Budding entrepreneurs pitch business ideas to multimillionaires. Two former army captains hope to get the Dragons to stand to attention with their bespoke gifting business.
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Tonight on Dragons' Den...
Dragons, I'm a multimillionaire.
-I don't need money.
You've worked in three investment banks - God help us!
I think it's a very difficult market.
You've really got to be very, very good.
I'm torn, because I know what I could do with it.
given me nothing, absolutely nothing.
I was about to go out,
and I've just talked myself into potentially making an offer.
Welcome to Dragons' Den.
This is the place that when those lift doors open,
entrepreneurs have just three minutes
to deliver the business pitch of their lifetime.
-Right, ready, Rog?
-Yeah, I'm ready, Phil.
Right, so we're going in. Covers off.
-Do the best you can.
Our first candidates for the Dragons' cash have come a long
way from humble beginnings as a waiter and forklift truck driver
to build a multi-million pound transatlantic business.
Yeah, we've got a lot of experience,
but going into the Den is a completely new experience for us.
We're more used to being on the other side of the table.
-Are you set?
'I've learnt the pitch, I've done it 100 times,'
I'll probably forget what I'm about to say next.
If you get stuck, just look at me.
-Yeah, OK, I will do.
-If I don't take over, panic.
They're here today with a completely new business,
a personal security product.
And they want a Dragon to help fast-track it to be
their next big money-spinner.
-I'm Roger Willems.
-And I'm Phil Stratford.
And we're the owners of the multiple award-winning DoorJammer.
We're here today to present you with an opportunity
to invest £80,000 for a 15% share of our company.
Have you ever been in a hotel room where you don't feel 100% safe?
You look at the door locks and you think they're not fit for purpose.
Wouldn't it be good if you had a simple solution
that you could give to your children when they go off to university
or they go on holiday that would make them travel and feel safer?
Well, Rog, now there is a solution.
OK. DoorJammer is a small, innovative,
patented device that fits neatly under almost any door in the world.
Can I just demonstrate it to you, how it works?
So, you fit it...
..under the door, and then you begin to wind the Jammer up
till you get contact with the door.
You try the door - to let you know that it's connected.
But if you then had to leave the room in an emergency at any stage,
well, you can go down, pull the Jammer and it will come away.
We have sales in over 25 countries,
so come and join us and let's scale the sales together.
No forgotten lines from Roger Willems and Phil Stratford,
these days hailing from opposite sides of the pond.
They're hoping a Dragon will unlock the door to success by investing
£80,000 in this sideline to their business.
Keep the girls away from me!
In return, they'll give away a 15% share.
The product has made
Sarah Willingham keen to get hands-on.
I would actually quite like to try it with the door.
-Would you mind putting it back, and we'll have a tug on it?
You'd normally want to try and get in with it, wouldn't you?
-But you wouldn't be this side of the door, would you?
-You're trying to prevent people from getting in.
OK, he's ready.
We actually thought you'd come and kick it, Peter.
Keep out of my bedroom, Sarah!
It's definitely a deterrent...
I think it's a deterrent, but there's no doubt if you wanted,
if you wanted to...
-Go on, then?
-Shall we give it a kick?
I'm going to let... I'm going to leave that to somebody
who's better dressed for it, I think.
Here we go!
It's quite good.
Shall I give it the final touch?!
But not brilliant.
Nick Jenkins takes advantage of a rare opportunity
to flex his muscles,
with disastrous consequences for Phil and Roger.
And it's kicked off thoughts about the product's necessity
for Peter Jones.
Why wouldn't you...? You know the doorstoppers you have,
I have them in my house, they're wooden.
-Why wouldn't you just use that?
They... Erm, they usually kick away.
This gives you
a sort of higher level of protection, of safety.
But it didn't stop... I mean,
Nick is not known for being a bit of a bully boy,
and yet it took him about ten seconds to get into the hotel room.
It takes you about three seconds to wake up.
But the thing is, that doesn't
help me if I'm lying in bed in my underwear.
The whole point about this product surely is to prevent
somebody from getting in, not to give you an extra ten seconds.
It's to prevent silent entry, is the idea.
-And of course...
-..like most security products, you know,
if someone wants to get in, most places, they can.
I mean, I was in a hotel in Malaysia where they had guards on the lift,
and I had DoorJammer with me.
At least I was able to get a degree of comfort that I had a level of
security that I could control as well.
Roger, I think that's just salesmen's nonsense.
If your product only gives a ten-second delay,
you put a table or a chair next to the door, it's exactly the same.
Phil and Roger can't seem to convince Peter Jones
that their product is the best solution for the problem
it's designed to solve.
And now, Deborah Meaden wants to talk hard cash.
Erm, how much does this sell for?
They sell for 24.99.
So, how much are they costing you to make?
We buy them for 6.39.
So you're not making them?
We are making them.
-So, DoorJammer buys them for 6.39.
We make them in our factory for 4.50.
OK, you probably need to explain that to me.
Yes. So, we have a business, we've been partners
for more than 30 years,
and we do industrial products, business-to-business products.
So that's your separate business...
