Browse content similar to Episode 9. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
..the five Dragons are in festive mood.
If I invest, do I get to meet Santa?
But will the Den be filled with Christmas cheer?
What you've created is fantastic.
You're obviously a smart guy and a very successful businessman.
Or will it be more like "bah, humbug"?
You're oddly spiky.
I find you just a load of excuses.
How does that stack up in your mind?
For the entrepreneurs, the heat is on...
The, er... The...
Sorry, I've totally lost myself.
..as some hit the mark...
You are a mega entrepreneur.
-No question about it.
-..while others hit the road.
-Why are you here?
-I don't see you as investible, I'm afraid.
But will tonight prove to be the most wonderful time of the year in the Den?
You've spent 1.5 million?
I'm now completely intrigued.
Welcome to Dragons' Den -
home to five titans of the business world, who are ready to pounce on
It's the season of goodwill,
but will there be sleigh bells or alarm bells in the Den?
First to find out is an entrepreneur whose products are much in demand at
What am I worried about?
Not much, I don't think.
They're probably going to say some nasty things
about my business, I expect.
But I'm pretty confident that I know most of the numbers.
Heat of the moment may well mean that those slip out of my head.
But we'll see what happens when I get in there.
Hello, Dragons. My name is Andrew Pearce.
I'm the CEO and founder of Thortful, an online greeting card marketplace.
I'm here today to ask for £80,000 for 5% of my business.
The, er... The...
Sorry, I've totally lost myself.
I actually thought you were just being thoughtful.
Did you know the online greeting card market is worth
£1.6 billion in the UK per annum?
And the innovation in this space hasn't really moved on since Moonpig
launched over ten years ago.
That's where Thortful comes in.
Thortful is a marketplace where we allow anyone to design,
create and upload their own content.
And with every card that we sell on behalf of the creator,
they receive 50p, which is a market-leading royalty.
Our mobile app allows people to navigate really quickly to relevant cards.
You can even add your own handwriting.
We've been running for 12 months.
We have over 65,000 customers.
In 2017, we predict that we'll do £1 million turnover.
2018, we're predicting we'll do 2.5 million turnover.
And 2019, 6.7 million turnover.
I've got a couple of cards to hand around to you all.
After a very nervous start,
Andrew Pearce finds his feet and manages to finish his pitch.
I hope I'm right with your card.
-He's offering a 5% equity stake
in his online greeting card business.
And seeking an £80,000 investment in return.
Deborah Meaden wants to understand the shopping experience of Andrew's
There's actually a lot of places you can buy, obviously online,
greeting cards. Plenty of them.
So if I went on your site today, I can actually transact on your site?
-How many cards have you got?
Active in our database, about 12,000.
And how much do they cost?
£2.99 plus postage.
So you are literally giving me the same experience if I walked into a
shop, picked a card up from a till, walked over to the till,
paid for it and then stuck a stamp on it.
-OK. You have got your 50p that goes out, which is your commission.
What else have you got in terms of cost of sales?
So you've got the credit card fee, printing and production.
So it's about £1, currently it's about £1.20-ish that we make per card.
Deborah Meaden breaks down the figures
and discovers a healthy mark-up on the business's products.
But Jenny Campbell is wondering if the increasing use of social media
might mean the writing is on the wall for a traditional card company.
Andrew, is that card market going to decline over the years as people stop
sending cards, because they just post a message on Facebook or they send
you a text and cards become a thing of the past, like handwritten letters
have become a thing of the past?
The card market is still growing, Jenny.
It's still growing year-on-year.
I think it was 5% last year.
So... And we love giving and receiving cards in this country.
We're the biggest card-giving nation in the world.
Andrew, I'm not overly convinced that what you've pitched is anything unique yet.
Have I missed something?
Because you can personalise using your own handwriting and upload today,
So, what is it that you believe that you've got that's a real USP?
The USP is that 70% of our content is not available on the high street.
OK. Which is...
OK, that's fairly unique.
So what have you spent on developing this app?
Today we have spent about £1.5 million.
You've spent 1.5 million?
Andrew, I'm now completely intrigued.
-Where did you get that money from?
-OK, so... So...
Basically I've run my own businesses before, before today.
From about the age of 21,
I set up my first business which was an outsourced call centre.
And how much did you sell for?
We sold that for 12.1 million.
-How much did you make?
And then after that I thought, "Why don't we try some conference calling?"
-So something totally different.
-OK, so you did that. What did you sell that business for?
Sold that for...about 37 million.
And how much did you make?
-You've made 21 million...
..and you clearly... You are a mega entrepreneur, no question about it.
You should be sitting here.
Not quite yet.
The revelation that there is a sixth multimillionaire in the Den has
caught the attention of the Dragons.
But mega-wealthy Touker Suleyman appears more concerned with his £2.99 personalised card.
