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Tonight on Dragons' Den...
I'm going to be really brutal here.
I don't think you've got a business.
I'm not being funny, but I didn't wake up this morning thinking,
"I want to invest in intimate waxing."
-Have you given me a trick one?
You can't even move that.
You have come up with a very, very spicy valuation.
I tell you what, I'm going to break cover,
and if this means that I'm on my own, then I'm on my own.
You're sleeping on your office floor
to make this business work.
I don't need to know any more. That's done it.
Welcome to Dragons' Den,
the place where entrepreneurs get
just one chance to impress five industry big hitters
who have the money and the power to change their lives.
The first entrepreneur in the Den, Gemma Cafferkey from Nottingham,
believes she has the qualities and the all-round experience
the Dragons are looking for.
I'm very driven. When I set out to achieve something,
I always like to achieve it.
In the last five years I've had three children,
I've maintained a successful business,
I've launched another business.
I think that I'm very capable.
I need to remember to keep calm.
I know my stuff. I just need to get that across.
Hello, Dragons. My name's Gemma Cafferkey,
and I'm delighted to be here today to present to you waxu,
the UK's first truly dedicated
express intimate waxing system.
Not only are we a collection of intimate waxing products,
we are a branded consumer service.
I'm here to ask for £50,000 for a 10% share in waxu.
What makes us different from current waxer brands
out there at the minute is... Erm...
Our beads set on contact, so there's zero drying times,
so it gives salons the opportunity to speed up their treatment.
We're super flexible,
so even when we're set, we still remain flexible,
so there's no snapping and it's super comfortable.
We are also applied very thin,
so you don't need much of the product.
For the consumer, it's thorough.
It's removing hairs directly from the root and it's super quick.
Today we've been launched in the UK for six months.
We've sold into 55 salons across the UK.
We've gone into Iceland,
into a salon over there.
And if you liken my business model to the company that standardised
an eyebrow shape, that went global quite quickly.
So, I'm here to tell you, Dragons, why,
with waxu, less really is more.
It's less wax, less time,
less discomfort, more appointments,
more profit, more happy clients.
I'd really love to do you a demonstration.
Obviously, I think, on your arms, today.
-Touker will come and do it.
-Why is it always me?
-Get your trousers off.
-Yeah, we can do your legs.
It's a plucky pitch from Nottingham-based Gemma Cafferkey,
who is asking for £50,000
for a 10% share of her salon-based intimate wax treatment.
-Is it going to hurt?
-I'm not panicking, don't worry.
-Here we go.
Will Touker Suleyman's silky skin
be enough to convince Sarah Willingham
of the product's appeal?
Right, thank you. And thank you for that demonstration.
We've all learned something there.
I don't really understand why this is different.
OK. Well, the main things that make it different is...
From a salon point of view, our wax sets on contact,
which means that it takes away drying time.
The majority of hot waxes,
you have to wait for it to set
and you have to apply it thicker,
so you're using more product and it's taking more time.
OK, so you have currently sold into
-55 salons in the UK.
How have you done that?
So, what we do is we sell...
We put the kit together, so it's almost like a business in a box.
You get the equipment, you get the product, and so on.
You get enough for 50 treatments. You get the branding. And then you get the training.
And how much is that costing me?
Erm... The entry point is 350.
OK, and once I've bought the business in a box,
and I've had my training for £350,
how long for an average salon is that going to last?
About two months.
-Two to three months. The experience so far is
-people are spending £200 on repeat buying.
OK, so actually the business model is 350 upfront...
-..and then every two months...
-So, six times in a year...
-..they're spending £200.
So, that's another £1,200.
-So, you're getting just over £1,500...
-..per year per salon.
A franchise model with legs is music to the Dragon
who's rolled out restaurant franchises around the world.
But Deborah Meaden is concerned that a faster service
could mean slower profits.
It's a funny thing with beauty treatments,
because you're kind of buying time.
Sometimes fastest, quickest,
I just want to get it... "Just do my nails, quickly, as fast as you can."
-And then other times you actually, it's pamper.
And actually quicker, then, usually leads to cheaper.
So what's your retailers' experience?
Are they still charging the normal full price
or are they having to reduce it because it's a much simpler,
much quicker process?
By delivering a service to the consumer that is quick,
it's comfortable, it's efficient, it's doing the job perfectly,
people are prepared to pay more.
And, erm... So, we're actually suggesting that they can
creep the price up a little bit, just by a few pounds.
Actually, I get that, because this isn't really a luxury!
In fact, I'd pay a lot more money for it to be really, really quick.
Deborah Meaden appears to have come round to Gemma's way of thinking.
And now Peter Jones is keen to understand what sets the wax apart.
What's the invention, or the creation, here?
The grade of resins that have been
used in this is a unique formulation
that removes much more comfortably, and with a lot of waxes that...
-Who's done that?
-I've worked with a chemist to look at things
that have been missing from leading products and say,
"OK, if it would just set harder, if it was more flexible,
"we could use it thinner,
"then it's going to be more profitable", and so on.
OK, so, could anybody do this?
Could anybody...? They could test the product, obviously,
and find out what's in it, and then they could just copy it.
