Budding entrepreneurs pitch business ideas to multimillionaires. An American entrepreneur is hoping for investment in her range of dolls with historical tales to tell.
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I've got to say, what Peter's just said is actually genius.
No, no, I'm not hearing that,
and I'm not going to let you get away with that.
Sorry, hang on, you've spent £400,000 on dolls?
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.
I think you've got a cracking business.
I'm going to make you an offer.
Let's go back to the evidence. Give me the evidence.
Welcome to Dragons' Den,
where a fresh batch of nervous entrepreneurs
are putting the finishing touches to what they hope
will be the elevator pitch of a lifetime.
For our first entrepreneurs,
deciding what to wear for the toughest pitch of their life
They took inspiration from their product.
With the costumes that we're wearing,
hopefully we'll get a very positive and quite a standout reaction
from the Dragons. We're looking for them to smile.
-And I'm Andy.
And we're the co-founders of Just Bee drinks.
Today, we're looking for an investment of £65,000
in return for 10% equity.
Just Bee is a light and refreshing flavoured spring water drink,
but the difference is instead of adding refined sugar
or artificial sweeteners,
we use a single drop of honey.
Each drink is completely natural,
very low in sugar, and less than 50 calories.
But why honey? Well, my dad's a beekeeper.
And my grandad was, too.
I grew up having my dad's honey in cups of tea,
instead of sugar.
A few years ago, I mentioned this to my friend, Andy, and we wondered,
why do you never see soft drinks with honey?
This was the start of our big idea for a healthy drink using honey.
Well, we had a fantastic first three months,
gaining listings in premium retailers Selfridges
and Fortnum and Mason.
We're now stocked in over 100 outlets across the UK and Ireland,
from delis and coffee shops to hospitals and office canteens.
We've recently started discussions with the national retailers.
We feel this is the next exciting step for Just Bee.
Thank you. Now, we have some drinks for you to try.
Andy Sugden and Joe Harper are on a mission
to refresh the soft drinks market.
They think £65,000 should do it,
and a 10% sweetener is on offer in return.
Peter Jones wants to share his thoughts
on the entrepreneurs' attire.
I won't go through the sort of days you have in the Den.
And when those doors opened,
and I saw you two coming out dressed like that,
I really thought we'd got a couple of Charlies coming in,
and I was terrified.
My first reaction is why hasn't this happened before?
We were asking the same question. Why?
You haven't found the answer?
-The success you've had so far,
-could you quantify that now in terms of sales?
So, sales for the first 12 months was £50,000,
and an operating loss of £38,000.
What capital did you put into the business each at the start?
So, in total so far, we've put £33,000 each in.
-And we have also received some additional investment
from a high-net-worth individual already.
And what's his name?
He's called Simon Leonard.
And how much did he invest?
So, he put in £150,000.
-He got 23% for that.
OK, so, right in thinking that your net assets
are currently sitting around 170K?
-So, the current balance sheet is about 45,000 of stock.
About 19,000 of debtors.
About £94,000 of cash.
And £36,000 of creditors.
What does that make your net position, then?
I can't tell you how many people can't do that.
We've spent 20 minutes trying to get that out of some people.
Peter Jones doesn't hand out plaudits very often,
but the entrepreneurs' firm grasp of their business' books
has clearly made a good impression.
Now, Deborah Meaden wants to find out whether these golden boys
also have green credentials.
-What I want to talk about is sustainability.
Cos the story's lovely.
The fact that your father, your grandfather, were beekeepers.
But actually, one of the problems that have caused colony collapse
is intense farming of bees.
-So, to just drive a load of products fuelled by honey
is a little bit counterintuitive.
Yeah, some beekeepers take all of the honey away from the hive
-and then fill it full of sugar syrup.
We've made sure that all of our beekeepers in all of our supply,
they're completely ethical and they leave enough honey
for the bees to survive winter.
-OK. That was my question.
-That was really important for us, yeah.
Yeah. Because if you're telling a lovely story about bees,
that needs to go all the way back to the hive.
-You know, we're looking after these as well.
But you're not going to like what I'm going to say.
But this is only me, personally.
I don't actually like the taste.
Honey has a very slightly antiseptic taste, doesn't it?
I personally don't know, but...
It's probably just me. You liked it? You liked it? Can I just ask?
-I loved it.
-Did you like it?
-NICK AND PETER:
-I do know what you mean about the taste.
-That's why I don't put honey in tea.
-Because it adds a flavour, sugar doesn't.
-It's the first time I think we've heard that feedback.
Although you've heard it from three people here.
Now I mention it, yeah.
A slight sting in the tail from Deborah Meaden,
who declares the taste of honey not to her liking.
But the Dragon with a portfolio swarming with drinks investments
couldn't agree less.
I just want to start with saying I love the product.
-I really do.
-I think it's got a great flavour.
But...I don't think it's a very mass-market flavour.
And the squash market is not going to be substituted with that.
The water market will go, "Oh, this is a nice treat"...
but will still want to hydrate themselves with water.
But just because it's niche,
it doesn't mean that this is not possible.
It just takes a lot of power, and a lot of marketing.
What is your price point?
What would I buy that for?
Our RRP is £1.69.
That's quite a luxury, isn't it?