Thank you for calling me...
the old Dragon. Now I'm going to give you the old Dragon.
Why are you here?
You don't need to be here!
Well, I mean, the first reason for being here is I really would like a
Dragon to be on board to help us grow the business over the next two years.
-You could quite easily write a cheque out for £80,000 and you won't blink.
-Right. So you don't need the money?
And you're not quite sure what you want from a Dragon.
I think further on down the line, in terms of raising additional funding,
I am 100% certain what I'm looking for with a Dragon.
-Which is help, networking...
opening their black book to different funding opportunities.
Something that I've never done before, because never raised any cash before.
-I'm not a banker.
-You'll give me the ball.
-Look, I think if a Dragon puts in £80,000 for 5%,
within two years, he'll be diluted down to about 1%.
I hope there won't be a dilution to 1%.
-So having a Dragon on board...
..will definitely add value to your business.
And there's a price for that.
So, if I was going to invest in your business, I'd want to know
that I won't be diluted.
-So can you give me that guarantee?
-No, I can't give you that guarantee.
-I can't give you that guarantee today.
I'm not going to invest.
Touker Suleyman's concern that future investment will to lead to
some serious equity shrinkage makes him head for the door.
And Deborah Meaden has an issue with the slice of the company that's up for grabs.
In this business, I can see very quickly that you are going to get to
a stage where you need millions.
-The raising of that doesn't concern me at all.
The bit that does bother me,
that if I start at anything close to the percentage that you're offering,
I end up doing all of this work,
bringing all of the funds in and ending up, at the end of the day,
with a tiny, tiny, tiny piece.
I want to own a chunky bit that keeps my attention.
You are a really good.
But it's just not my style, so I won't be investing.
Look, you're obviously a smart guy and a very successful businessman.
Congratulations. Your previous business,
how did you build your customer base on that?
Exactly the same way as I'm doing now.
-Was it online?
And when you sold the company, what were the sales of the company?
Right. And so you did that without any investment?
I'll tell you what I'm thinking...
..I think it's a neat idea.
But you're going to be diluting an investor substantially by raising
significant money and that's concerning.
..I will make you an offer.
But I'll need to have a certain amount of equity for it to make any sense.
And I'd probably be open to sharing this with another Dragon.
So my offer is half the money, £40,000...
..for 10% of the business.
OK. Thank you for your offer.
Tej Lalvani makes a move for the greeting card business.
However, he's only offering half of the £80,000 the entrepreneur is
Any deal requires another Dragon.
But just two have yet to declare.
Time for Peter Jones to put his cards on the table.
Andrew, you're the type of person I'd love to work with because
I think it's good to work with somebody that who clearly has entrepreneurial flair, talent,
been there, done it and actually is putting themselves on the line and having another go.
But...I'm really concerned for you with this business.
This is a very, very, very tough business to get right
without a huge amount of capital behind you.
Andrew, I'm going to wish you well on your way and say that is the only reason why I'm out.
But many, many congratulations on your previous success.
Thank you. Thank you, Peter.
Peter Jones decides past riches don't outweigh future risk
and declines a deal.
Only Jenny Campbell remains.
Her banking credentials could help to secure finance further down the line.
Will she want in or opt out?
So I guess I sit here, Andrew, thinking,
come on, it's a drop in the ocean
that money to you, and you've done it all before.
Really, do you need someone?
And I certainly don't like the small piece of equity.
But I'd like to be part of this journey.
-I'd love that, Jenny.
-Because you've been so successful.
And, you know, you buy the person first and foremost
and you truly believe in this. And I like a good card.
So I'm going to offer you half the money for 7.5%.
Thank you, Jenny.
Do you need to go and talk to the wall?
No, not yet. I think that might be a bit later on.
At the moment, there's not deal that even works,
because at the moment, Jenny's on 7.5% and you're on ten.
And I would like you both on 2.5 each.
So what sort of deal can we structure that works for you guys
and works for me as well?
Well, I mean, look...
What I can do is I could drop it down to 6%
when the money was paid back.
I would have to say no, that doesn't work for me.
Anything more than 10% for me today is something that I'm
very, very definite that I don't think we should do.
-I think 10% is a good percentage and a good slug of equity in this business.
Let's meet halfway. 8%, dropping down to 5.5% each, once the money is paid.
I just don't think... I-I have to stick to my guns here.
I think it has to be...
Tell you what, let me have a think on that one.
-Yeah, I think you should.
-Yeah, I think...
-Jenny, you would match that as well, would you?
Fine. All right.
Tej Lalvani and Jenny Campbell's revised offer of a collective 16%,
reducing down to 11 once their investment is repaid,
is still more than the maximum the entrepreneur is willing to give away.
Will he agree to the Dragons' terms or walk away from the deal?
..I would like to accept your offers.
After a battle of attrition in the Den,
the vitamins boss and the banking kingpin unite to seal a deal.