Yeah, and we sell it to ourselves.
..and you're asking us to invest
in a business that only does DoorJammer.
-Only does DoorJammer, yes. I don't understand.
Not surprisingly, I want to understand the relationship.
So, this other business you've got - how big's that?
-Turns over 70 million a year?
Erm, that's quite a good business, that's a big business.
Can I ask, what profit does it make, the company?
Er, it does about 10 million.
So, you make 10 million a year.
You've got more money than me!
Come and sit here.
Dragons, I'm a multi-millionaire.
I don't need money. And from this doorstopper, we have made millions.
Can I just say - I'm out!
News of Phil and Roger's other successful business
has certainly created a congenial atmosphere in the Den.
But now all are back in their rightful places,
that 70-million question is still hanging in the air.
What are you doing here? You know,
you'd have many other ways of gaining routes to market,
I mean, you must have.
When we first got DoorJammer,
we spoke about how we could possibly get it to market,
and we only know the business-to-business route,
that's through trade fairs.
We think that youse have got the type of expertise,
you've certainly got the profile, and we don't.
We actually pitched it to Robert Dyas about a year ago,
and I mean, they weren't that interested.
Oh, well, that's interesting.
Why not? I mean, they're... You know, they're professional buyers,
their job is to find new product, and you're bang on,
that's exactly who you'd talk to, so...
I think we weren't ready, I think we were too amateurish for them.
We probably couldn't answer all the questions
that a consumer company would want.
I will not accept that it's the way you presented it.
Because any professional buyer will get over that.
You know, they will think, "Ooh, good product, like that."
I mean, when I first started with it,
I tried to find a PR company to handle it.
-It's the same thing.
Roger, Roger - focus.
I'm being very, very specific.
So, why were you told they were not interested in this product?
We found that Home Depot, Costco, they all look at the product,
say they're interested,
decide that we're a one-product company
and channel us off to a distributor.
You see, that worries me even more.
That worries me even more because those names that you've just listed,
I've got product in.
And they were so quick off the mark I can't tell you.
See it, love it, buy it.
So that's my worry.
I don't get it.
The Dragon with contacts in the product's target stores
casts doubt over its saleability in them.
And this successful business double act's inability to get the product
to market has sent Touker Suleyman into a state of confusion.
I can't work the pair of you out.
You know, here you are.
You're acting a little bit Tweedledum and Tweedledee,
and you're acting as if you've never been out there,
but you're very astute, the pair of you.
Yeah, we are professional business guys.
We are both out there doing the business we understand.
What we are probably saying quite badly is the consumer side of it,
we've not got proper experience in it and coming to the Den and getting
someone on board who understands that will drive it forward.
But, if I invested,
you'd say, "We want a Dragon on board
"so they can really help us get the product out there."
You would put all that pressure of the sales back on me.
I think to myself, "How many hours a week have I got?"
You don't need a Dragon.
You don't need my money.
And for that reason, I'm out.
Phil and Roger's success in business
has led to failure with potential investor Touker Suleyman.
And it doesn't look like it's gone down well with Nick Jenkins either.
The thing that I really enjoy is investing in businesses
to really make a difference, to support people who are going to go
and create a good business.
Not really terribly interested in effectively supporting
a little tiny sideline of your enormous business.
It's just not that appealing.
-It's not for me.
-So I'm out.
My biggest concern,
you've already tried to send it to a lot of people, and those are the
people that I would be able to introduce you to because they are
UK contacts, and they've already said no so, genuinely,
I don't think I've got a great deal to add.
So I'm out.
You're going to sell some of these,
you're going to make a bit of money but it kind of...
it feels like it's not that important to you
because you've got this whole other successful life going on,
which I'm certainly not going to criticise. Well done.
But it kind of then loses a piece for it.
So I'm afraid I'm out.
Deborah Meaden becomes the fourth Dragon
to show Phil and Roger the door.
Does Peter Jones have more faith
that these successful businessmen have what it takes
to build another multi-million pound enterprise?
I think you have done incredibly well.
I'm a little bit frustrated with the fact you've done so well in your own
business and yet you thought this could be the route
that you need to go and sell this product.
I don't buy into the product.
I think it is totally over-engineered.
But I don't think it's going to affect your lives.
You are multimillionaires in your own right, and I congratulate you,
but I'm not going to invest in something that
I just don't think is necessary.
So I'm going to say that I'm out.
-Thanks very much indeed.
It was really interesting.
So, Phil and Roger's concerns about their ability to sell becomes
a self-fulfilling prophecy
as they fail to persuade the Dragons to buy into their dream.
You never see yourself from somebody else's eyes.
Absolutely, yeah. Maybe it was us.
Maybe working with guys who are running a 70-million business,
maybe that put them off.
Maybe they think we should have been poorer,
and that might have made a difference.
Anyway, I really enjoyed that.
The one bit that was really unexpected, Rog,
I don't know whether you noticed, but I got a new partner.
He seemed to be my new business partner, but don't worry,
-I'd never swap him for you.
Our next entrepreneur has an impressive and varied CV.