I've got a nondisclosure agreement with the chemists,
so this product's not being made for anyone else.
The way that this is blended is unique to them, as well.
Gemma has proved that her business acumen is more than skin deep,
with safeguards in place to protect her bespoke wax.
And her polished performance has Nick Jenkins
itching to explore the potential size of the market.
How many people in this country do intimate waxing?
I don't know how many people do intimate waxing,
but I do know that within six months
I've sold into 55 salons across the UK and the feedback's been really good.
But you haven't done any... Have you made any attempt to work out,
nationally, how many people do this?
When I was researching,
I came...that the hair-removal market worth is 2.3 billion.
Oh, no, hair removal's a different thing.
Narrowing it down to the amount of money spent on intimate waxing,
have you spent any time doing any market research in that respect?
No, I haven't done that.
-What's your experience? Have you run a salon?
-I have, yes.
OK. So, of your salon turnover,
tell me what the salon turned over and how much
-came through this type of thing.
-OK, well, my salon turned over
400,000 a year.
And 70, 75% of it is from intimate waxing.
So, have you got a salon now?
-I have, yeah.
-So, are you offering investment in the salon?
-No. This is a completely separate...
So, you've got a business that's turning over 400,000 a year?
-What kind of profit's that making?
It's making about...
OK, so why have you chosen to separate
this as a product and not, sort of,
join it together with its spiritual home, which is your salon?
That's been a fantastic business for me.
It's enabled me to have three young children, provide flexible working,
have a good income.
However, this business model is potentially to go global.
-Gemma, it's a bit like coming in and saying,
"I tell you what, I've got this great opportunity,
"I've got the BMW license and I sell cars,
"but I've invented a nice shampoo business over here,
"and I'm going to clean the cars, and that's the business I'm asking for money for."
And I'm going to say, "Well, if I invest in your business,
"do I get any benefit from the sales of the cars?"
And you say, "No".
I think the two need to go together,
and I think your business here is one.
So, I'm going to say I'm not going to invest, and I'm out.
Peter Jones is the first Dragon out,
unwilling to invest in a business he feels
Gemma could be financing herself.
Does Nick Jenkins share his frustration?
Gemma, I actually don't have any issue with splitting the two out,
because if this business were to grow substantially,
then in many respects
the ins and outs of a salon
would be, kind of, a bit of an irrelevance.
What are you looking for from a Dragon?
I'm looking for your expertise, I'm looking to work with you,
to gain your experience, to help roll this out.
This week I received an e-mail from someone in Europe saying,
"Can I train them online for it?"
I'm looking for a Dragon to say,
"OK, well, if we do this and if we do this,
"we can start rolling it out in Europe for you."
I have to say, I'm impressed. I mean, not only have you set up a successful salon,
you're making very good money from that... The product,
-you've done a great job of developing that.
OK. Again. I mean, in short...
I don't know that there's anything that I could add,
-so I wish you all the best of luck on that.
-Oh, thank you very much.
Heaps of praise for Gemma,
but Nick Jenkins opts not to bankroll her business.
Sarah Willingham is next to show her hand.
Will she treat herself to an investment?
I think it's great what you've achieved with your business.
Thank you very much.
But I think it's going to take you a long time
to get to where you need to get to,
so in terms of getting a return on investment,
I think it's a long way off, and it's quite a small market.
So, I'm going to say I'm out.
Three Dragons down.
Will Deborah Meaden see enough room for growth in Gemma's company?
I'm not being funny, but I didn't wake up this morning thinking,
"I want to invest in intimate waxing."
I mean, it hasn't been on my list of investments that I'm looking for.
You know, I always say I need to feel really passionate,
or feel something,
-because I like to make a difference.
With or without a Dragon, I just... I sense from you
you're going to do really, really well.
So, um, I won't be investing.
As Deborah Meaden exits the deal,
Gemma's investment hopes
all now rest on the freshly waxed Touker Suleyman.
-My last Dragon.
Your last Dragon! I'm the last Dragon standing.
-Look, I mean...
-How is it?
-It's actually very smooth.
It feels really comfortable.
I think it needs a lot of
going around every salon, one-to-one,
trade shows and whatever.
And I think you're doing it.
You know? Erm...
Again, same, I don't think you need a Dragon.
All you've got to do is just test the market in a much bigger market
and see what happens. Find a distributor in America,
because that could open whole new doors for you,
and then let them sell it.
And I think keep the whole business to yourself,
because you've already got a business that could finance it.
-I have, yes.
So, therefore, you know, I wish you all the best,
but I'm not going to invest. I'm out.
Oh. Thank you very much.
-Gemma, well done.
-Well done, Gemma.
It was a close shave, but in the end,
while none of the Dragons decided to invest,
Gemma leaves the Den with their encouraging words,
if not their hard cash.
I think that I gave it my best, honest, natural shot.
That was completely me.
That's all you can do, really.
I've waxed many a leg,
so it was great to add Touker to my list of people that I've waxed.
Next in the Den is 24-year-old Rob Manley from London.
he's come up with an innovation that combines
fashion with a hi-tech twist.
I'm fully self taught.