And the entrepreneur departs with the £80,000 investment he was seeking.
The overall feeling is joy that it's finished.
-It's a lot more nerve-racking than you think, actually.
You're right to push for the little bit extra,
because you're going to be seriously diluted.
I'm really excited to have Jenny and Tej on board.
With their backgrounds, we will grow to a six and then hopefully go into
£12 million business over the next few years.
Another pair of entrepreneurs taking on the Dragons were partners
Emma Blower and Nick Stacey,
who are hoping to bring a bit of Christmas cheer into the Den with
their very festive firm Magic Santa Letter,
which delivers personalised letters to children,
written and sent by Father Christmas himself.
Santa apologises he can't make it here today,
but Olivia the Elf is going to hand you all your own Magic Santa Letter.
The couple were hoping for a company Christmas bonus...
-..in the way of a £75,000 investment.
You left your favourite till last.
Tej Lalvani wanted to investigate a clause in the contract.
If I invest, do I get to meet Santa?
We can't promise it. Obviously he's a busy man.
The tall man in the Den was very pleased with his letter from the main man
-in his workshop.
-It's quite nice, it says, "Dear, Peter.
-"You are my favourite Dragon."
-Oh! Come on.
-That's not written in the letter.
Some people are so needy!
Deborah Meaden wanted to know about the structure of the business.
Is Santa a shareholder?
He just overlooks it to ensure that obviously the magic of Christmas is
-OK, good answer.
But it seemed Mr Claus might have been doing a bit of moonlighting.
I did hear there was a company in the US that did something very similar
-There is another company which is santaletter.com.
Santaletterdirect is UK a one.
Touker Suleyman was ready to give Santa the sack.
Could you license different characters, whether it's Peppa Pig,
-This is what we are thinking, you know.
-You were thinking what I was thinking?
-You sure about that?
And in the end, it was more no-no-no, than ho-ho-ho.
It's not a business that I see is going to take over the world.
It is a seasonal business.
-Thank you, guys. Thank you.
-All the best.
And the entrepreneurs exited the Den
-to reunite with Santa's little helper.
-Well done, Olivia.
You did a fantastic job in there.
Santa's obviously taken all of this onboard and I'm sure he'll come up
with some really good ideas to help us push this forward over the next few years.
Next up is Surrey-based inventor, Jack Hanauer,
who's hoping his creation could become a Christmas family favourite.
I've got a great product.
I wouldn't have gone through this whole slog to get here if I didn't
Whether the Dragons see that, we have to wait and see.
This is a huge deal for me today.
With one of the Dragons' help, the sky's the limit.
Hello. I'm Jack and this is Trix.
I'm looking for a £50,000 investment in return for a 20% share in the UK
rights to the game, which is perfectly simple and perfectly fun -
describe three words with only one.
So the way it works...
you lay out nine cards.
And one player thinks of a clue to describe three.
So if I said here, for example, spaghetti.
Can you find the one card of each colour that I'm describing?
Italy. Eat. Cook.
Perfect. That's the essence of the game.
-Did I just win?
So, I launched the game in 2013.
I have sold about 4,000 copies so far.
I appreciate those aren't huge numbers,
but that is just me, selling at markets, school fairs, that kind of thing.
No advertising, no marketing budget whatsoever.
So I've sold the international rights for a guaranteed minimum of 75,000,
but I've kept the UK rights, I want to push the game forward here myself and that's why I'm here today.
So enough talk, let's play.
-Inventor Jack Hanauer hands out his product...
..and offers to hand over 20% of his word game business in return for a
£50,000 investment from the Dragons.
So each round, nine new cards.
One player thinks of a clue, the other players try and guess.
So there I could say, treasure.
-Did I win again?
-You won again.
-So that's how it works.
Deborah Meaden may be on a winning streak,
but Peter Jones is first to impart some words of Dragon wisdom.
Jack, I think that you'd get bored very quickly after playing it once or twice.
I've been doing this for three years, I've seen the reaction of people.
I also see different demographics.
So on the whole, women get it quicker than men.
And, actually, if there's ever a demographic of the person who's most hostile to it,
it would actually be yourself.
Men of a certain age, who come and look at it
and think, "I'm under pressure."
So you're saying a younger generation of middle-aged men...
-What I'm saying...
-..don't get it?
I think that's an absolute load of nonsense.
Well, that's your opinion.
No, it's not my opinion. I think that's just nonsense.
It is, because I've been doing this for three years.
You've doing it for three years and you've sold 4,000 games.
Yes, because... But it's all about getting it out there.
You haven't got it out there.
No, I haven't, that's why I'm here.
This is not so much of a pitch,
it's like an argument you'd have done the pub.
I'm trying to answer the questions.
I'm saying what I honestly think and what I've found from my three years
-But the thing is,
you've spent three years doing it and you've not really done a lot.
Even the way that you've positioned your product doesn't sell itself.