He's a Cambridge postgraduate
with careers in modelling and banking under his belt.
My strategy in the Den is just be myself,
put across my passion in the business.
I'm not feeling particularly nervous.
I've delivered thousands of presentations
to multibillion-dollar finance hedge funds
who rip you apart if you miss a punctuation, and then you get
castigated, so to be honest,
I feel quite excited, actually.
Hi, Dragons. Oh, this...
Hi, good afternoon, Dragons.
My name is Sunil Kavuri and I'm here
to offer you 5% of my food-to-go business, Great Grub,
in exchange for £80,000.
I'm... I have been a successful model,
I've been a successful investment strategist
at a leading investment bank in the City,
and now I run the food-to-go business Great Grub.
A few years ago, I was working in the City
and I decided to take some time out and travel the world,
sampling the local cuisines.
Then I decided to set up my food-to-go business,
and Great Grub was born.
Great Grub is a food-to-go business inspired by street food on the go.
All our products are halal and there's five main trends that are
revolutionising the food-to-go industry.
One, food on the move, two, healthy eating,
expansion of branded concepts, greater variety of choice and halal.
At the moment, we are trialling in Asda, Sainsbury's,
we are in final talks to supply Compass and Sodexo,
for their football grounds and universities,
and also in final discussions with easyJet for their winter routes.
Thank you, Dragons, for listening to my pitch.
I have some sample platters for you guys to try.
With his sandwich wraps inspired by street food from across the globe...
-I'll deliver to the others.
-Thank you so much.
Sunil Kavuri is hoping to appeal to the multicultural British consumer.
But first he will need to tickle the taste buds of the Dragons,
who he is hoping to extract £80,000 from.
In return for the cash, he will give up 5% of his business.
But first, Peter Jones wants to find out more about his colourful career.
Sunil, tell me a little bit about yourself.
So, I went to university at the London School of Economics.
I did my masters at Cambridge University,
and at the same time I was modelling so, you know,
actually I did quite a lot of work for Big Brother
and O2 mobile phones.
In 2003, became an A-list celebrity.
I was on TV 70,000 times.
You were an A-list celebrity?
Apparently so. But that was, obviously,
I'm relatively educated,
so I was doing this at the same time while I was studying.
But the career progression was either go into acting,
or continue modelling, or...or finance
and, I mean, I decided to go for finance.
And you went to Cambridge University.
-And what degree did you get?
A Masters in finance.
My undergraduate, I studied at London School of Economics
and I was awarded the prize for first out of 675 students.
So, I joined actually Deutsche Bank after that,
and then I moved to Morgan Stanley. It was pretty much the same.
And then at JP Morgan.
I have a real work ethic.
I used to get into work at about six o'clock and leave at ten
or 11 o'clock. It's because I enjoy it.
It's not necessarily for the money, it's just because inside I'm driven.
I have a strong work ethic.
I like being a success in everything I do.
What is special about the food?
What we have found in the supermarkets was
the food was relatively boring,
and I try to bring the street food concept,
which the British public love,
to the supermarkets, to retail.
So I believe that the product,
it's not available at the moment relative to the competitors.
Sunil continues to emphasise the work ethic
that lies behind his food-to-go business concept.
But Sarah Willingham,
the investor who knows first-hand how to grow
a lucrative food business,
is far more concerned with his product.
I think it is a very, very difficult market.
If you are saying that your USP is that you're halal,
my sandwich has got bacon in it for a start.
It is halal bacon.
-It's not pork.
-There is no pork in it.
I think one of the issues is that your market is halal.
Actually, it's a dual product.
The reason why we made it halal is that anyone can eat it.
It wasn't specifically for Muslims, and you see a trend -
all brands are going that way.
Subway, they have converted 200 of their stores to halal.
The problem is it's not communicated at all, so if I am Muslim and I want
to know that that's not real bacon,
and if I'm not, I want to know that it is real bacon, probably.
So I think it's a very difficult market
that you're entering, and I think you've really got to be
very, very good.
Sarah Willingham casts doubt that Sunil's product range
can find traction in a marketplace
crowded with takeaway sandwich big hitters.
But it's his packaging that has caught Nick Jenkins' attention.
On this packaging,
it has Go Gafoor Inc, 43 Berkeley Square...
That's the company that owns Great Grub.
-So, Go Gafoor Inc. Inc. Is that an American company?
-Is it what?
-Is it an American company?
-Why is it Inc?
My partner just asked,
suggested the name Go Gafoor Inc, and so I said fine.
No, no, no. Sorry, there is a legal distinction,
because if it was a UK... Is it a UK...
-It's a UK company.
-It's a UK company, OK.
Then Inc is incorporated, short for incorporated, an American company.
You worked in a bank. I mean, come on.
I was on the trading floor, I don't...
I mean, I don't...
That's slightly worrying.
I mean, this is quite...
My partner chose the name of the company.
It's not the name of the company. Inc is not the name of the company.
It's the legal designation of it.
He... I know the legal designation...
I'm not sure why he...
I'm not sure why you didn't notice it.
Registered the company as Go Gafoor Inc.