Watching videos, researching on the internet.
'But by a bit of luck I actually created something
'that has far surpassed what I was looking to create.'
I've been trying to start a business for ten years,
and I know I've got something here,
but I just need that cash injection just to grow its potential.
MUSIC: Here's To Everything (Ooh La La) by Misha B
Hi. I'm Rob, the inventor and founder of Illuminated Apparel.
I'm looking to raise £50,000
in return for a 15% stake in my company.
I've invented a unique luminescent ink which is up to ten times brighter
and lasts ten times longer than comparable inks on the market.
I've combined this with a T-shirt to create a fun interactive product
for both adults and children.
I took the idea to a crowdfunding platform
to raise initial investment for production,
and to see if there is a demand for the product.
It was a great success, and it was 150% funded within 30 days,
which gave the validation to take my business full-time.
For the next six months I encountered
numerous manufacturing problems,
and I really wasn't happy with the design of the product,
so I took a risk
and shelved the product I had and went back to the drawing board.
And I had one last solution.
But I got it right.
That next month, I sold £30,000 worth of T-shirts.
They got stocked with two large gadget retailers online.
And, also, I think there is massive potential within the children's market.
I'm currently running the business solely by myself,
so I'm looking for help to grow.
Thank you very much for your time, and I look forward to your questions.
It's an upbeat pitch for an edgy product
from Rob Manley from London,
who's offering 15% of his fashion and new technology business
in return for £50,000.
Is it a brilliant new trend in the making
or just a faintly flickering fad?
Food and drinks impresario Sarah Willingham
is the first to find out more.
So, this is a glow in the dark T-shirt?
-Does this just glow in the dark without the pen at the moment?
If charged up, yes.
So, each T-shirt has a UV key ring included
so you've got something to draw with.
But one of the other key factors is,
it's not just UV light,
you can actually use a mobile phone torchlight to draw with.
So, in daylight, it's kind of, there is no point really?
So, at night-time, then it becomes really cool?
That's when it's really cool, and that's when it really kind of...
Erm... In pitch-black it will be a lot brighter and it will last a lot longer.
Oh, OK. God, my kids would love that.
And how long does it last? How many times can you continue to use it?
-So, the glow will last about 20 to 30 years.
The T-shirt with the long-lasting luminescence
is getting a glowing response from the Dragons.
And now e-commerce innovator Nick Jenkins
wants to know more about Rob's inspiration for the product.
Can I ask what you were doing before? Are you a chemistry graduate?
Yeah. So, a bit of an entrepreneur background.
I left school at 16 to start a business,
but pretty much everything failed. Basically, I lost confidence.
And I'm quite dyslexic, so I didn't think I was intelligent enough,
to be honest.
And then summer 2014 I quit my job
and moved back to my mum's and said, "I'm going to do it this time."
And so far I'm still doing it, so...
What other things have you set up?
So, I mean, just kind of importing from the Far East, you know,
selling on their gadgets, and...
When I see a bit of an opportunity.
Um... And, eh...
And then I invented this in my mum's kitchen.
-Inventing a chemical formula is not a simple thing.
How did that come about?
I was trying to make a glow in the dark ink.
I just sat in my mum's kitchen mixing, you know,
different combinations up, and, erm...
And a few months later I found something that,
kind of, outdid my expectations.
And then, well, I've never printed a T-shirt in my life,
so I went to a scrapyard and got some wood
and built a printing press.
And then I attached a chicken oven on to a clothes rail
which cures the ink.
And so I made £1,000 worth of equipment for £20,
and that's how I got going.
Rob enthrals the Dragons with his in-built entrepreneurial spirit
as well as his talent for improvisation.
But will the earth move for fashion retail magnate Touker Suleyman
when it comes to those all-important numbers?
So, what do you wholesale a T-shirt for?
The adults wholesale at a standard rate of £8.
-Six for children.
And...the whole product,
finished, what does that cost you?
Erm.. It costs me £3 for adults and 2.20 for children.
-So, you've got a margin?
-Got a margin. Yes.
Cos I'm assuming you're not making a profit.
-The first year there was hardly any sales.
This year we've turned over 68,000.
Over a year, we're hopefully pushing about 120.
That has a net of 30,000.
But is that paying you a salary?
Erm... It's paying me enough for food.
-Enough for food?
-What about shelter?
I've been sleeping on my office floor for a year.
The surprises just keep on coming,
as Rob reveals to the Dragons
how much he's sacrificed for his business.
And it appears he's found an ally in former leisure tycoon
Have you talked at all to the holiday park market?
-..I cannot tell you how bang on this is,
because, of course, all their customers go out all day every day,
come back at night and what they want, they want them in the club room,
and all of the sales are around illuminated.
-So, you haven't talked to them at all?
So, this is another problem
because I'm spending all my time manufacturing, I've...
I'm not even dealing with inbound enquiries on a regular basis.
-So, it's just you on your own?
-Just me. I do everything.
So, I really like it.
I think you're great.
You're sleeping on your office floor
to make this business work.
Well, I've got no more questions
on how committed you are to this business.
I don't need to know any more. That's done it.
So, I am going to make you an offer.