That could be a magic box. It doesn't say what it does on the tin.
Bertrand Russell said anything that can fit in a nutshell should stay there.
-Who said that?
-Who is that?
It doesn't really matter who said it, what matters is what he's saying.
And that means that things are super, super-simple might appeal instantly,
might seem great, but, actually, there's not much behind it.
You know, you get this kind of cliche of the eccentric inventor
and that's a bit borne out in the games industry.
-OK, I don't want to go on the journey.
-Can I finish...?
Jack, no, I don't want you to finish the story, sorry.
And I'm sorry to be really candid and rude, but I think we've got off on the wrong foot.
A rare event in the den as Peter Jones calls a truce after
a fractious opening exchange with the entrepreneur.
Deborah Meaden is next to take up the question baton.
Jack, you're oddly spiky.
I genuinely apologise if that's how I come across.
-That's not how I feel.
-I don't want to be having this conversation,
because it's actually a good, fun game.
But I can tell you now, Peter's bang on.
Trix is the wrong name for this.
You'll confuse the consumer that it's something to do with magic.
You've got to call it something that relates to the game itself.
Maybe people find it hard to engage with. Well, they don't know what it is.
And you've got to tell them what they're about to play.
Deborah Meaden delivers another damning assessment of the word game's name.
Now Touker Suleyman wants to shift the focus from names to numbers.
You've sold 4,000 over four years?
-So 1,000 sets a year.
-About 20 a week?
-What do they sell for?
-It's £10 retail.
It is cheap.
-You're doing £200 a week turnover.
So what does it cost you in petrol, in mobile phone, in whatever,
-to run your business?
-Well, that's the point, I haven't put a lot of money into it, because...
No, I'm not about putting money into it, I'm talking about what it costs you to live.
Why didn't the people that bought the international rights come and help
you fund that business? Because if you're successful,
-Have you approached them for any finance?
Like publishing, if someone publishes a book in one country,
they're not going to help the other company publish it
in their own country. I'm on my own.
News that the owner of the game's international rights hasn't also
chosen to invest has flummoxed Touker Suleyman.
And Peter Jones is wondering why the global deal was ever brokered in the first place.
You've sold the international rights for 75,000.
Why did you do that if this is such a big opportunity?
Not 75,000. For a guaranteed minimum of 75,000.
-No, no, not every year.
That's over ten years.
How many countries are there in the world?
-I don't know.
-What's the population of the world?
-Something like 6 billion.
-And you sold the rights to that for 75,000 US dollars.
-No, I'll say it again.
For a guaranteed minimum of 75,000.
And how much have you received since?
So I got the advance upfront for that which was about 3,000.
And this person or company that you've done it with,
are they likely to stay in business for that ten years
to be able to pay you the money? Who have you done it with?
Obviously, I'm not going to name names of my partners at this stage.
I think that's sort of unfair to talk about them.
Well, no, no, I think it's very fair, because you're coming here asking for investment
-in your business, aren't you?
-Yes, I am, yeah.
-So, I'd like to know how well they're doing.
-How well are they doing?
-Um, it's early days,
they've only had it out for about a year now, so...
That's quite a long time, isn't it?
-How have they done?
-They haven't sold as many as I would've hoped.
-How many have they sold?
-I don't know the exact figure, actually, of that.
I think it's something like 6,000.
-But I'm looking at the bigger picture.
-Well, I'm looking at the REAL picture.
And what you're telling me is the fact that after 12 months,
is that it hasn't sold.
-That doesn't bode well for an investor like me.
An entrepreneur entering the Den,
having already handed over the global rights to his product,
can be an entrepreneur walking into trouble.
And Jenny Campbell wants to find out if Jack is willing to take on board
the Dragons' advice.
Jack, when you leave the Den today, with or without money,
are you going to change the name of the game?
-I'd have to think about it.
OK, um, it looks like a box of shortbread to me.
It needs to be changed.
You're not really taking on board the feedback today, in my view,
and I don't see you as an investable entrepreneur, I'm afraid.
For me, the game's up.
I'm not investing and, therefore, the one word is...
Jenny Campbell plays the inventor at his own game and becomes the first
Dragon to walk away from a deal.
And now Touker Suleyman appears ready to state his position.
When I'm going to invest, I look at the entrepreneur and say,
first of all, is he investable? Can I work with him?
But I find you very complacent.
Just a load of excuses.
So, I'm not going to invest
and I'm out.
I'm not sure I agree with Touker on those things,
but I do get to a similar end result.
I think you get wrapped up inside your business,
not quite understanding why everybody else doesn't get quite so enthused
about it all as you are.
For me, it's not an investment
and I'm not sure you'd even enjoy having me as an investor alongside,
because we'd be pulling in different directions.
So, I'm sorry, Jack, but I won't be investing. I'm out.
If you're not going to invest, can I just come back on a few points?