OK, so if I went into Companies House now,
I'd find Go Gafoor Inc Ltd, would I?
Yeah, I presume so.
You presume so? It's the name of your company!
-You presume so?
It's true, yes, you would find it.
Quite apart from the fact that I'm...
It concerns me that you own a company called Go Gafoor Inc,
and it didn't strike you as slightly odd.
And you worked in three investment banks.
God help us!
A large dose of incredulity from Nick Jenkins
over Sunil's uncertainty of his company's legal name.
And now Peter Jones wants clarity on the price tag
he's placed on his business.
You value this business at 1.5 million today.
-So, how much money have you made?
Give me this year's revenue and profit.
This year's revenue... I mean, we've only been trading for a year.
We've £112,000, about £20,000 profit.
What's disappointing is you make the assumption that actually, Peter,
that demonstrates that this business today is worth 1.5 million.
I'm not going to let you get away with that.
Because unless you're going to tell me you have a forward contract with
somebody which is going to give me comfort
that the next 12 months your earnings substantially increase
to get to the valuation in this food business.
-So what is your forecast for the next 12 months?
-Forecast revenue is based on, I would say, easyJet, Sodexo
and Compass, and a coffee chain. Revenue and profit...
Have you got any of those at the moment?
Yeah. So we are in discussions with them.
In discussions is different to...
No-one's signed a formal contract.
So, what is your forecast for the next 12 months?
1.1 million revenue and 300,000 profit, net profit.
But you don't have any contracts whatsoever that will support
-that at the moment?
Sunil fails to justify that hefty valuation
on his fledgling business.
And that's not gone down well with Deborah Meaden.
You are representing your business, and what happens in Dragons' Den is
we ask you to explain your business.
We haven't even got down to that because you're not really sure,
you presume that your name is Go Gafoor Inc Ltd.
No, no, I am sure, I just said...
OK. Or you don't appear to get the difference between Inc and Ltd.
I apologise for that.
No way can you come in here and say that a business,
£120,000 profit... Sorry, £120,000 turnover,
£20,000 profit is worth £1.5 million.
-You've given me nothing.
Absolutely nothing. I'm really sorry. I won't go over it.
Some food for thought from Deborah Meaden,
who becomes the first Dragon to walk away from the deal.
Sarah Willingham, who made her millions rolling out
restaurant franchises around the globe,
has also arrived at a verdict.
Sunil, the real problem is...
And I understand why you did it, but when you come in here and you
did spend a lot of time kind of giving us the big "I am"
and, actually, all we really want to know is about the sandwiches
and how you're going to get it into the stores
and why you love that and what's great about them.
I'm sorry, I'm out.
Sarah Willingham declines the opportunity to add Great Grub
to her investment portfolio.
Has Touker Suleyman been convinced?
Oh, you look like you've had seven rounds
with some heavyweight fighter.
Look, I'm not going to invest, but I wish you all the best and I'm out.
What I want is evidence of where this business is going
to be in three years' time
and the likelihood of that happening.
I'm sort of expecting to be much sharper on that.
I'm afraid I just can't get excited enough about this to invest,
and I'm afraid, unfortunately, I'm out.
Nick Jenkins loses his appetite for the investment
and walks away from the deal.
Only Peter Jones remains.
So far, he's been unimpressed by Sunil's lack of forward contracts
and his hefty company valuation.
But has the food entrepreneur's work ethic struck any chords with
this last remaining Dragon?
I think you've made a misjudgement of the pitch that you put across.
-I don't think you should take this personally.
I'm not going to invest in the business,
but I really think you need
to go away and really think about the product,
do a bit more research, look into it,
spend a bit more time with your partner and then look at how you can
go and build a successful business, OK?
-So I'm going to say,
"Look, Sunil, I'm out, but I wish you the very best, and good luck.
Unfortunately for Sunil,
his sandwich business never managed to excite the Dragons.
He leaves the Den with nothing.
Just such a tough market.
I think it's back to the drawing board for him.
I think so, yeah.
It is disappointing because, you know,
they didn't look at my work ethic,
my drive, my ambition.
Nothing. But it doesn't fault the long-term business potential,
so I will fight on. For sure, I'll fight on.
Still to come on tonight's show...
We can't reveal the name on television.
I'm sorry, you know the deal - you come into the Den,
everything is on air.
If I was to do it, I'd want a bigger percentage.
It's not worth my while.
Will anyone clinch an investment?
I'm not saying it's not possible, I'm just saying it's immense.
These days, there seems to be
a price comparison website for everything,
but our next entrepreneurs think
they've cornered a section of the market previously unexplored.
They've big plans for their business
and are very specific about who they want to get them there.
Do we both look all right?
-Look all right.
There's two Dragons we're interested in being on board.
The first is Nick,
because of his success building a start-up tech company.
And the other Dragon we're interested in is Sarah,
because of her experience building a comparison site.
Hi. I'm Sam Coley.
And hi, I'm Steve Pearce.
And we are the co-founders of TickX,
here today asking for £75,000 for 5% equity in our tech business.