So, I'm going to offer you all of the money...
..and I want 20% of the business...
..because I actually think, pretty quickly, I could have a big impact on this.
So, that's my offer to you, Rob.
Thank you very much.
It's a decisive offer from Deborah Meaden,
who's confident in both Rob and the clear-cut route to market
she has in mind for the product.
Will Touker Suleyman, who's been in the fashion game for 40 years,
-As far as the technology....
-..is concerned, anybody can do it.
Well, one of the key things is when you print a bit of glowing this big,
it's impossible to actually make it cost-effective.
That's something I've done.
The second point is...
I'm building a brand around the product, so people are starting to recognise it.
-If it takes off...
..then one of the other big promotional people will copy you.
-Even though you may say you created the ink...
..you know, this sort of technology can easily be copied, as you know.
And I think, for that reason, I'm not going to invest and I'm out.
Thank you very much.
Touker Suleyman is the first to walk,
concerned about copycat products taking the wind out of Rob's sales.
Does Peter Jones also see the writing on the wall
for the techie T-shirt?
Rob, I think it's great.
I love the story. I love the journey...
I don't know how big it can become.
But I'm not just offering T-shirts.
I'm offering the technology behind it, so if I had more time
I could develop a paint,
and I think there's numerous children's products that...
You could create a whole separate brand with that ink
and that's, you know, that's a game-changer, the ink.
I don't have the same...
interest or ambition, perhaps, for the product as you do.
I think Deborah's vision of where you could take this
was probably better than any vision that I would have.
And I just love the idea of Deborah doing it large in a nightclub.
So, I'm out.
Investment interest is quickly fading,
as Nick Jenkins becomes the third Dragon to turn down the deal.
But Deborah Meaden's offer is still on the table
and Sarah Willingham has yet to come to a decision.
Rob, I think what you've produced is brilliant.
Everybody's going to want one.
I'm actually going to...
Oh, I was nearly going to change my mind, then.
Deborah very, very quickly...
..can get this very, very far.
It wouldn't have even crossed my mind, holiday parks wouldn't have,
if I'm being completely honest.
I actually think you should take up Deborah's offer.
So... Yeah, I'm going to buy loads, but I am not going to invest.
-So, good luck, but I'm out.
A rare show of Dragon deference
as Sarah Willingham chooses not to compete
against the leisure industry expert,
Now Rob must decide whether to accept Deborah Meaden's offer
of all the money for 20% of his company,
5% more than he wanted to give away.
Deborah, I would like to accept your offer.
Excellent! I've got... You could see how excited I was about it.
-I'm really pleased.
-Thank you very much.
-Well done, Rob.
As Rob exits the Den with a deal,
it looks as if there's light at the end of the tunnel,
and a bright future ahead for him.
-You were very excited.
-He was on top of the detail as well.
Yeah, he was. That wasn't just somebody with a story,
that was actually somebody who's really got it. Great!
I can't believe it. It's... I built this business from the ground up
and to have someone of her calibre
to be part of the business just means so much to me.
Another entrepreneur hoping to win a life-changing investment
was Joanna Miller from Hertfordshire,
with her bespoke gift range business.
And she certainly had a way with words.
I'm Joanna Miller
and I'm here to pitch
to Dragons, talented and rich
to coax, convince and to converse
about my business Bespoke Verse.
The deal that I would like to make
is for a 20% equity stake.
I'm offering that upon the grounds
of an investment of 50,000 pounds.
I feel I should applaud. That's brilliant!
LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE
Joanna was asking for £50,000
for 20% of her rhyme-themed gift business.
And one Dragon, it seems,
was inspired to respond to the entrepreneur in kind.
I've always got a great belief that you should never say never,
but I have to say I thought your pitch was very clever.
But the king of personalised gifting
opted for a bit more straight talking
when it came to the cost of scaling her business.
I know that £50,000 is just
nowhere near enough.
Moonpig lost £2.5 million before it made a profit.
That's what it cost to set it up.
Now, that's a massive investment.
Leaving his quill and ink aside,
Peter Jones was ready to deliver a verdict.
I'm going to be really brutal here
and say that I don't think you've got a business.
I think you've got an archive of beautiful words and poems,
and there's your potential opportunity.
But I think this is a real uphill struggle,
and so for that reason I'm out.
As Peter Jones closed the book on a deal,
Deborah Meaden and Touker Suleyman pondered.
The trouble is your uniqueness is a strength and a weakness.
I can't see it growing unless I gave you a lot of time.
I think it's going to stay niche,
and I think you need to keep focused on what happens next.
As the Den prevaricated,
a restless Peter Jones had another burst of the Bard.
I've written here,
"I'm really trying to be strong,
"but are you all going to take so long?"
"Since I'm about to shout,
"please tell us all if you're in or out."
And without further delay,
the Dragons finally concluded
that rhyme doesn't pay.
I'm really sorry, but I'm out.
-I'm afraid I'm out.
Good luck, but I'm out.
Did you get your mug out of your bag?
-Yeah, well hold on.
Because, had you... I'm really, really sorry,
but I'm going to be saying these two words...
Still to come...