No. Concentrate on your potential investors.
Jack, you've been given feedback on the product.
The least you should do is take it on board.
I mean, I'm absolutely...
I would absolutely work with you, I would sit down...
I'm fully aware that I think I'm a good inventor,
I'm fully aware that I have loads to learn in terms of business.
Jack, if I invested in you...
I'd have to be there every day,
trying to help you and trying to tell you what to do
and it would take too much of my time.
So, no tricks, no games.
Tej Lalvani becomes the fourth Dragon to decline the chance to take
the board game into the boardroom.
Only one Dragon now remains, but after two prickly exchanges already,
will it be third time lucky for the entrepreneur?
I really don't like the game, actually.
It doesn't say what it does on the tin,
I don't actually like playing it,
and looking inside the box, with the contents, I think it's too small.
I just don't like it.
I can't invest in that.
So, I'm going to say that I'm out.
-Good luck, Jack.
-Good luck, Jack.
Peter Jones has the final word on the game,
and the entrepreneur leaves the Den
without the £50,000 he was asking for.
I'm not a natural businessperson.
That's obviously something that
I think I should work on. They didn't believe in the product.
But I do think they've missed a trick.
The Dragons have shown that if a business stands out...
You're the type of person I'd love to work with.
..then they will buy in.
I'd like to be part of this journey.
But as things hot up for the remaining entrepreneurs...
That is telling me nothing.
I don't believe that you've got a business that is investable.
The sales are not there. Why isn't it selling?
..they are not the only ones who are feeling the heat.
Can I just finish what I'm going to say?
Do I interrupt when you speak?
No, but you just asked her not to listen, basically.
Sorry, I'd like to finish what I'm going to say.
Next to enter the Den,
two business partners from the West Midlands
who have big ambitions for a business
with very humble beginnings.
-The product's great.
-They'll love us.
-Yeah, they will.
I'm proud of the fact I've actually set something up from nothing.
The business actually started on my kitchen table.
So, I literally was making it by hand.
Here we go.
Catherine's put her life, almost, into this business.
-Ready for this?
And I support her fully.
Hello, Dragons. My name's Catherine and I'm the founder of Simplyseedz.
And I'm here with my business partner Paul
to ask for £40,000 investment for 20% equity in our company.
Simplyseedz is a range of natural breakfast and snacking products.
Our products are refined sugar-free and low in cholesterol.
Our porridges are a blend of British oats,
pumpkin and sunflower seeds, and fruit,
with the sugar content being measured purely from the fruit only.
We also make a range of seed mixes for healthier snacking.
Recently, we've launched the porridge on Ocado and Amazon.
We also sell directly to the consumers
on our website and social media.
We would like to take your questions,
and also have a little taste of our products.
Hoping the Dragons have a hunger to invest in their breakfast
and snacking products...
-I hope you've got an appetite!
..are Catherine Zielinski and her business partner Paul Lawson.
Thank you very much.
They are willing to hand over 20% of their food enterprise
in return for a £40,000 boost to their company coffers.
Oh, thank you.
Deborah Meaden wants to get a taste of what makes this business unique.
Can I be, um, clear on why you've entered this market?
So, what gap did you see?
Because there are plenty of porridge pots...
-Yes, there are.
-And there are plenty of seed businesses.
I saw that there was a gap in the market,
in terms of a healthier alternative snacking product.
The product I make are flavoured
and they've got a little bit more interesting, a little bit more bite.
OK, right, let's concentrate on the porridge, then.
-In terms of its sugar content,
how does this compare to another fruited porridge?
OK, so, that one is 10% sugar content.
11%, you're right.
And, um, typically, they range between 25 to 30% in a porridge pot.
As far as we are aware, there is not another flavoured porridge
with the same level of sugar content at the moment, the market.
So, you think that you are offering
the lowest sugar content for a high-end porridge, right.
For a high-end flavoured porridge.
Deborah Meaden establishes the USP of the porridge pot proposition.
Peter Jones now wants to find out if the organic company
is in good financial health.
How long has this business been going?
The business was started... We started to trade 18 months ago.
So, the last 12 months' performance, then, what was your turnover?
Um, for the first year's trading, um, we had a turnover of £18,000,
with a loss of £19,000.
And for the last seven months, we've had a turnover of £17,000,
with a gross profit of £4,000, but still with a loss of £900.
These seeds aren't growing for you, are they?
Not at the moment, but there is a lot of interest.
Well, there's not.
What's going wrong?
The reason being is that, um, there is only myself in the business,
on it full time.
-Paul, what do you do?
-I'm mentoring Catherine,
I also do the warehousing as well.
And what mentoring? What's your background, Paul?
My background, um, for the last 25 years,
I've started up three companies,
I've had an engineering cleaning company,
I've also got a steel belt company and nine months ago,
I started up a bespoke stainless steel swimming pool company.
