happen. Thank you.
Puns in the Den? That's my job.
Actually, I think contractually it's my job. Let me check.
PAPERS SHUFFLING Yes, it is.
But pig puns aside, the Dragons had heard the boys talk the talk.
Now Nick wanted to find out if they could pork the pork.
Oh, sorry, I'm turning into Peter Jones.
Basically, he just wanted to know about the business.
So tell me, it sounds like you had an amazing first year.
-So talk me through those numbers.
Year one, which will end in May 2017,
we have projected 2.2 million with a gross of 1.1 million
and a net of 165,000.
Impressive projections and Deborah Meaden
looked as if she might be about to bite.
But hang on - Sarah Willingham was about to add an early twist
to this curly tale.
Nick, Andy, pork scratchings make me gag,
I don't know where else to go other than that.
I just can't eat them,
so I'm really sorry, I can't, I'm not going to invest, I'm out.
And it wasn't to the other Dragons' taste either.
I won't be investing, I'm out.
Pigs might fly, but I can't see you're going to get there,
so I'm going to say that I'm out.
I was quite excited.
I could see it had a really good potential to the business
and I don't particularly want to have any competition or have
to fight over it, so I was quite pleased when they dropped out.
Look, I'm going to make you an offer.
I'm going to make you an offer for all of the money,
but I would want 20% of the business
and that would make it worthwhile.
Thank you very much for the offer.
-Can we go have a chat?
-Go and have a chat.
I think this will be the shortest chat in history.
There was never a more token talk to the wall
ever seen before in the Den.
I mean, come on, you've got Mr Moonpig with scratchings.
They're made for each other.
I wanted the deal and I was pretty confident I was going to get it.
The only question was whether
they were going to fight back on the terms,
-which they did.
-We really believe in where this product's going to go,
but what we'd like to do is put our money where our mouth is.
-So what we'd like to do is offer you the 20% today.
But we'd like the chance to be able to buy back your shares
at today's market rates
in 18 months' time once we hit our sales and our profit projections
-back to ten.
-Back to ten?
In 18 months?
-Then it's a deal.
-The pigs have merged, here we go.
-Excellent, thank you.
-I was quite happy to accept that,
because if you give someone a limited timeframe to buy back
some of their shares,
it creates quite a lot of pressure on them to perform.
You're two chuffed little piglets, aren't you?
-This little piggy has gone to market.
They're great guys, they know what they're doing
and it's a good business.
I certainly don't think it's one of the "rasher" investments
in my "porkfolio".
Oh, Nick, you let yourself down there.
Five months on and the pig skin kingpins
are still very much in business
with their Moonpig patron and their plans to take over the snack world
in full operation.
So this is where we do all of our packing and send out parcels
all across the country.
All the magic happens in this one little place.
Except our office - we have no desk.
We spent all the money on the warehouse.
Just two days ago, they moved into this new warehouse.
It's three times bigger than their last one
and was masterminded by Nick Jenkins himself.
So one of the things we've been able to do is look at their warehousing
and restructure that.
It's now in 1,200 pubs across the UK
and we're talking to various chains about rolling it out next year.
I think this business is going to be a great success.
So their Dragon huffed and puffed
and the cash rolled in.
But let's remind ourselves of two businesses where it didn't.
They left the Den empty-handed.
The Dragons found Marco Hajikypri's valuation hard to swallow
when he presented them with his bespoke fitness food concept.
Where do you get that this is worth £2.5 million?
If I gave you £2.5 million to buy this brand off you today...
I wouldn't sell it.
You'd be mad.
I wouldn't be mad.
-Surely you'd go and sit on a beach and smoke your cigar?
That's not enough for me to smoke cigars.
-I need 20 million minimum.
Well, he still hasn't got to that beach,
but his business hasn't stopped delivering since.
The Dragons couldn't believe their eyes or their ears
when Yann Morvan and Richard Lee
pitched their air drumming percussion kit.
Despite offers from two Dragons,
others wanted to drum home just how much they didn't like it.
-It's a gimmick.
-No, it's not!
What is it, then?
It's a musical instrument.
How can you call a musical instrument a gimmick?
But, drumroll, please.
Whilst a gimmick may not go down well in the Den,
DIY products often do.
The final entrepreneurs to reflect on their Den encounter
are Martin Chard and Jenny David.
When they entered the Den,
they had no idea that their lives were about to change forever.
Everyday things I tend to stumble a lot on,
simple things that everybody can do,
so I've spent my whole life feeling stupid.
This is it, this is what you want.
But did they go from pitch to rich?
Martin and Jenny, thank you so much for coming and joining us here.
I think your pitch was my favourite pitch of the entire last series.
We'll see why in a moment, but shall we take a little look?
-Thank you, yeah.
I describe myself as dyslexic with a sprinkle of Asperger's.
People often say I think outside the box -
the truth is, I never had the box in the first place.