That... That... I'm trying to see where it would go.
Can you walk out of here, make a phone call to Tesco,
where would they put it?
So, in the first year,
we've placed ourselves in a sort of a premium category
of the flavoured water.
But once we get to volume and we're in the likes of Waitrose,
or Sainsbury's, or Tesco,
we'd looking at the price point reducing to £1.49.
Cos I can see it in the Pret, the Costas.
I'm struggling with it as a supermarket product because it is...
It's very premium.
To put ten of those into your supermarket trolley,
I think that's quite... It is quite a big ask.
When the queen bee of the beverage market
doubts your drink's ability to reach a mass market, it's not good.
But Peter Jones thinks he may have hit upon a solution.
I can see this getting you into the smaller players,
like the delicatessens, the specialists.
Exactly where you are, but then your mass-market product...
If you see what Robinsons have brought out
with their small little squeezy concentrate.
I don't understand why you didn't think about bringing out
the very ingredient that actually goes into water in the first place
in a bee-like squeezy.
So that actually that's the product
that goes mass-market and supermarkets.
Radiates your brand.
It's a lot more cost-effective to the consumer to buy that,
and it comes in a bee little pack,
you squeeze it into your glass of water, kids have it at home.
I've got to say, what Peter's just said is...
And I hate to say this because he's going to
go on about it for ever now,
but I am going to say it. ..is actually genius.
Because that's your squash market.
-If you can produce the concentrate, effectively,
as a squash, that's your mass-market product.
Can I just ask about the stability of honey?
Because of course there's a crystallising issue with honey.
-That is a fantastic idea...
-It might work.
I think there might be a technical issue
why you can't make cordial with honey.
Ah, but no, it doesn't. Sorry.
Once it's dissolved,
Are we still debating Peter's idea?
-I know, sorry.
-Because if we are, Peter needs to stand up there.
-I just think it's such a genius idea.
-Anyway, guys, while they talk about my idea...
-Come out with something to replace squash.
..and discuss amongst themselves,
I'm going to make you an offer for all of the money
for 25% of the company.
OK. Would you like to respond to that now?
Well, look, I would prefer that you didn't try and negotiate.
And then at the end of all of this we can...share the honey.
An offer from Peter Jones,
whose ability to catapult a brand to the big-time is no secret.
Will the cordial atmosphere continue with a bid from Deborah Meaden?
First thing I will say, I think you've done a great job.
I love the branding, I love the authenticity.
You could have won me over on any day of the week,
but unfortunately, I don't like the taste.
And for me to be really engaged with something,
I've got to be able to sit here and say, "But it's lovely!"
And I would be very clear about that. That's personal.
I know people will like this taste.
So, that's the only reason.
But I won't be investing, I'm out.
I love the story, and a big fan of bees.
Slightly concerned that the honey flavour
might make it fairly niche...
In that there are people who'll love it,
but there'll be a lot of people who won't.
So, for that reason, I can't get over the line.
So, I'm out.
Guys, I like what you've done.
Great. I like you guys, too.
However, I think in this sector,
which is not really my sector,
you've got a perfect offer from the perfect Dragon.
So, I'm not even going to play numbers with anybody on this.
I'm not the right Dragon for you guys.
So, for that reason, I'm out.
Touker Suleyman steps aside graciously,
joining Nick Jenkins and Deborah Meaden in going out.
But Peter Jones doesn't yet have the deal in the bag.
Could drinks tycoon Sarah Willingham just be in the mood
to mix things up a bit?
I really like the product.
I've said that. I love the flavour.
I do think, in its current form,
it's going to be a real struggle in mass-market.
And I've spoken to the buyers of the major retailers,
the big supermarkets,
and this is an area that they see is very saturated.
There's a lot of people in there already,
fighting for the space.
And I do think it's going to be a hard sell.
So, I'm sorry, I'm out.
So, that's Sarah Willingham out of the picture,
leaving just that one offer from Peter Jones.
Now, it's all down to the negotiation.
We hoped someone was going to make this competitive.
..a long way away from where we were at ten.
We really do believe that this could be huge.
Is there anything we can do?
I don't think so,
because I do think it's one of these situations where...
..it might not go anywhere.
You know, I'm not going to say you don't have a brand yet
because you do, you've done really well.
But I think that I add enough to justify why I would want 25%.
Tangibly, what would you bring?
I think that the relationships that I've got with the supermarkets,
people like Mike Coupe, who runs Sainsbury's,
or Andy Clarke, who looks after Asda, or...
And I can go on.
And these are direct relationships.
And 25% makes it interesting for me.
-Shall we have a chat?
-Yeah, think so.
-25% is a long way from ten.
We'd be down, moving down to...28.
And a counter offer.
Or just straight in with a counter offer.
-You do it.
Before we make you a counteroffer,
we'd like to tell you a few more things.
So, there's a huge export opportunity,
and we're getting e-mails left,
right and centre. We're actually in the listing process with Waitrose
at the moment, and Boots and Whole Foods.
We believe there's a real value in this company.
Based on what we've just said, we'll counter offer - 15%.
Guys, I'm... The answer's no.
I wouldn't go down to 15%.
If we dropped down to 15, we're at a third each.
But that would mean I'd have 25, you'd both have 28 each.