Have you made a lot of money?
Yes, I've made enough money.
OK. And Catherine, how much did he invest?
Why... Why only £10,000?
Because I didn't know Catherine at the time,
and I couldn't commit all of my time to the business.
So, when you took Paul on board as an investor,
what, 12 months or so ago?
-You took Paul's £10,000, then gave him how much equity?
-So, you valued your business 12 months ago...
Today, you're valuing it at £200,000,
even though your sales have not progressed.
How does that stack up, in your mind?
The valuation is based upon the fact that we now have a brand,
we have a trademark,
we have a quality product that is being enjoyed by our customers.
-By not enough people.
-But not by enough customers,
and we need more people to know...
But the brand's not known, it's not selling.
Yeah. We need to be able to...
You still haven't told me what's doubled the valuation
of your business in 12 months.
Why are you not asking the investors
to invest at least the same valuation?
Or less, because you haven't moved forward?
OK, yeah. I take your point, yeah.
The entrepreneurs fail to sweeten the Dragons with their valuation
of their porridge business.
Tej Lalvani's background is vitamins and health care.
Does he find the natural food firm a palatable investment opportunity?
I actually love porridge, and I love your packaging,
I think it's fantastic.
I actually disagree with Jenny,
I'm not too concerned about your valuation, you know,
if it's a £200,000 company,
I don't think you should be beaten up on that.
You've got the differentiation point in terms of low sugar.
-Do you have a plain flavour?
No. No, but it's something we would like to introduce.
I actually like your seeds.
We're actually very excited about these.
We've been approached by further investors regarding the seeds.
No, I like them. It's just that you're...
you're very early.
Guys, can I ask, who owns "Simplyseeds"
with an S on the end of it?
-With an S?
-With a S.
Oh, with an S? Erm, a flour producer.
There is a reason for the Z.
-It's my surname.
-Oh, what's your surname?
-Do you see that might cause a bit of an issue, though,
particularly when you're looking on the online marketplaces?
Erm, we do need to do some improvements to get our hits up.
But you put in "Simplyseedz" into Google,
you'll find us on the first 23.
Good! Do you know what? That is telling me nothing!
Most people will spell it with an S on the end of it,
and you will have the devil's job then finding you.
Had you not thought about that?
Yes, I have, yes, I have thought about that, and it can be...
I suppose it's kind of...
It's a little bit quirky in terms of the Z being on the end.
It's not that quirky.
I think you built yourself a real problem with that branding.
So, I'm afraid for me, it's not an investment, so I'm out.
A Z in the product name leaves Deborah Meaden asking why.
And she ends her interest in the deal.
And Jenny Campbell is ready to give her verdict
on the porridge pair's pitch.
I think you do probably have something here as a little business.
It's just seeing the scalability of that is really quite difficult.
And I think you lack a bit of focus on how to achieve that scale.
And so, for that reason, every good wish, but I am out.
Thank you very much.
For me, you've got a seed of an idea,
but it's not going to grow into a big business.
And I think that's a problem.
It's not a business that I could see
-that I could make any money out of by investing.
But I wish you the very best, but I'm going to say I'm out.
Two more Dragons find the food company's proposal hard to swallow.
Has porridge enthusiast Tej Lalvani been tempted by the business?
As I said, the packaging is great,
I love what you've done with the products.
But I just don't love your numbers.
Yeah, I mean, the numbers aren't great,
but we know there's a lot of opportunity.
In terms of the interest that we're now getting...
But if there is opportunity, your sales should speak for themselves.
How do you plan to increase your distribution?
I think 7,500 units we sold in the first year of trading last year.
We've managed to double that so far this year.
We only brought Ocado online and Amazon five months ago.
And how's it doing on Ocado, say, monthly?
In the last five months, we've done about...
Well, we've done just under 2,500 sales.
So, how much on Amazon have you sold?
£900 on Amazon.
Your sales are not there, and that just tells me something - that,
why isn't it selling?
The demand is not there. And as an investor, if I put in £40,000,
I don't see I'm going to get it back.
So, this is not for me.
Tej Lalvani decides investment is off the menu.
But one Dragon remains, and he's been unusually quiet until now.
Catherine, I don't think...
you should take any of the comments today to heart.
Oh, excuse me, I hope she seriously...
I've only been trying to help, I hope you really take them to heart.
All... Yeah, all the feedback is really important to me.
Otherwise I'm wasting my breath.
Can I just finish what I'm going to say? Do I interrupt when you...
You've just asked her not to listen, basically.
I'd like to finish what I'm going to say. Please? OK?
So, I feel that you are...
the right person, maybe in the wrong product area.
But I don't believe that you've got a business, as far as I'm concerned,
that is investable.
So, for that reason, I'm out.
OK, thank you.
-Thanks very much.
Touker Suleyman warms to the entrepreneur,
but the offering leaves him cold, and he declines a deal.