Lost In Space...
What else have you invented?
I have a parachute system I'm looking at taking to, er...
..Enter The Dragon...
We're absolutely on the same page there. You are speaking my language.
..and The Colour Of Money.
I like what I see, so I'm going to make you an offer.
Next, into the Den is Simon Moore from Blackburn in Lancashire.
Simon has a long list of inventions behind him
but every serial inventor
hopes to strike gold with that big idea.
So has Simon found the one
that could make him rich and the Dragons richer?
I'm definitely a mad inventor.
I think an inventor just sees the outside world
and finds things to change.
Once you get that eureka moment,
you can't believe you've created something
that's so simple that somebody hasn't already done.
This product's going to be too big for me on my own.
But will the Dragons be prepared
to help the business take off
and propel it into profit?
Hi, Dragons. My name is Simon Moore.
I'm here today to raise £80,000 for 20% of my new invention.
I'm a prolific inventor.
One of my inventions is based on these...
..the plastic cable ties.
They were dumped outside one of our national superstores.
There were thousands of them.
They'd be there for the next 500 years if I hadn't picked them up.
There's approximately 100 billion cable ties
produced around the world each year.
Research has shown around 77% of all those cable ties
will go to landfill in less than one year.
Why isn't there a biodegradable alternative?
The answer is simple...
..they can't make one.
And so this is mine.
This is the first cable tie in the world
that is not only biodegradable but compostable.
We've not spent one single penny on advertising.
We've had B&Q, Tesco,
ASDA and Marks & Spencer all approach us for our cable tie.
I'm very passionate about the type of environment
I'm going to leave my children.
I know each and every one of you here
can help in some way to stop our rivers, our streams,
our oceans and our streets being clogged with cable ties.
Thank you very much for listening.
I'd like to give you a couple of samples.
A heart-felt and gutsy pitch from Blackburn-based Simon Moore.
He's asking for £80,000
in return for 20% of the biodegradable cable tie business.
The product designer claims to have invented
the only one of its type in the world.
But in the Den, even inventions with the noblest of intentions
have to be strong enough to survive a Peter Jones pressure test.
Have you given me a trick one?
You can't even move that.
Do you want me to?
Yeah. I thought, I'm strong.
I pushed it in originally.
But you can't do that, can you?
-What's the point of giving it to me?
Oh, don't use your teeth.
Got it working now. Sorry.
It's the original prototypes.
I've been making them in my shed, basically.
This is what I need the money for, for the tooling.
You're not kidding.
What's unique about it is what it's made from.
Yes, definitely. It's actually potato starch, potato-starch based.
This polymer acts like a normal plastic.
It's not until it goes to landfill
that the microbes start to degrade it.
It's got a UK patent.
I would believe we're just about to be granted in the US as well.
And the patent is for what?
A normal cable tie has this little port inside the head.
That little port inside the head,
the polymer doesn't flow inside the normal standard cable tie.
That has a flap that can be entered from either side.
That's been patented.
So, the link between the polymer and the patent
is that in order to use the polymer
you would have to redesign the head,
and that is the bit that you have the patent on?
A hurdle cleared,
as Simon appears to have satisfied the Dragons on his product's USP.
Now, Deborah Meaden wants to explore the claims Simon made
about interest from big brand retailers.
I'd like to understand where you are,
because you were talking about people like B&Q, Tesco, ASDA.
How did they approach you if you're not yet out there?
-So it's in prototype.
You've been talking about it, and you've had interaction
with a long list of people that you said were interested in the product.
OK. What else have you invented?
..a new surfboard.
It helps catch waves quicker, easier.
-Did he say surfboard then?
-Yeah, surfboard. He did say surfboard.
I have a parachute system I'm looking at taking to NASA.
I'm not sure I dare ask.
Other than inventing, how do you earn your money then?
I've just released my first novel.
But mainly I renovate property.
What's this novel?
In Greek Mythology there's something called an Eidolon.
Basically, their job is to look after the Earth,
and any natural disasters, they'll go and repair.
So, you're writing novels,
you've got a parachute invention, a surfboard invention.
Simon, you're fabulous.
Still no cash for the cable tie,
but Simon's passion for inventing
is at least winning him friends in the Den.
And he's certainly got Touker Suleyman pondering.
Simon, # Da-da, da-da, da-da-da. #
-Was it Simon Templar?
-No, James Bond.
Missed that one.
I think you should go for an audition
for James Bond for the inventions.
Because I really think you're like a mad scientist.
Q. It's Q, isn't it?
That stuff has to work, though.
Like, the world depends on James Bond's inventions working.
Look, I'm in the clothing business.
And we use a lot of these
to transport products in transportation,
keep them together, and the clothing business is probably
the most competitive business in the world.
Every penny counts.
-So what does that cost to produce?
They're about a penny.
What did that cost to produce?
About a penny.
A penny and a quarter.
Hold on, so that's much heavier than that.
You're saying that it's heavier, and it's going to be the same price.
The sums don't add up.
Harsh criticism from Touker Suleyman,
who is the first Dragon out,
casting doubt over Simon's grip on potential costs
for the eco-modifications.