TickX is a platform to discover great events,
compare ticket prices and buy in seconds with no added fees.
It's as simple as that.
And our aim is to become the Sky Scanner or the Go Compare
of event ticketing.
So, why do you need TickX?
The events industry is fragmented.
There are too many websites,
too many ticket sellers and too many claims to offer the best deals.
Knowing there must be a better way, we created TickX,
which compares prices from 20 leading ticket sellers
and for over 50,000 events.
In September 2015, we raised £175,000
to accelerate our development.
We have since been featured
in Virgin's Young Entrepreneurs To Watch
and now have over 18,000 event goers using our platforms each month.
Our users love TickX because it's completely free to use and we
charge no additional fees.
We make our revenue by receiving commission
on the sales we generate for our ticket seller partners.
It is a win-win for everyone.
Comparison sites have been proven in almost every industry,
and now it's time for events.
Thank you for listening and we look forward to your questions.
Ticking all the boxes with a confident pitch
are 24-year-old Steve Pearce
and Sam Coley, who is 23.
They are touting 5% of their ticket price comparison website in exchange
for the princely sum of £75,000.
Sarah Willingham wants to know if a platform like this
is just the ticket to revolutionise the events industry.
Guys, I know a reasonable amount about the comparison market,
both from the consumer end and also from the business side and,
you know, if you look at comparison
across financial services or across travel, you've
got a massive variety of prices for lots of similar products.
Not always for the same.
Now, with tickets, if I want to go and see Adele,
who governs the price of that ticket to see Adele?
So, the artist or the promoter will set the price of the ticket.
OK, so if I then go online,
can I buy that ticket more or less anywhere?
Yes, because you've got these tickets split across these sellers,
one ticket seller can sell out of the cheaper band of tickets.
If you go to their website direct,
you would think they were sold out
and you'd have to buy more expensive, but with ours,
because we compare them all, you can find someone else has those tickets
still available and those savings then can be quite big.
And tell me specifically about whether or not,
when you've got six people
who are able to sell tickets for a particular event,
in order to be able to see the availability of those tickets now,
I would have to go into each one of those websites...
-And I will see a different availability map on each one.
Is that right?
So, what most people do in the past is you get Google open,
you would click in each, having a look.
Go into one, find it's sold out, go and look at another.
Obviously, that's really time-consuming and painful,
so we take that away straightaway.
I think it's a very good idea.
I'm slightly surprised it hasn't been done so far, but then...
We get that a lot.
The Dragon who built an e-commerce business worth £120 million
gives the entrepreneurs' business plan his seal of approval.
But Steve and Sam's other preferred Dragon wants to know how they intend
to reach a mass market.
Where the biggest challenge is by far is why is the consumer
going to come to you rather than anywhere else?
How do I know about you?
How? Well, that's through our marketing strategy.
What is the marketing strategy?
We've been in dialogue with Google about doing
app promotion, desktop promotion campaigns.
The problem you will have is you are competing against guys that spend
hundreds of millions of pounds.
It's that traction that makes you the first port of call
rather than Ticketmaster. Because that's still...
That's what is in the consumers' minds.
It's changing user behaviour as well because people know car insurance,
you know to compare prices.
People need to start realising
that with events you should do it as well.
And to change that consumer behaviour for car insurance,
it has cost hundreds and hundreds of millions of pounds
by a group of very large comparison sites over the last 12 years.
I'm not saying it's not possible, I'm just saying it's immense.
The Dragon with price comparison form provides a reality check on
the entrepreneurs' ambitious plans.
And now Nick Jenkins wants to know
how they funded their progress so far.
-You raised 175K?
So, we've got three angel investors
and we've got one of the biggest music brands in the world.
-One of the biggest...?
-Music brands in the world.
-An iconic music brand.
Go on, then. You are going to have to tell us.
We can't reveal the name on television because the CEO
of the company has asked us to keep it confidential.
-I think that's really...
-He likes to control his own press activity.
Is he a controlling shareholder, then?
He... They are at the moment, yes.
So let's talk about that. Let's talk about the shareholding.
-Who has got what?
-So, the biggest shareholder apart from ourselves,
-Can I just ask what he invested to get that 10%?
-We can't actually reveal that.
They don't want us to reveal that either, unfortunately.
This is nonsense, guys.
You can't come in here and try and ask for money and then say,
I can't tell you who the other shareholders are,
what they invested, at what time they invested.
You've got to share that.
We understand it's hugely important and it's why
we haven't been given permission to reveal...
-He can't control that.
-But you are prepared to reveal that,
you're prepared to reveal that to us before we make a decision, but you
don't want it going on-air?
Yes, that's their decision.
I'm sorry, you know the deal.
You come into the Den, everything is on-air.
So, have you got the forms to look at so I can see
-who this investor is?
-That's the term sheet.
-And that's the shareholders.
The shareholders agreement.
Oh, yes. Got it.
-Oh, that's who it is. OK.
To be fair, I have no problem with the Ministry Of Sound at all.
I think they are a good brand, good company.
So that is a tick in the box for me.
Attempts to keep things confidential never go down well with the Dragons.