And our other investor would have the rest.
So, you'd be the majority shareholders,
you'd still have complete control.
You'd own over 50% of the company.
Have one more chat.
-I think one of them...
One of them wants to do it, the other one doesn't.
Anything clever we can do?
We'd love to work with you, but we can't go above 15%.
-Guys, look, you've made your decision.
-It's the wrong decision.
But on the basis of the fact that I'm not willing
to change my offer, I'm going to have to say that I'm out.
A pitch buzzing with excitement,
but resulting in a frustrating finale for the entrepreneurs.
Peter Jones may have thought the product was the bees' knees,
but not enough to drop his equity demand.
-It's the right thing to do.
Do you know what? I still genuinely wish them the best of luck.
-I hope they make it.
Although I hope they don't pinch my idea.
It feels slightly crazy to have turned down Peter Jones.
It was tempting at the time, but I think we probably would have
woken up tomorrow and could have regretted it.
Next into the den is Francis Kane.
An entrepreneur on a mission
to change the face of the doll business.
The fact that the product clearly looks as good as it does.
And I think the ethos behind it, which is different to a lot of
the other brands on the market at the moment.
I'm hoping that that will come across.
But it may be a bit of a rocky road,
but we'll have to see when I get in there.
She's already taken her idea from the playroom to the boardroom,
but will the Dragons toy with investing in her range of products?
Hello. My name is Francis Kane, and I am a owner of A Girl For All Time,
which is a range of toys designed to celebrate and empower girls through
creative, imaginative play.
I'm in the Den today looking for £70,000
for a 10% investment
of my four-year-old growing business.
I founded A Girl For All Time really because of my own frustration at
trying to find anything that was well-designed and intelligently done
for my own daughter when she was much younger.
Her choices seemed to be limited to
plastic lipstick and pretend ironing boards.
So, I created a range of dolls that followed the adventures
of the first-born girls of the fictional Marchmont family
through 500 years of time.
Stories that come with the range show the girls as heroes
of their own stories.
Currently, we have five dolls here that you see,
and they have won a cachet of industry awards
for top quality and design,
including Play Doll Of The Year two years in a row.
2015 for us saw sales of just under £90,000.
2016 looks to be a strong year with 125% growth
in the first four months of 2016.
I do believe that our girls are so much more than pink and plastic
lipstick and pretend ironing boards,
and I think their toys should be as well.
And I would like to show you some product, if I may.
originally from the American Midwest and now living in London,
is looking for a boardroom buddy.
You have the start of the family tree, Matilda.
In exchange for 10% of her company,
she'd like a Dragon to invest £70,000 on it.
Peter Jones has a confession to make.
I'm quite an expert in dolls.
Because over the last sort of 20 years,
I've grown up playing with dolls a lot because my youngest daughter,
-who's now nine, and my oldest daughter, who's 23.
So, I have to say, there's something a bit eerie about the dolls.
I don't know. It looks a little bit sort of...
Not as friendly as I would have expected.
-And I'm struggling.
Immediately struggling with the sort of...the look.
Because I look into this doll's eyes,
and there's sort of like a darkness there.
-Well, maybe slightly pensive. Maybe at times.
-Pensive's a good...
-Or maybe thoughtful.
And is that very much about you, Frances?
Are you coming out in this doll?
Well, I think what frustrated me when I was looking for something
for my own daughter when she was growing up
is I just felt things were either
divided into kind of the very pink, bubbly, plastic thing
or being shoved too far, I felt, into the adult world.
These dolls are supposed to represent nine, ten, 11-year-olds.
And we're not always constantly smiling, I feel, are we?
I think having a companion who looks as we usually look
is a positive thing.
A product which makes Peter Jones feel uneasy.
It's not a great start to Frances' pitch.
But onto the business itself, and Touker Suleyman wants to know
if there's anything that makes
this product stand out in a crowded market.
What is your USP that could make this doll
-into a multi-million dollar business?
What we've created is a whole brand behind the characters of the dolls.
So, as far as I know,
we're the only brand on the market that does an entire family series
that does these kind of stories with the dolls and creates a depth of
experience with each range.
Is it a nice story, or do any bad things happen in that family?
Well, you know,
family narrative is really about knowing the good things and the bad
-So, who's killed who in the family?
Nobody... Nobody's killed, but don't forget,
Matilda is a Tudor girl,
-and Tudor was not always happy times.
-Tell me about her.
What's the unhappy times?
Matilda is 13 years old,
and she is sent as a spy to the court of Henry VIII
and to help advance her cousin Catherine Howard's
chances to be Queen.
And Matilda keeps a secret diary.
Hence the title of her book, Matilda's Secret.
And it's about her time at court,
which did not go very well for Catherine Howard,
if you know your history.
Frances proves there's more to her dolls than your average kid's
playthings, with talk of their unique back stories.
But is millionaire mum of four Sarah Willingham
buying the product or the business?
I wouldn't buy one, and I am absolutely your target market,
if you want to sell the story of trying to empower your little girls
to believe that they can do anything and be anything.
I don't think that's what you're achieving through these dolls,
I really don't.
I think your objective, you're saying,
is to make it very real through history.
I'm not convinced that that's the way to empower
young girls of today.