And now Peter Jones wants to know
whether any of Simon's multifarious inventions
have actually ventured out of the garden shed.
Simon, have you ever invented something
that has ended up commercially making you money?
How many inventions have you come up with over how many years?
30 to 40 inventions?
Probably more, in fact.
-Over how many years?
So you've been 30 years inventing.
40-odd products, but not one yet.
You think this could be it?
Your track record of turning things into reality is...
..patchy, to say the least.
It's, it is all down to money.
But there's also an element of common sense,
which is that if you want to make money,
you focus on one thing, do it well.
Don't suddenly start to try and invent a parachute
in the middle of your project.
Cos you can't afford that product not to work,
like this one.
So, you've not shown us enough about this one.
I'd love it if you could.
You've not shown us enough to make us think it's investable.
Nick Jenkins joins Touker Suleyman
in declining the opportunity to invest.
Will Sarah Willingham be prepared
to tie up a deal with the irrepressible inventor?
Simon, you said earlier
that the manufacturers are fully aware that this is a problem,
and that they have tried
-to make it out of a biodegradable product...
-..but have failed.
I just don't buy that.
There are people in the world that are such experts at this.
And we're talking about a little piddly bit of something or other.
What you've done, in fact...
It's just that little flap.
..is just made it slightly more flappy than the existing one.
That is actually it, isn't it?
So I don't buy that people that do this for a living,
they've just gone, "No, we can't do it."
It doesn't make any sense to me.
So, keep tinkering away,
but I'm afraid I'm not going to invest.
Another Dragon out.
Will Peter Jones be prepared
to put the issue of his failed prototype to one side,
and join Simon's cable-tie revolution?
The sad thing about inventions
is that you do live and die by your sword, really.
You know, if your product breaks or your product doesn't work.
That was my one fear today because of getting the bubbles in.
And that's the problem.
Simon, I can't invest in something that just doesn't work.
So I'm going to say that I'm out.
I suspect that the reason that they can't make it work
is actually nothing to do with your toggle.
I think it's to do with the fact it's so blinking brittle.
This is probably the third one I've tried.
But they can blend that.
So they can blend it from quite a rubbery polymer
to a quite stiff polymer, so anywhere in between.
-This is why...
-But they haven't.
-I need to take it to the right people.
If you'd come in here
with the answer to biodegradable cable ties,
I'd have thrown all of that money in your pocket immediately
and said, "Let's do it."
But you are nowhere near solving the problem.
If I thought this even had a 50% chance of being the answer,
I might be tempted to invest.
So, Simon, I wish I could, but I can't invest.
-Thank you very much for your time.
In the end, Simon tied himself up in too many knots,
and he leaves the Den without an investment.
Shaken, but not stirred.
Touker, I don't think it was James Bond you were thinking about.
You were thinking of Austin Powers.
-You're probably right.
-You'd be a perfect Mike Myers.
I knew if anything would let it down,
then it would be those prototypes.
I felt that
sometimes they don't just invest in a product,
they invest in people,
and, potentially, I could bring other products to the market
worth millions, if not billions.
So I think they missed out there.
Our final entrepreneur in the Den is London-based Oliver Gauci.
He's hoping to entice the Dragons with a mix of gloss and glam
on his interactive beauty website,
where his monthly subscribers
receive make-up bags crammed with cosmetics.
My drive has got us to knock down walls,
going into an industry where we don't know anyone.
I am very optimistic I will do well.
But Oliver knows there's one large stumbling block
he's going to have to overcome.
My biggest challenge in the Den, without a doubt,
is going to be valuation.
I'm going to have to, A, prove the value of the business
and, B, make sure that I get a good deal, as well as them.
Good afternoon, Dragons.
Today I'm looking for £80,000 for 3% in my company, Love Me Beauty.
We're a 360 marketing platform,
we work for over 100 cosmetic and lifestyle brands.
We engage, we educate and we allow consumers to discover brands.
We're a closed membership website.
We profile the consumer, so as you can see,
we ask them a number of questions from the skin type, hair type,
After completing profiling, we then go into our recommendations,
completely free of charge.
Then, if they wish, they can then upgrade to a premium membership.
So, for £10 a month, you get £45 worth of products.
I've got 92,000 registered members on my platform.
We've got 5,000 premium members.
Last month we took in £52,000 and made our first profit.
We are working for a very exclusive retailer at the moment.
This retailer is the biggest retailer
in the country for cosmetics.
And it all started from picking and packing boxes from my garage.
Thank you very much for your time.
I would like to hand out a few make-up bags
so you can see the quality of products we represent.
An online beauty business
that delivers the latest cosmetic trends straight to your door
is the proposition from Londoner, Oliver Gauci.
He's looking for £80,000 for just a 3% stake in his company.
Can he convince the Dragons
that his business is worth the £2.7 million price tag?
Deborah Meaden is first with the questions.
So, it's an interactive website
where I can tell you all about me,
and then you can, hopefully, match me with a product
that would suit me, not just my skin type and my hair type and whatever,
but also my purse, my disposable income?
-So, your revenue model then, where do you make money?
At the moment, we make it through a subscription base.
Which is your £10 a month?