But a business that is attractive to a big industry player will certainly
win you friends in the Den.
However, for Deborah Meaden, the revelation suggests this is a case
of too many cooks.
You're going to need more cash and you need a bit more time and I would
just become one of those list of great names
that you got involved in the business.
It's kind of not my style of investing.
Very rarely do I just put my cash in and say,
"Lovely, you've got my name, now just get on with it."
-You know. So I won't be investing.
-I understand that.
No tick from Deborah Meaden.
Out because the investment doesn't offer enough of a stake in
But the Dragons the entrepreneurs came in for are still in
the running, and one of them is about to reach her verdict.
Anything that makes pricing more transparent for the consumer
I think is great, and the more the merrier.
But I'm also very aware,
and it's also from experience - and hard experience -
it is very, very,
very difficult to get your name out there so that you are the first port
of call for that consumer.
So I really hope you do it,
but I'm afraid it's not for me.
Good luck. I'm afraid I'm out.
A heavy blow for the entrepreneurs,
as one of their most coveted Dragons bows out.
Sarah Willingham's exit clears the way for the other Dragons.
Will tech giant Peter Jones see traction in TickX?
The big issue I have about this is I think,
as you grow your business model,
you are going to come under pressure from the very people that you're
trying to help today.
So, what this investment comes down to is are you going to be the next
Uber of the event marketplace?
That's what you're really coming up with, in a nutshell.
I completely agree.
I actually think...
I was about to go out and have just
talked myself into potentially making an offer.
So, guys, I'm going to make you an offer.
But I'm going to de-risk it because I'm actually going to offer you half
-of the money.
And I'm going to be really specific with this because I think
you're going to need a little bit of a helping hand
with somebody that has real intrinsic knowledge.
I know that Nick, for example, has got great experience,
specifically in what you are going to need to achieve.
I'm going to offer half of the money...
..but I want 10%.
Peter Jones does a U-turn and makes a strategic offer with the proviso
that Nick Jenkins also comes on board.
Will the online innovator think this website could be the gateway
to more success?
I think one of the things to understand here,
compared with a financial investment,
is that when we make these investments on here,
we are giving so much more than just writing a cheque.
Here, you need our input, and in particular,
you need a lot of input on customer acquisition,
and that's something I've got a track record in.
So, I'll offer the other half for 10%.
A joint bid on the table, asking for 20% of the business.
But offering a wealth of experience and one of the Dragons
Sam and Steve were so keen to secure.
Time for some tactical thinking by Touker Suleyman.
I don't normally invest as a passive investor.
I've got a very similar online business called Bikesoup.
-They are on my premises, I'm with them all day long.
We are working together with developers.
..I'll give you all the money for 15%.
-Thank you very much.
A setback for the Jones/Jenkins partnership
as Touker Suleyman comes in with a 5% lower offer.
-Can we have a word?
Two bids have now been tendered,
both at a much greater equity stake
than the entrepreneurs were offering,
posing a dilemma for the young businessmen.
Did you want to say all three is in?
If we've already discounted?
Yeah, we can't...
-I'll do it.
So, thank you, all three of you, for the offer.
I think the problem is we just couldn't drop our valuation,
and I don't know if there's any movement,
but we couldn't go to those kind of percentages.
You've already given these guys 15% for 75K.
That was at the very first stages.
We've significantly de-risked it now.
I think we're probably going to struggle to agree on terms here.
We wouldn't be able to move far enough.
Good luck, but I'm out.
I'm not willing to change my offer.
I think my offer was very fair, so I'm going to say that I'm out.
Leading to the loss of two Dragons and all the experience they bring.
Will Touker Suleyman be prepared to negotiate?
OK. Look, guys. It's very apparent where you're at.
However, I'm not willing to lower my percentage.
For that reason, I'm out.
So near, yet so far.
Steve and Sam's refusal to give away a bigger equity stake leads to them
leaving the Den without that winning ticket for a Dragon partner.
That was intense.
That really was. Well, that was an experience, to say the least.
I feel like I've been in the ring for about four hours.
About the hardest thing I've done.
-That was hard.
-Yeah, it really was.
I think the difficulty is when
they've got a shareholder structure in advance of coming here,
it's very difficult for them to manoeuvre.
They might live to regret it when they're struggling to get customers.
It is a decision which will stick with us forever,
and I hope we don't regret it.
Last to face the rapid-fire of the Dragons
is a partnership who are hoping their careers as captains
in the Army will prove a good training ground
for their time in the Den.
Let's hope they don't get their marching orders
from our five investors.
-We're going to do it.
Both of us have deployed on operations.
We joined the Army, we went through Sandhurst.
Got to do some mindfulness.
Think about your sweaty hands and how they feel clasped together.
We wouldn't have got through Sandhurst
if we didn't have a bit of fight
and a bit of gumption about us.
I hope that when it does get very tough in the Den,
we've got that fight in us to really go for it.
Hello, Dragons. My name is Rachel Day
and this is Merry Whitaker, and we run Love, Keep, Create.
We are here today to ask you for £50,000
in return for a 10% equity share in our business.