Of course they need to learn history,
but I think the dolls look like they've sacrificed a lot.
They... They... They are girls who have suffered a lot.
So, because I am your target market and I wouldn't buy one,
I wish you all the best, but I'm afraid I'm not going to invest.
So, I'm out.
Sarah Willingham just can't gel with Frances' dolls
and decides to pass on the business opportunity.
Can Peter Jones redeem things with talk of cold, hard cash?
How much money have you spent so far developing the business?
So, over the last five years, having launched in 2012,
a grand total of about...
And it's rounding here, £400,000.
If I could preface that, with the larger companies...
-Sorry, hang on, Frances.
-You've spent £400,000 on dolls?
It's been a... It's been an investment a little bit every year.
Where did you get that money from?
Part of it has been from my own funds,
part of it was from friends and family.
Francis has gone to great lengths to bankroll a brand she believes is on
the brink of success.
But does Deborah Meaden share her conviction?
To me, they're not joyous.
-Did you ever play with dolls, Deborah?
-Never played with dolls.
-I'm not surprised.
-I was a...
Spiders, snakes, all of those things.
Never dolls. This is personal.
So, please brace yourself.
I just don't like it.
You know, they don't make me feel good.
They don't tell a great story to me.
So, I'm really sorry, Frances, I'm out.
I appreciate the comments, thank you.
-What's this one called?
Lydia, I bought you a doll.
One of those over there. Are you excited about that?
No, not really. Quite indifferent, really.
Looks a bit sort of Botoxy.
I'm sure you've done loads and loads of research.
It's not a market I know anything about.
I'm sure you've done absolutely stacks of it and you've gone to
something which is quite different. But I just can't get it at all.
-I'm afraid I'm out.
-Right, OK. Thank you very much.
The Dragon who made a fortune in personalised gifts
shows no interest in these bespoke dolls.
And Touker Suleyman has also come to a decision.
You've gone a long way to build a business
that has no appeal, in my view.
I mean, in my own personal view.
And I think you're probably a very professional person.
You've built this whole business around the idea of this doll.
You spent £400,000, but I don't see it going where you want to see it.
I'll be happy one day if you get your money back.
But it's not going to be with my money, I'm afraid.
And for that reason, I'm out.
I genuinely like the fact that you've come up
with a storyline behind what you're trying to achieve.
But I personally think you've made some real fatal errors.
-There's a few things that scare me about this doll.
When you go to bed at night and you put your doll down
and you say goodnight and you sleep,
if you open your eyes halfway through the night and your doll's
still looking at you, there's something really eerie about that.
I think you need to change that, and a very simple way of changing
-that is make sure the eyes close when it lies flat.
There're called, yes, sleep eyes.
Sleep eyes. I think that's important,
and I think you do have to go back to the drawing board.
I'm not going to invest because I don't know whether that £70,000 is
enough to keep the business alive and make the changes necessary.
So, I'm going to say that I'm out.
-OK. Thank you very much. Thank you.
Game over for Francis,
who couldn't convince the Dragons her dolls had mass appeal.
She leaves the Den with no more cash than when she arrived.
-I think she's really investable.
-She was good.
I think the concept's right.
It's sad it's looking like that.
Will I go out next week and start making new face moulds
for all of the dolls? Probably not.
So, maybe the Dragons might have missed out on this one.
Still to come...
Touker, can you see me?
I can see you. I can definitely see you.
Are there hazardous conditions ahead?
You should not sell a franchise to an unsuspecting person
without having proven the model.
Thanks for answering the question,
but can I direct my questions to them?
I thought they'd answered it.
They haven't even paused for breath.
-They haven't answered.
-OK. Sorry, sorry!
And can any of these entrepreneurs
navigate the Dragons to an investment?
I think the product is exceptional.
This has got Italian design written all over it.
You turned over £136,000.
Gross margin £96,000 and you've broken even.
That is quite rare.
Our next entrepreneur is hoping to make the world a prettier place.
He's here to pitch a salon business, which he plans to take global.
The Dragons really inspire me.
And I can see a lot of synergy in terms what I do, what they've done.
I think that there is a fine line
between coming across as a salesman and coming across as someone
that is very believable.
I hope I'm the latter.
I'm sure that they have an eye for talent,
and I would hope that they'll see some talent in me today.
Good afternoon, Dragons.
My name is Damien Zannetou,
and I'm the proud founder of an exciting new company
and concept called Aenea, the science of beauty.
I'm here today to pitch for £100,000
for 10% equity in my business.
So, what is Aenea?
Simply put, a wellness concept.
I've combined the hair and beauty,
salon, spa and clinic experience all under one roof,
but facilitated with its own private label product line at both the
professional and retail level,
consisting of an advanced anti-ageing cosmeceutical
ingredients and formulations.
I'm targeting the premium end of the market, but it's positioned on the
high street, designed for those customers
that want more treatments, less time,
with a high fashion and a celebrity focus.
My root to market is franchising, for a number of reasons.
Rapid roll-out within the territory,
less requirement for working capital,
less risk, but more importantly to create a distribution network for my
entire cosmetics range.
Over the past 12 to 18 months,
I've been working alongside team franchise consultants and experts to
create what I think is a modest development schedule,
to open 20 stores in the UK within the next three years,
and in parallel, 20 stores in the Middle East.