The duo leave the Den empty-handed.
You did fantastically well.
-There's not a lot we could have said differently.
We were very honest and open with the figures.
Never mind, Catherine.
-We'll get the investment.
-We will. We will.
I think if she came in with a different product,
that was a niche in the market,
that you saw growth in, we would have invested.
How come you're being all nice all of a sudden?
Last to enter the Den and take on the Dragons
are three brothers from Leicester, who have a product
that could be the perfect gift for Father Christmas himself.
There's a really great symmetry that works between us.
We don't really have bad days in the office.
Going in with my brothers today means the world to me,
and just having them by my side
makes me feel really confident that we can get investment.
Hello, Dragons. My name is Keval.
These are my brothers, Kunal and Savan.
We're also known as Unruly, Scratchy and Patchy.
We are the founders of a company called Mo Bro's.
Mo Bro's is one of the UK's leading men's grooming retailers,
focusing on beards and moustaches.
I had an unbelievably wild beard.
I thought I'd woke up and somehow I'd managed to sleep with a bear.
I tried to grow my beard, but it just became really itchy.
And my beard was thin and patchy, and nothing really to speak about.
We then started to work on these problems.
I went and found products that would tame the wildest of beards.
I discovered oils that would stop any itching.
And I found ingredients that helped my facial hair
look more visible, thicker and fuller.
Today, we are very proud of our beards.
What started as three brothers
we now consider to be 200,000 Mo Bro's all around the world.
Within three years of trading, we have sold to over 78 countries,
and we have sold to eight major airlines.
Today, Dragons, we are seeking an investment of £150,000
in return for a 5% equity stake in our business.
So, we've brought some samples for you guys today.
We'd just like to bring them over, it that's OK.
A well-groomed pitch from Scratchy, Patchy and Unruly, aka Kunal,
Savan and Keval Dattani.
-Thank you, Scratchy.
They're hoping to prise a sizeable £150,000 out of the Dragon's purses
in return for a 5% stake in their male grooming company.
Touker Suleyman is first
to comb through the bearded brothers' business.
It was a good pitch, however, you've come in with a very, erm...
So, tell me your journey with your numbers.
In year one we had a revenue of £392,000.
In year two, we tripled the size of our revenue,
and increased to £1,074,000.
In the last 12 months we're on target reach a revenue of
just under £1.3 million.
And a net of £496,000.
Guys, you all put on this little innocent look,
but I don't think you're that innocent in business.
I mean, you're drivers.
So, you've turned over 2.6 million since you started?
-What's your largest customer?
So, just eBay for example,
in the last 24 months we generated a revenue of £1 million.
1 million, so nearly 30% of your business.
Yes, exactly, yes.
That's a problem.
Yeah, we're trying to, we understand,
in the long term we're trying to get away from selling on eBay alone,
and realise that we actually need to get away from that
and create our own website.
The beard-loving brethren demonstrate a willingness
to adapt and diversify - traits that tend to delight a Dragon.
But Jenny Campbell is wondering if return to sender
might be needed for her Christmas delivery.
Guys, I'm slightly perturbed,
I've got a gift box of men's grooming with Jenny on the top,
and a moustache wax and beard oil.
I'm not quite sure where I'm going to hide the box,
maybe I'll alter the name to Terry instead of Jenny or something.
We got quite quickly into a lot of detail,
but I'm interested in your vision.
What's your endgame for this business?
That's a very good question.
The truthful answer is that we are in very early days.
Not really, it's three years old.
We want these products to be accessible
to everyone all around the world.
We're not really planning to stop until we...
This could be a 40-year-old business like Tej's business,
-is what you foresee?
You've got families, you've got sons coming through the business,
-there will be seven of you in due course.
-Mo Bros and sons.
Yes, that would be very nice.
Guys, hats off to having a family business.
I come from a family business background
and it has a lot of challenges,
of course, but you chip in and work together to get the same goal.
-What is your cost price of the kit,
and how much does it retail for?
That kit that you have in front of you, the cost is £8,
and we retail that kit with the personalisation for £45.
And how much have you guys put in the business so far?
We started with £750 each.
Just between two of us brothers.
-Total investment and now you're doing 1.3 million in sales.
That's pretty amazing.
The CEO of a £300 million family business recognises the commercial
potential of the band of brothers.
But it appears Touker Suleyman now has a confession to make.
I want to show my card, guys.
You know I own a brand called Halls and Curtis.
We are in a development stage of creating grooming products
that may conflict. Therefore I'm not going to invest. I'm out.
-Thank you, Touker.
Touker Suleyman recognises a problem and avoids a potential clash
with his own brand by exiting the negotiations.
Does Deborah Meaden think the dapper directors are a smart proposition?
This is a very odd one for me.
I love that you started with 750.
750, and here we are with a business that isn't just
turning over 1.3 million, it's making really good profits.