If you've got children or if you've ever had anyone close to you pass
away, chances are you may have been left
with a few special items of their clothing that
you just didn't want to get rid of.
This was the basis for our business, Love, Keep, Create.
My husband was deploying to Afghanistan in 2011.
We had a small baby. So I took some of our son's favourite clothes and
turned them into a keepsake for my husband to take with him.
So how does it work?
You go onto our website and choose from our wide range
of keepsake designs,
then send the clothing in to us.
We create your beautiful keepsake,
usually embroidering it with a child's name,
date of birth or other special message.
In 2015, we turned over £190,068,
producing 3,292 units with a net profit of £54,783.
In the first four months of 2016, we've seen a growth rate of 90.6%.
Thank you very much. We would love to show you some of our products.
A pitch with military precision from Rachel Day and Merry Whitaker.
They are looking to enlist a Dragon to their business by offering a 10%
stake in it. In return, they are asking for £50,000.
Can I just say I'm delighted I get the dragon
and Peter's got the monkey.
I like that a lot.
I promise you, it wasn't...
- Love it! - OK, got it.
Peter Jones is first to question the entrepreneurs.
I don't want to ask, but I'm hoping this commando is still
-It's my husband's.
-It is her husband's shirt.
He's actually in the building upstairs, I believe.
Is he, really? So that is a shirt.
So they send the shirt and then...
How do I choose this, and is most of your business online?
People can go onto our website. They can choose.
We've got lots of different types of keepsake categories.
That's what we call our military monkey.
So people select the item that they want,
they get a whole load of options that they can click on to add
embroidery, to make it large size, things like that.
And your team that work for you,
are they employed, or are they
on piece work, or are they self-employed? How does that work?
So, currently we have five people who are on employed contracts
and we have two or three who are self-employed.
And this year, what do you think your turnover is going to be?
Our projection for this year is 323,000.
What do you need to do to achieve that?
Can you do that within your existing organisation,
with the same number of seamstresses?
We actually take 44%, generally,
of our orders between the 1st of September and the end of November.
So it is quite a seasonal business.
So we have made relationships with a couple of local textile factories
that could offer us a number of hours per week to enable that
kind of rapid increase in orders.
That's really interesting.
I think that answers one of the questions that I had,
which is about one of the greatest problems with this kind of business
is managing seasonal demand.
Because you've got very little going on,
you have to have sufficient premises to be able to deal with your
Christmas spike and you've got to have people trained up
to deal with the Christmas spike
and then what do you with them
for the remaining nine months of the year?
But it sounds like you've got that cracked.
If anyone knows about the problems of seasonality,
it's the king of greetings cards, Nick Jenkins.
But his obvious approval aside,
Peter Jones wants to know more about that spike in orders in the autumn.
-Just the build-up to Christmas.
OK, so that's nothing to do
with your specific marketing and targeting?
We do very limited marketing, currently.
And this is... A small part of the investment we want is to allocate
to a proper marketing budget.
Every time we've done a campaign, it has had great results.
We have worked it out basically that, in terms of net profit,
so for a £500 spend on Facebook advertising,
we get about £2,000 net profit.
OK, my reaction to that would be, fill your boots!
-And keep filling your boots until you reach resistance,
and then you wouldn't need us at all.
Partly, we've been hampered by our existing website
which hasn't been tracking the conversions.
So... And this is all part of our ongoing learning curve.
Like we said, we are not entrepreneurs
and businesspeople by nature.
We have got where we are today
through learning everything ourselves,
the long and hard way.
Don't think you're not an entrepreneur just because
you've had to learn the hard way.
I don't know any entrepreneur that hasn't learnt it the hard way.
Yeah. And your business has actually made a profit in its first year.
Mine certainly didn't do that.
So you are a much better entrepreneur than him.
Much, much, much better!
News of a profit quadrupling marketing plan
has certainly got the Dragons standing to attention.
And high street retailer Touker Suleyman
has another reason to be impressed.
Mine is made of a Hawes & Curtis shirt.
-A beautiful... What? 100 doubles fabric?
That our daddy dress. We take Mummy's, Daddy's,
grandparents' shirts, and when they get a bit worn out round the cuffs
and collars, we can turn them into a dress for a little girl.
We also do a version of a shirt for a little boy.
Somebody's gone to a lot of design skill to design that.
Do you have any of your stuffed animals ready-made
so you just put embroidery on and send it out?
Or everything you do is recycled?
At the moment, everything is recycled.
We haven't gone down that route at the moment
because this is working for us.
I can understand if you said, we've got 24 characters,
we can offer those ready-made
and that is for our instant business and we
offer another service which is a very niche business.
I'm not sure. I think you've got a great idea.
My only reservation would be...
..how far can you grow it?
Touker Suleyman casts a seed of doubt over the scalability
of this bespoke business.
But could Deborah Meaden be toying with investment?
People always say to me, "What's that moment in the Den?"
I say when you get the combination of clearly a good product
with good people, and you are that.
So, I am going to make you an offer,
and, following those words, it would be very rude of me not to offer
on the basis that you have asked.