Each franchisee will pay a licence fee of £25,000 for a five-year
renewable term, with a 10% monthly management service fee and a monthly
marketing levy of 2%.
So far, I've signed a franchise in London.
I have pending applications for Bristol, for Liverpool
and for Brighton.
I also have a letter of intent from a lady in Riyadh, in Saudi Arabia,
with pending applications for Dubai and also Bahrain,
and I have a letter of intent for Nigeria.
And recently, I've just been asked to team up with a distributor
that would like to target the retail market in the UK and Ireland.
I've brought some products with me today.
I'd love to give you a sample,
and I'm sure you have plenty of questions.
With his salon, spa and product range combo...
-There's an exfoliator for you.
Damien Zannetou thinks his business is a thing of beauty.
Have I just broken mine?
-Yes! Did you just break yours too?
-How do you get this out?
No, there's none in this.
This isn't coming out, either.
The entrepreneur is willing to hand over 10% of his equity in return
for a cool £100,000.
It's dying to come out, out of the top.
Oh, it's not supposed to do that.
The samples have hit some snagging issues with the Dragons.
Cor, Damien, it's pretty badly made.
-Why do you say that?
-Cos mine's broken and yours...
When I'm pulling this out now, look, it's like, it goes everywhere.
I wouldn't say it's badly made.
It won an award in 2014, and we won that as a highly commended range.
Now, Peter Jones wants to nail whether the business package
is robust enough for his liking.
I have to say, not a good first impression with the products
that you've handed out, but that being said,
I'm more keen to understand,
what on earth is this business?
-Because I'm looking at that and seeing champagne and nail bar,
and them you pitch something completely different.
As I said earlier,
it's a combination of a saloon, spa, clinic experience.
What's a salon/clinic experience?
A beauty salon.
A hair and beauty salon, spa, and for each service we offer,
we have all our own product line.
So, why wouldn't somebody just set this up and do it themselves?
Why do they need you? Um.
That's a good question. They can do it themselves, but the fundamental
difference is that we've combined the three models together.
That's not difficult to do, is it?
If you've got a place big enough, you say, "I cut hair over there,
"and by the way, that's a nail bar,
"and actually, we sell a range of cosmetics over here."
-I don't get...
-I think what you're missing is the USP,
which is the product line.
It would take them years of research.
They haven't got their own product line.
If you'll just allow me to finish.
Your own product line is really badly put together.
You're asking me a question,
but you're not allowing me to finish the answer.
-No, because I've heard what I wanted to hear.
-And I'm going to talk over you.
-They don't have their own product line.
They don't, because you're giving them a product line.
-Why would I sell your product line that actually, frankly,
breaks when you use it and it's a brand that nobody knows
over putting in my salon
brands everybody understands and knows and wants to buy?
I think that's the key,
is to expand the business through franchising and to make it a brand
that everyone is aware of.
In the skin care market, we are actually known
because we won an award in 2014 for a very prestigious event.
No champagne corks popping just yet,
as Peter Jones fails to get his head around the potential attractiveness
of Damien's business concept.
Now Nick Jenkins wants to comb through
the hair and beauty entrepreneur's
franchisee recruitment strategy.
People who buy franchises are people who would like to have their own
-business, haven't done it before.
They need the confidence of someone else's proven success, and they're
-prepared to give 10% of their income, in order...
..for the hand-holding process.
What are you telling these people about how successful your original
concept has been? Tell me about the numbers there?
Sure. So, I've told prospective franchisees that a normal standard
salon, spa, clinic concept could turn over about £750,000 a year.
Has yours turned over £750,000?
It has, yes. In year two, it did.
Tell me about the numbers on that one.
I want to know how successful that was.
Yeah, it's a really tricky one, and this is where I'd like to be
totally frank about the situation.
Basically, I ran into a trademark dispute for my product line.
So I had to force the company into liquidation.
Why would you make the company bankrupt with a trademark dispute?
-It was advice I was given.
-By a lawyer, an insolvency practitioner.
Who did you owe money to?
At the time, I owed some money to HMRC.
There was £75,000.
So, you've left that behind?
-So the taxpayer didn't get their money back from you?
I'll be totally frank, in 2014,
my father was my accountant, and sadly,
he passed away, but I was very much under the guidance of my father
up until that point.
When you started talking about this business
-that was £750,000 turnover...
-You started it in 2010.
-You closed the company down.
-You left debt behind?
-And you started New Co.
New Co ended up with these products under a different brand name.
-Tell me about that.
So today, I mean,
that business has been trading under the new franchise agreement
for about a month,
and it's turned over just under £55,000 for the month of May.
-That's running at about 20% profit.
So you made £10,000 net profit?
-That £10,000, then,
what would that have generated for you last month as a franchise?
10%. Which is £1,000.
You are valuing a business that has so far made £1,000 at £1 million?
If I'm able to answer.
I'd love to find out what you're going to say.
I knew the question was going to come up,
and I expected it to come from you as well.
Yeah, I worked with a third party company.
Because everything is based on projection,
they said that the only way that the whole business could be valued would
be on discounted cash flow.
So they actually came back with a valuation of £5 million.