-Then you said something like, for that, you get £45...
Worth of products.
So, I spend £10 with you, and every month I spend £10,
I get £45 of products.
So, I'll spend £120,
and I will get over £500 worth of products during the year.
So, what does that cost you?
When we first started, we used to make contributions to the product.
Now we're getting products for free from the brands
because of our sites.
Oh, I see. They're almost using you as a trial.
I guess what I'm looking for...
You know, I can't ignore the fact...
..that you've asked for £80,000 for 3%, so I guess...
I'm just looking for the thing.
The main source of income at the moment is subscription.
Yeah, but how much is that?
Well, we made £52,000 out of that.
Made? That's profit?
No, £52,000 in terms of revenue.
The first profit we made was about £1,500.
Sorry, you've made so far...
Last month, we started loss-making,
but now we're in the point
where we're making profitability month on month.
Now we've got Debenhams, which is very big for us,
because Debenhams is going to be backing us.
Not only do we have our database,
they're going to start pushing us throughout their database,
so even if we hit one or 2% of that database, as you can imagine,
that makes us a major player in the market,
the biggest player in the UK.
The beauty entrepreneur justifies his modest turnover
and exuberant valuation by revealing
a potentially lucrative relationship with a big-name retailer.
And while the £2.7 million valuation
remains the elephant in the Den,
Sarah Willingham wants Oliver to explain the nuts and bolts
of this high-street hook-up.
Oliver, if we can just park the valuation for a second,
cos clearly, that's very punchy, to say the least.
So, you work with the retailers.
So, explain that to me again, slowly,
how that actually works on a day-to-day basis.
So, the retailer, with their database, will be promoting us.
Why are they doing that?
Why are they doing that?
Because we're working with their brands
who are exclusive to them.
If they promote us, we can engage and educate their consumer base,
so we've produced videos for YouTube, Facebook, Instagram.
Have you actually done that which has resulted in new subscribers?
So, we did that with Make-up For Everyone,
an exclusive brand to Debenhams, and we grew by 1,000 new subscribers.
So, you get people signing up for a subscription, that's 1,000 people,
and it costs you nothing.
Make-up For Everyone, hopefully, get a new loyal customer
and Debenhams, hopefully,
are getting people to go back into Make-up Forever.
So it's like a win-win for everybody?
When it comes to his business model,
it seems that Oliver has all the bases covered,
producing marketing materials for the retailers and brands
who promote his website in return.
But e-commerce millionaire Nick Jenkins
wants to know if he's equally confident
when it comes to his numbers.
I want to know where this business is going to be in three years' time.
So, talk me through the next three years.
OK, we're on target to hit £780,000 this year.
-So, we are looking to take in terms of gross,
which is 580,000 and the first profit, 90,000.
Next year, we're looking to take 2.2 million, 1.4 in terms of gross,
we're looking to make a profit of 500 grand.
Year after, bear in mind, now we're going international here,
we're looking to make 6.2 million
and we're looking to making gross 4.4
and a profit of 1.2 million.
If you were to achieve that, 1.2 million...
I think we'd all be very happy here.
..we'd be looking at a business worth 12 million,
investing at three, four times.
There's a possibility of a four times return.
It's an impressive potential yield.
But will the figures play out that way in reality?
Sarah Willingham is unconvinced.
Where I have a real problem is, those numbers for year three,
it's an enormous leap, enormous.
Give me examples of businesses that have done this successfully.
I'm like everybody else, I'm looking at that 80 grand for 3% is mad.
There's a similar cosmetic brand in the US.
They've just got valued at, I think, just close to 800 million.
OK, so, what is their business model?
-How much do you pay a month?
-You pay about 10.
How long have they been going for?
They've been going for about a year and a half.
A year and a half?
Yeah, a year and a half to two years.
Good God, that's insane.
No, it's serious money.
The revelation that a similar company in the States
has so speedily seen a huge hike in profits
has left the Dragons considering the potential for Oliver's business
this side of the pond.
But for Touker Suleyman,
the thorny issue of that hefty company valuation
is still a sticking point.
Oliver, you have come up with a very, very spicy valuation.
If I had to value the business as I see it, I'd change the valuation.
List out what you want the Dragon to do,
and what doors do you want opened
so we totally understand.
No, of course. I need people to help shape up the business
so it's scalable.
I want to take the company international.
I don't have the experience to do that.
-How big is your team?
-My average age is 24 years old,
but we're almost there in order to take it to the next level.
Like I said, we're now profitable.
Oliver, at the end of the day,
your figures tell me that you're just breaking even.
You valuation is way out, but I like what I see,
so I'll make you an offer.
I'll give you all the money for 25%.
Thank you very much.
Touker Suleyman's offer of all the cash for 25%
sees Oliver's company valuation slashed by more than £2 million.
It's an audacious bid and way above the 3% Oliver wanted to give away.
Nick Jenkins was enthused by Oliver's financial projections.
Will he be tempted to make a more attractive offer?
I'm very impressed with your grasp and understanding
of online customer acquisition.
You're extremely investable,
and I can see exactly where you're going with this.
I've looked at the numbers, I worked it out,
I tweaked it a few times.