So, make you an offer of £50,000 at the...
And I want 10% of the business, which is what you offered.
-Thank you so much.
An offer. And a rare one at that.
Asking for no more equity than the entrepreneurs wanted to give away.
But has Nick Jenkins seen it all before?
I get to see quite a lot of personalised gift businesses.
Surprise, surprise. And I think this is...
..one of the best personalised products I've seen.
Because it really touches on what's important about personalisation,
which is that sentimental connection with somebody,
and it's not just about writing people's names on things.
And it's about memories, and that's the most important thing.
So I'm going to make you an offer.
I'm going to offer you all the money
Nick Jenkins aligns himself to the entrepreneurs with
compliments and an offer.
Does Sarah Willingham also want to love,
keep and create an investment?
I love the product. I think the fact
that quite genuinely it makes me choke a bit when I see that,
"We miss you Grandad."
And you think, it really is a memory you've created,
which I think is exceptional.
One of the things that I can really help you with is
on the Facebook advertising side.
We spend a lot of money on Facebook, with a very high conversion rate.
It is something we are very, very good at, so I think that is
something I can help with a lot.
So, yeah, I'm going to offer you all of the money for exactly what you've
came and asked for which is, I think, very fair.
10% of the business.
Sarah Willingham attempts to manoeuvre herself into pole position
by offering not only cash but also
help with that all-important marketing strategy.
Is Peter Jones poised to add to the hat-trick of offers already in
I actually thought for the first time ever in Dragon's history that
you were going to get an offer for less equity than you asked for.
And I'm surprised that you haven't, actually.
So, I think you have a really,
really neat business, and it is something that...
..people will really radiate to, and I can see it.
But - and I do think this is a big but -
this is a tough business to grow
because I do think that it will be fairly niche.
When you bring awareness to it, I then think you're going to see
people entering the market.
So, sadly, I'm going to say
that I'm not going to invest and I'm out for those reasons,
but only because of those reasons.
Peter Jones politely declines the investment offer.
Can Touker Suleyman put his earlier worries over scale aside
to add the business to his textile empire?
Look, I think you're both great.
I think the product is great, I think your ideas are great.
You've already had three offers.
And I am torn because I know what I could do with it,
but it would take far too much of my time.
I would help you grow the business and...
Would you split it? Because you've got a lot of that...
Obviously, in terms of the production side?
Look, I'll be honest. If I was to do it, I'd want a bigger percentage.
It's not worth my while.
And for that reason, I'm out.
OK, thank you.
Touker Suleyman declines the offer,
leaving three Dragons in and two out.
Thank you all so much for your offers.
Would you mind if we just had two minutes just to chat?
Talk to the wall. Talk to the wall.
Your experience is so great.
I know, I know. But I would want 25% of this.
Do you want to split it?
No. No. I think we just go for...
I think so. I just think...
With three identical bids on the table
it's not a question of which offer is right for the entrepreneurs
but which Dragon.
10% and it's £50,000.
-Let's do it.
As I said, thank you so much for your offers and for your time,
for us to come and pitch to you today.
We have made a decision.
We would love to accept your offer, Deborah.
Thank you so much, Sarah, and Nick as well.
-We are really grateful.
-I'm really pleased.
Apart from anything else, I'm from your neck of the woods.
Victory. Merry and Rachel leave the Den
with exactly what they came in for -
£50,000 for 10% equity
and a Dragon with the know-how to take their business
to the next level.
Did that just happen? Did that just happen?
- Well done, Deborah. - I love that.
Well, I think you deserve, then, the monkey commando.
The commando? The monkey commando?
Thank you very much.
We are thrilled that we've got Deborah.
She's got some really relevant experience,
which will be amazing for us.
We are just so happy.
We really are. We need to go and sit down somewhere quiet and open
a bottle of wine, I think.
Memorable events in the Den.
Because there is no second chance when you get an offer from a Dragon.
You accept right there and then, or you leave with nothing.
We saw the full range of experiences.
Steve Pearce and Sam Coley stood their ground and refused to budge on
that all-important equity stake,
and then Rachel Day and Merry Whitaker had no
need to budge, they got exactly what they wanted from Deborah Meaden.
A striking contrast.
Coming up next time...
-You've named her the Don.
And then you call Peter Jones the jerk?
Is that your prediction -
that every household in the country will own one of those?
You've now moved into argument mode.
Take a deep breath and focus on the business.
You're too niche.
I think you'll really, really struggle, if I'm being honest.
It's a black hole, just eating money.
Oh, yes. Oh, yes, now we're talking.
I'm going to make you an offer.
Peter Jones, Deborah Meaden, Touker Suleyman, Sarah Willingham and Nick Jenkins take their seats to face a fresh batch of entrepreneurs who dare to enter through the Den doors.
In this episode, two former army captains hope to get the Dragons to stand to attention with their bespoke gifting business. A young duo pitch their innovative ticket comparison site and a pair of multimillionaire entrepreneurs are seeking cash from the multimillionaire Dragons for their new safety device. Will the Dragons have finally met their match or will they see the potential in a deal?