I turned around and said that...
Can I ask you, Damien, what is discounted cash flow?
It's my cash flow at the end of year three, obviously.
You know, it's three years of cash flow forecasted.
Do you know what discounted cash flow is?
Yeah. It's taking my cash in the bank at the end of year three,
applying a discounted rate,
-which in our case was 50%.
-No, it's not.
Again, it's not something that I can really answer,
I've handed that over to a third party.
The tension in the Den shows no signs of letting up,
as Peter Jones uncovers gaps in Damien's business knowledge,
and his justification for that
has provided Nick Jenkins with some cause for alarm.
I'm a bit concerned about your reliance on external consultants,
to be perfectly honest. What you've demonstrated to Peter is
you've no understanding of what they're talking about.
You don't understand discounted cash flow.
You say "other people", it was always other people.
"Other people told me to shut my business down.
"What did I know?"
I want to know what YOU think.
But you don't know that.
-No, I'm not deflecting. I actually...
-But you are.
-No, I'm not.
-You've been constantly deflecting.
Because you know what I want to know,
if I'm a potential franchisee?
I've just got my redundancy payment of £30,000 or £40,000, right?
I think, "OK, well, I'll go to this guy.
"This guy will show me how to run my business so I can have success.
Right. Well, so,
just exactly how successful have you been so far?
-Oh, well you didn't. It went bust.
I don't want to keep going back to consultants, but I am working
with a top franchise consultant,
and her advice has been that the first two to three franchisees
in my year one of trading
-will be development franchisees.
-You're avoiding the question.
-..are supposed to be telling me
-how to run a business.
-How am I supposed to have faith in that?
Well, I know exactly how to make money
in terms of running that business.
-First and foremost.
-Have you ever done it?
If you'll allow me to answer, I can give you an answer to your question.
I'm very big on online marketing strategies and digital strategies.
-OK, have you ever done it?
So my website currently receives 11,500 unique visitors per month.
11,500 visitors, 43% bounce rate,
plus to turnover £50,000 and make a profit of £10,000,
which is still my first month of trading,
I know exactly how I can go into one of these operations and make money,
and the reason is because
I understand the digital marketing aspect.
So in answer to your original question,
when I'm speaking to my franchisees,
the first thing I say to them is we are a stand-alone store in Clapham,
and if you enter into this agreement,
-you are a development franchisee.
-You've only been going a month.
So it's not proven, and they understand that.
Damien gets the last word in a verbal sparring match
over his ability to roll out franchises.
But his insistence he can make a string of salons a success
won't wash with Deborah Meaden.
My concern is that your original business,
which was turning over £750,000 a year,
you've now turned into a franchise.
-And it now turns over £600,000 a year.
-So that's the evidence. Now, forget the words.
-You can stand and talk to me till you're blue in the face.
No, I'm not here to paint a pretty picture.
-I'm only interested in fact.
Now, you give me the evidence I'm going to make more money through
your franchise than actually doing it on my own.
OK. First and foremost, in direct answer to your question,
you are correct that there is no evidence,
-because it's a new company and a start-up.
-So... Stop there.
-There is absolutely no evidence.
-There is no evidence.
So, now what you've done is you...
How much money have you spent with your franchise consultants?
Around 7,000 or 8,000.
So what you've actually done
is spent your time not building evidence,
you've spent your time building paperwork.
I've done both. I have done both.
All right, lovely. So let's go back to the evidence.
-Give me the evidence.
-Well, as I said, the first month of trading,
we've produced 55,000, but I can't...
No, but that's evidence that the income goes down
when I go into your franchise.
As I've said, my franchisees for the first year
are development franchisees. They are aware that there is no evidence.
No. No, Damien, I'm not hearing that
and I'm not going to let you get away with that.
So I'm just going to say those two words.
I won't be investing. I'm out.
That unproven business model loses Damien his first investor.
But will the Dragon who franchised her way to the top of the global
restaurant business have a different perspective on things?
I've spent many, many years of my life franchising,
and I've spent a long time, I've done it very successfully,
and I spent a long time going around a lot of franchise fares as well,
so I know what's out there.
-Now, good franchisors, they prove the model, they go out there,
they make it work, and they go, "You know what?
"I've got a quick route to market here."
Look at Domino's. Did a fantastic job.
You should not sell a franchise without having proven the model,
and that is why I'm out.
-OK. Thank you.
-I'm going to make it very short, Damien,
you seem like a very nice guy.
You need to learn a lot. Stick to what you're doing.
-Prove the concept.
-Don't try and sell anything to anybody at the moment.
-Prove it for a whole year, then decide what you want to do with it.
I'm afraid I'm not going to invest, I'm out.
OK, thank you.
Damien, it's not gone well.
But I have to say, you've been dealt the right hand because you have come
in here without anything of substance.
I think you need to clearly go away
and rethink how you're going to do this.
So I'm obviously going to say that I'm out.
Peter Jones isn't sharing Damien's vision either
and becomes the fourth Dragon to walk away.
It's left to e-commerce millionaire Nick Jenkins to have the final say.
I think... Hopefully... You say that you've...
You've consistently said throughout this
that you understand and you agree.
I hope you understand that you haven't got anything yet.