But actually, I don't really, I don't feel it.
I don't use it, I don't know,
there's something missing in my piece.
God, they're stopping me saying this,
they are stopping me saying it.
-I feel my beard growing...
-Yeah, he's itching it.
..as I'm sitting here.
I'm going to make you an offer.
But it will be for half of the money.
And I want 12.5% of the business.
-All right, OK. Thank you.
-Thank you, Deborah.
The beard-beautifying enterprise grows on Deborah Meaden,
who becomes the first Dragon to make a move for the business.
Tej Lalvani now wants to state his position on the company.
OK, I'll tell you where I am, guys.
I think you've got an interesting business.
And I think it needs some direction in terms of building your brand,
getting customers coming to you,
a part of them searching on eBay or Amazon.
That's something I could do.
So, I'm prepared to make you guys an offer.
I'll offer you the full money, £150,000, for...
..20% of the business.
But, I will drop it down to 10%
when I get my money back within two years.
And, I could also be prepared
to share it with another Dragon if they're interested.
OK. Thanks for the offer.
Tej Lalvani likes the look of the facial hair firm and tables a bid.
Will Peter Jones also want a cut of the business?
What you've created in two and a half years
is nothing short of fantastic.
However, this market is very competitive.
You really need e-commerce distribution.
The great thing is I have an e-commerce company
that is very good. And we do some of the world's global brands,
I've also got distribution.
So...I'm going to make you an offer.
And I'm going to offer you all of the money...
but I'm going to say 25%.
And the reason why I'm going to say 25% is because I like the fact that
you are the Three Musketeers.
And we could be the Four Musketeers.
We definitely could.
That being said, I am willing potentially to share...
and go down to 12.5% and we become the five musketeers.
-Thank you for the offer.
Peter Jones gets his D'Artagnan on,
and swashbuckles his way to an offer.
But it appears Jenny Campbell still has some concerns over the brothers'
long-term business strategy.
This is really hard, guys.
And it's hard because to turbo-boost this business,
it's going to get a whole lot more complex than it is now.
This is almost the - if I can say - the easy stage that you've done.
You've run it as three brothers and done it via mostly online.
And now you're talking about possibly going global.
And that is really, really quite different.
I am going to make you an offer.
But there's a lot to do,
and therefore my offer comes on the basis of a share.
So I would be prepared to offer you £75,000 for 10%,
reducing to 5% if fully repaid.
OK, thank you.
Jenny Campbell joins the party and makes an offer.
-Do you mind if we take a...?
-I think you should.
This is where three heads are better than one.
The bearded trio now have a quartet of offers on the table.
Tej Lalvani wants 20% of the company but will hand back half of that
if his money is repaid.
Peter Jones is seeking a hefty 25%,
but both have nodded towards a shared deal.
That's four times what we've asked for.
Whilst Deborah Meaden and Jenny Campbell
have both made half offers for 12.5% and 10% respectively.
-He'll come down, he'll come down.
Will the brothers be happy to give up a sizeable chunk
of their company to bag a Dragon?
Guys, really appreciate your offers.
We came with 10% as our top figure.
That would release our subsidy.
We're a lot more than that.
We think that there is a lot of value
that Dragons can add to our business.
We believe that having two Dragons on board
will be even more beneficial.
We don't want to confuse anything
by having a buy-back further down the line. I think we wanted
to keep it very straightforward.
So would Peter and Tej, would you consider 10% each...
for £75,000 each?
Sorry, are you only talking to Tej and Peter here?
OK. I'm out.
I'm really sorry, guys, I won't be investing.
If you're happy with it, I'm happy with it.
I'm happy with it.
OK. Guys, thank you for your offers.
And we'd like to take you both on board.
The three brothers seal a deal and bring to the fold a duo of Dragons.
There's one condition though - you guys have to both grow your beards.
And they leave the Den with the £150,000 they were seeking.
Tej and Peter, welcome to the brotherhood.
We can't wait to start working with you.
I look forward to seeing the beards, guys.
I know my wife's not going to be too happy, growing a beard.
What began as a great family business is now going to go global,
so be prepared.
It may be the season for giving, but in the Den,
there's always some give-and-take to reach an agreement.
In this case, Tej Lalvani and Peter Jones wrapped up a deal
and can now throw away their razors.
Well, business may be everything here,
but it's time for the Dragons to take a little time out
and enjoy a well-earned festive break.
-I think we've got a winner.
-Coming up next time...
I'd be careful what you say.
You've made a fatal error.
How many have you sold, John?
I haven't actually sold any.
You haven't shown the business acumen that comes with this.
I am honestly, genuinely stunned.
-I'm the Dragon for you.
-I think you've got a great product.
I'm going to make you an offer, but I'm going to be greedy.
You've gone 30, 25.
Cos I don't want you to have it!
I am so sorry but I'm going to pass out.