People at home are going,
"Please be good, please be good," after that start.
-We were so nervous at that point.
-Oh, my goodness.
Like jumping out of a plane.
I've been working for many years now as a building maintenance engineer
and often have to put up lots of shelves,
fixtures and fittings throughout the day
and found that it could be quite frustrating
marking where to drill the hole positions.
This is the Marxman. You simply hold the bracket where you want to,
you simply push it in the hole...
..and it will spray a burst of green chalk showing you where to drill.
Martin had survived the product demonstration,
but would he survive a textbook Den grilling from Peter Jones?
-Why wouldn't you just use a Sharpie?
-Because it doesn't...
-It dries out and it clogs and it doesn't last.
Is every plumber going to want to spend £10
on something where it's cost them 20p?
You've really got to like the invention, haven't you, then?
No, no, I completely disagree,
because we sell in Wickes roughly 57 a day.
You think that's good?
I think that's excellent.
That took a lot of guts from both of you.
Yeah, yeah, it did. We're not normally gutsy people,
but we know the product well.
Also, it's the dream.
We've worked really hard to get this far
to be told that it's a Sharpie - it's definitely not a Sharpie.
So you sold them 13,000. At how much?
The recommended retail price is £9.95.
-And what was your investment to get to here so far?
-About 100 grand.
You put your whole life behind this?
So this is the point where it could all go wrong.
We did think it might go wrong at this point.
Is that what you think in your head? You're thinking,
-"Oh, man, we're going to be one of those pitches."
It is too expensive at the moment.
You don't want people to think.
You want people to be at that till thinking, "Oh, that's good."
I certainly think we could get that made at a much better price.
Watching at home, you're suddenly thinking,
"Oh! WE can, can we, Deborah?"
How would you feel about somebody running the business for you
with you developing product? How would you feel about that?
That would be our dream.
Because I like it.
I'm going to make you an offer.
I'm going to offer you all of the money.
I want 30% of the business,
because I'm basically going to do the business bit for you,
so that's my offer to you.
-You could have blown me away at that point.
-Cos that turned round quite quickly.
-Yeah, it really did.
It was on a dime.
The heart now is definitely starting to skip a little bit.
Now all I'm thinking is, "Don't spoil it."
The only spoiling to be done was from the other Dragons...
I'm going to match Deborah's offer.
-..spoiling for a fight to get their hands on the product.
I'm very willing to make you an offer
for half the money for 15%.
I can't not make you an offer.
Half of the money with another Dragon.
So four Dragons in.
Were we about to see that rarest of things,
the full house?
Or the full Den, to be precise.
Suddenly you've got four of them.
-It was incredible.
-It is incredible.
-More than we could...
-It's what you dreamed of.
Obviously, the only other one left is Peter Jones
and for him to make an offer after what he said,
surely he wouldn't have...
Surely he wouldn't have the brass balls to make you an offer.
Surely Peter wouldn't.
You've done well, haven't you?
-It seems so.
-I liked him then.
So I'm going to offer you all of the money as well...
..but I'm only going to ask for 25%.
We now need to talk to the wall.
He's undercut all the others and now you've got a choice to make.
Got our dream.
..Deborah, we'd very much like to accept your offer.
-Oh, I'm so pleased!
I wanted to jump up and down at that point.
-The right decision, in my opinion.
I'm so pleased because I'm sitting there trying not to look excited,
cos I don't want to tell them how excited I am.
-I wanted to hug her at that point.
Oh, my God!
Here it goes.
You said at the beginning that you wanted to go in there
because you wanted to feel proud of yourself,
to look yourself in the mirror
and I would suggest you should be proud of yourself.
Has that happened? Can you look yourself in the mirror now?
Definitely. I definitely feel proud of this, I feel proud of us.
Yeah, the family feel proud. Just lovely, yeah.
It really has made a nice change.
-Listen, it's been such a pleasure to meet you both.
Congratulations, it's just such a wonderful pitch and I wish you
-nothing but luck in the future.
-Thank you very much.
So, there we have it.
Now, as this is the BBC,
we're going to have to pretend that we've learned something,
so what have we learned?
Well, walls really do have ears,
pig products can fly,
and you can make a small fortune
taping a loo brush to the end of a plastic bottle.
All valuable lessons, but we've also learned
that if you've got a good idea,
you back it up with hard work and with passion,
the Dragons might just invest and take you from pitch to rich.
Dragons' Den: Pitches to Riches returns to relive extraordinary encounters between brave entrepreneurs and those formidable Dragon investors. Den expert Richard Osman guides viewers through the most outstanding, shocking and emotional pitches of the last two years.
Richard catches up Caner Velli, who dazzled the Dragons with his liquid-repelling product, we see the pun-toting duo from a pork scratching company in their new HQ, and Peter Jones visits the Dhillon family, who left the Den with a trio of Dragon investors in their boot-cleaning brush, but have they all gone from pitch to rich?