So if I was you, I'd...
Can I show you some agreements that I do have?
-Or is that not an option?
I'm not interested in you showing me any agreements because, honestly,
I think the advice you're getting from everybody is that you might
well be able to sell some franchises,
but this thing will fall flat on its face if those guys don't actually
sell anything through their salons and they go bust,
so it's not good for them and it's not go to be good for you.
Which is why I said I'll prove it.
So, if I was you, forget about the franchise business
and run a decent business in Clapham.
And then open another business and prove that you can do that.
When you've got a chain of four or five and you're confident
you can help others to do that,
then think about a franchise business.
That was kind of my strategy, but with your...help.
Oh, good, well, I'm glad it's your strategy, but I'm out.
Thank you for your time. I apologise if I've upset anyone.
-That wasn't my intention.
Damien's hopes for a Dragon partner in his hair and beauty business are
cut and finished by Nick Jenkins,
after a pitch that certainly provoked some intense debate.
Do it on my own.
It went terrible.
But my head is held high and I'm going to go away,
I'm going to prove my model, I'm going to sign up my franchisees,
I'm going to make them hugely successful.
Watch this space.
When our next entrepreneurs to enter the Den moved to London from Italy,
they found navigating their way through the city traffic
a pretty hairy experience,
which gave them an idea for a product which they've since
brought to market.
We are a good team, he has business skills, I have technical skills.
We have everything we need to set the product in place,
so let's do it.
You're making me go dizzy, I don't know about you.
Hello, Dragons. My name is Agostino Stilli.
This is my business partner, Luca Amaduzzi.
We are here today looking for an investment of £45,000,
with a return of 5% equity in our company, CYCL.
We are here today to present you WingLights.
WingLights are a direction indicator for bicycle
that flash amber on the side of your handlebar.
They are designed to make sure that you are
noticed when it's most needed, when turning and changing lane.
With a single tap, they emit a bright LED light.
They are extremely easy to fit.
Once the mounter is in position,
the WingLights snap on in seconds, and when you secure your bike,
-they snap off.
-We entered the market in July 2015,
and nowadays we already sold more than 8,000 units.
In the past eight months, we distribute in 14 different
countries around the world. Together with the premium magnetic version,
we are already commercialising a fixed version,
and we are planning to launch a new version
in the upcoming months.
Thank you very much for your attention,
we welcome now any questions you may have and we are passing now some
samples around so you can get your hands on our product.
Looking to work in tandem with a Dragon are Agostino Stilli...
..and his business partner Luca Amaduzzi.
Here we are. Two different colours.
They want to kick-start expansion of their business
with a £45,000 investment.
In return, they are offering 5% of their company.
Peter Jones wants them to shed more light on the product in question.
The two versions, can you just quickly describe,
so what are the two different versions again?
Yes, so basically you have the magnetic version
that is in your hands now.
It has a mounter that stays always on the bike,
then you have a keyring with the two lights assembled on it.
You can detach the two lights from the keyring like this. OK?
And is this something you're doing full-time now?
Yes, Agostino is also finishing a PhD in robotics part-time.
So that's my last year.
And give me an idea, you've sold them, what's the revenue?
What's the gross margin?
And what money have you got left over?
The revenue is £136,000
with a gross profit of £96,000.
On the net profit, at this stage, we broke even.
With a neatly designed product and a business that's in the black,
the entrepreneurs are off to a good start.
But Deborah Meaden wants to illuminate
a potential fly in the ointment.
Right at the beginning, you've got a lot about you, about your pitch.
You can see, this has got Italian design written all over it,
cos it's beautiful. You know, it feels nice, it looks good.
My objection to this would be
its visibility, because actually when you were riding in circles,
there was quite a lot of time when I couldn't see that light.
And at the moment, you know, good old-fashioned put your arm out -
actually, that's very clear.
If you start relying on something that has less visibility,
for me it feels like it might actually make it less safe
rather than more safe.
I would say - I'm a cyclist,
-Deborah is the person who will knock me off the bicycle.
She's looking at it from the perspective of the driver
looking at this, and I'm looking at it
from the perspective of me riding a bike.
Actually, the question of having it on the handlebars,
it's the widest part of the bike,
and if you have it on the back,
you have to have a stalk coming out...
That's lovely, thanks for answering the question,
but can I direct my questions to them?
-I thought they'd answered it, sorry.
they haven't even paused for breath, they haven't answered it.
-So that's my objection.
I'm glad Nick interjected, cos that's my worry,
that people will think they are covered because their light is here,
but actually I, as a driver, I can't see you.
There are other indicators in the market.
Mostly they are placed just here.
-Ours even all-round visibility
and you are always sure that when you turn it on,
it turns on because you actually see it.
-Is there another thing here,
I mean the WingLight, is it also for...
the slimmer person.
The slimmer person?
I will show you what I mean. Can you see behind me?
-This is kind of the smallest handlebar you can find.
But it's from behind
that's the problem, isn't it? It's not in front.
-No, can't see you.
If your right indicator was on now, I couldn't see it.
-Can you not see?
-I can see the right, but I can't see the left.
-If you are bigger like me, it doesn't work.
-Touker, can you see me?
-I can see you.
-Can you see both lights?
-Yes, I can see both lights.