I realised it's scalable.
I imagine we can spend hours poring over spreadsheets together.
We're absolutely on the same page there.
You are speaking my language.
This clearly does have the potential to really grow.
I think it's very interesting.
I'll tell you what, I'm going to break cover
because there's no point in flinging an offer out there
that is not going to be doable.
I would offer you all of the money for 5%.
And I'd be willing to split that.
OK, thank you.
It's a bold offer from Nick Jenkins,
massively undercutting Touker Suleyman,
and not far away
from the entrepreneur's contentious valuation.
The internet guru has clearly connected
with the like-minded website entrepreneur
and his keen online senses
seem to have sniffed out a golden opportunity.
So, does it smell as sweet to Peter Jones?
Oliver, you are incredibly impressive.
Not many people come into the Den, know their numbers the way you do,
the way you've come across.
All credit to you, one of the most impressive I've seen in the Den.
Thank you very much.
But, for the sake of the fact that I would want a little bit more
of a piece of the pie than what Nick Jenkins has offered...
..I'm going to say that I'm out.
OK, thank you.
He's the Dragon who rarely minces his words
when it comes to excessive valuations,
but this time, it's an uncharacteristically civil
Peter Jones who is first to decline the deal.
Now Deborah Meaden has also come to a decision.
The problem is, you're going to, at same point, to scale up,
need a lot more cash.
The kind of percentage that you're talking at
just leave an investor who
puts more than money in, you know,
they put heart and soul in,
but actually they just end up getting so diluted.
All they have to...
keep buying in and buying in.
And it actually can make an investor who's made a big impact
on a business feel a little bit uncomfortable about that.
So, I won't be investing.
Deborah Meaden brushes off the beauty business,
unable to see eye to eye with Oliver's company valuation.
Nick Jenkins' offer of 5% is still on the table,
and it appears that Touker Suleyman
has had second thoughts about his own ambitious bid
for 25% of the business.
I've got the contacts.
I could open lots of doors.
One phone call, you're in.
But I think for 2.5% or 3%, it's just not worth my while.
Touker Suleyman withdraws from the negotiations.
Only Sarah Willingham remains.
Will she be prepared to bid low for a piece of the beauty business?
I really like it
because I actually very much like this online subscription space.
I've seen it work, and work very well,
and, actually, it doesn't take an enormous amount of customers
to make it very successful.
I would like to offer you...
..because I want to, I want to do it with Nick,
because I think we have very complementary skills in this space,
but it's what that number...
..is to make it interesting.
I know what my offer is and it's not half the money for 2.5%.
It's all of the money at 8%, half the money at 4%.
Without being rude, what value can you add beyond Nick?
The contacts in the beauty industry.
I've great relationships with a lot of the retailers.
So, when you're saying retailers,
you're talking Marks & Spencer's, John Lewis?
Boots as well. Because of the loyalty cards,
they know exactly what people spend, when they spend it.
Of course, Boots is a big...
I work extremely closely with the loyalty cards.
And you believe that you can bring the contacts at Boots, for example?
-Sarah would definitely add something I couldn't add.
OK. So, the way I see it, 5% here...
..or 4% each.
So, 8%, I think, a fair deal. That's it.
-Thank you very much.
-Thank you very much. Thank you.
With two Dragons in the bag
and a firm foundation for the future,
Oliver leaves the Den totally made up.
Nick, you nearly stitched me up then.
No, but I said to him... He clearly does value the input that we put in,
-which is a delight to see.
-It is, it's great.
I came in here to win the Dragons, and that's what I've done.
Nick made a very fair offer.
Sarah brought a different dimension to it.
Sarah had the contacts at Boots,
Sarah had the contacts with the brands,
so if I can get two for the price of one
for a slightly higher equity's sake, it's a good deal.
Never let it be said that the Den is predictable.
The Dragons see a multifarious array
of different products and are willing to invest
in almost anything,
whether it is glow-in-the-dark T-shirts or online beauty bags,
as long as they see the spark of success.
It just goes to show,
you never know what will fly and what will flop in the den.
Touker, can you see me?
I can see you. Definitely see you.
Coming up next time...
I'm glad it's your strategy, but I'm out.
You're valuing a business that, so far,
has made £1,000 profit at a million.
Yeah, if I'm able to answer...
I'd love to find out what you're going to say.
Thanks for answering their question,
but can I direct my questions to them?
I thought they'd answered it, sorry.
No, they haven't even paused for breath.
You should not sell a franchise to an unsuspecting person
without having proven the model.
I think you've got a cracking business.
I'm going to make you an offer.
I've got to say, what Peter's just said is actually genius.
Peter Jones, Deborah Meaden, Touker Suleyman, Sarah Willingham and Nick Jenkins take their seats as a fresh batch of entrepreneurs prepare to give them the elevator pitch of a lifetime.
In this episode, Touker Suleyman gets more than he bargained for when he agrees to road test an intimate waxing product, an entrepreneur makes a shocking revelation about sleeping on his office floor and a serial inventor who says he has reinvented the surfboard and designed a parachute for NASA brings his latest garden shed invention to the Den.