A Den divided over the visibility of the lights,
but for Sarah Willingham,
seeing them is only half of the problem.
I'm struggling with it a little bit.
Because I'm so used to things flashing on a bike,
I don't know that that's an indicator.
That could just be a light.
It is orange, just like all the other indicators,
so from that, you should already have a hint.
Can I say, I'm just a little bit more worried about cycling
anywhere near Sarah in a car.
Just on account of the fact that a flashing orange light to the side of
any scooter or motorbike generally indicates turning.
Bikes at night-time are covered in flashing lights.
Any good cyclist...
-Not orange ones.
-And not this kind of flashing.
According to UK law, anyhow, it is still mandatory to make a signal.
So you see it more as a safety,
cos there's no doubt that as a driver
I'm not expecting a flashing light,
I'm not expecting an indicator on a bike,
but I am expecting them to signal to me that they are going to turn left,
and it's that signal that is going to stop me running them over.
That signal is not very convenient if you think how you do the signal,
so when you are going to turn, it is normally the hand signal,
look behind you, reduce the control on your handlebar
in a moment when you probably need to brake
because you have to reduce your speed for turning.
-At that point...
-With these kind of things,
you can start to signal before
and you can announce the visibility of your signal system.
I think it is such a big education
for the drivers, actually,
cos we are just not there yet,
to know that this means a bike
is turning right or is turning left and is not just
another half of two flashing lights.
I can't get past that,
so I'm afraid it's not an investment for me, so I'm afraid I'm out, guys.
Sarah Willingham is out,
but which way is keen cyclist Nick Jenkins going to turn?
What I am really impressed with is that you started, you turned over
136,000, gross margin 96, and you have broken even,
and I think that is quite rare,
and that's a pretty good indication that you are pretty backable.
So I'm going to make you an offer.
So I'm going to make you an offer of all of the money but for 15%
of the business, but I think you've got a cracking business.
Nick Jenkins thinks the duo are going places,
and he wants to join them.
Now Peter Jones is next to have his say.
I think the product is exceptional.
The quality and the way you've put this together, I think,
is as good as I've ever seen a product.
-You know, congratulations.
But I do think that you are going to struggle selling
and making money out of this product.
I think you do have to come up with some other products
as a wider range.
So I'm not going to invest in you today,
I'm going to say that I'm out,
but I think it is exceptional what you've done and I congratulate where
-you've got to.
-Thank you very much.
I'll say a very strange thing.
I wish you had come in with a different product.
You are incredibly backable.
It's a market that I'm not...
I don't even cycle, so I can't convince myself.
However much I sit here and try,
I can't convince myself that this is one I'm going to love, so I won't be
investing. I'm out.
Deborah Meaden becomes the third Dragon to step away from a deal...
..which leaves only Touker Suleyman able to step things up a gear
and rival Nick Jenkins' 15% off.
Well, I am the one
who has a business connection to bicycles.
We have a website called Bike Soup.
-Did you do your homework?
Er, Bike Suit?
-No, I don't know.
-Did you do any homework on which Dragon
you might want to invest?
-Well, obviously not.
-Obviously not, OK, so...
I have a lot of experience in the retail world.
I know a lot of retailers in this sector.
And I'm going to make you an offer.
But I'm going to want more than what Nick wants.
I'll give you £60,000,
but I want 25%.
-I think we...
-Go for a chat.
You want to go and have a chat at the back wall?
-Yes, thank you for your offer.
-Thank you for your offer.
Touker Suleyman's bid of more money than the £45,000
the entrepreneurs were looking for has got to be tempting.
THEY SPEAK IN ITALIAN
But at 25%, 20 more than the five they were offering,
he's significantly devaluing the business.
Will they go for the extra cash or Nick Jenkins' 15%?
We are considering...
And, Nick, would you go down to 12 and a half?
Yeah, I could do 12 and a half.
We've got a deal.
-Thanks very much.
A tour de force of a pitch resulting in a £45,000 cash injection for the
entrepreneurs and a deal that mixes business with pleasure
for Nick Jenkins.
We really think Nick is on our wavelength,
so, yeah, I think we can really do great things together
and we are looking forward to working with him.
So, as the Den doors close,
we have seen two pairs of entrepreneurs brave enough
to negotiate with the Dragons.
Now, in business, it's important to know when to stand firm and when to
compromise. Joe and Andy stuck to their guns and their equity,
but left without investment,
but the guys from CYCL did manage to settle on a deal.
Coming up next time...
What about a high-five?
You've done absolutely the wrong thing here.
Do you want to offer me something
that my ten-year-old would probably decline?
I can tell you one thing, you will look back and say, "Mistake."
There's not a chance.
I am definitely out.
No, I'm not going to put myself in your shoes because I don't have to.
That is absolutely bonkers.
I think you've blown it.
Do you know, I think I'm going to make you an offer.
If it helps, I'm already regretting going out.
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, an American entrepreneur is hoping for investment in her range of dolls with historical tales to tell, a young Italian duo are hoping the Dragons will see the design flair and commercial possibilities in their bicycle indicator lights and a couple of bee keepers try to tempt the Dragons with their honey-infused drink. Will the Den be a hive of investment activity or will there be a sting in the tale?