Dragons’ Den: Waxing off an opportunity

Dragons' Den

I’m not quite sure how to describe this episode of Dragons’ Den, but varied definitely comes to mind.

The first pitch was hosted by Gemma, who was presenting her intimate waxing product business, ‘WaxU’ – not exactly easing us into the episode. She was asking for £50,000 investment for a 10 per cent equity stake.

Being sold in 55 salons in the UK already was quite impressive, along with the fact that WaxU is randomly sold in a salon in Iceland too. Despite the promising future for this brand, I couldn’t help but focus on how nervous Gemma seemed! It can’t really be easy entering the den with five Dragons staring at you, potentially ready to roar to their heart’s content, but with a few deep breaths beforehand, she could have been a lot better off.

Obviously, when a product enters the den, it has to be tested, and who better than Touker to help show how the product performs. With trousers rolled up and ready, Touker soon had a silky smooth patch of hairless leg – which he was surprisingly quite happy about.

Gemma’s lack of research into the intimate waxing industry specifically clearly doubted some of the Dragons. However, all Dragons believed this brand could work without a Dragon and that Gemma could in fact pursue her goals for the business on her own.

Consequently, Gemma left empty handed but managed to strip the most valuable advice from the Dragons to help her along the way of her future prospects.

Quite an edgy product entered the den tonight… not that I know exactly what it is.

Rob was asking for £50,000 in exchange for a 15 per cent share in his unique, luminous ink based business. He had t-shirts on show that you could draw on with his luminous ink that glows in the dark.

After learning more about Rob himself, he is a truly admirable individual for his sheer determination in making the business work and clear business acumen that he portrayed, but I wasn’t feeling the product on a personal level. Even though the Dragons were impressed with his work, I didn’t see much point, let alone a trend it could create – but then again, what do I know?

If confessing that he has been sleeping on his office floor for the past year wasn’t enough to reflect his commitment and belief in the business, then nothing will have.

You could distinctively see each Dragon genuinely appreciating the efforts Rob had made on his journey to where he is now and Deborah in-particular was extensively impressed by the sacrifices he had made.

Although all Dragons liked the product, not all were willing to invest – only one was in fact.

Deborah bagged herself a 20 per cent share in the business for all of the money Rob was asking for and the pair clearly couldn’t be happier with the outcome and the prosperous, bright future that lies ahead.

Hoping to tie up £80,000 investment for a 20 per cent equity stake was Simon who came in to present apparently ‘the world’s first’ biodegradable and compost-able cable tie.

Of course, it had to be Peter’s prototype that didn’t function as it should and to say the very least, he really wasn’t impressed.

Discovering that Simon was quite a frequent inventor from creating parachute systems that he wants to approach NASA with, to creating a type of surfboard and even having written his own novel – you can’t knock his creative enthusiasm.

But it just wasn’t enough for the Dragons to bind an investment into this cable tie business and Simon walked away with nothing but loose ties.

The last pitch of the episode was probably my favourite because it is something that is totally up my street. A beauty subscription box – you pay £10 a month to receive £45 worth of products – amazing right?

Behind this business was Oliver, who was asking for £80,000 but for a mere 3 per cent equity stake.

Having Debenhams already on the business’ side, the future was already looking fairly bright for the young entrepreneur’s growing business. Labelling a value of 2.7 million on the business as it stands was much too ambitious though, even though it could potentially reach this value in the future, pricing it at this figure was arguably incorrect at this time.

Oliver’s ambitions to take the company international, as well as getting more brands and retailers on board were both things he was hoping a Dragon could help him achieve.

As a viewer, we only see a very small segment of a pitch that could have gone on for hours and so, for Peter to state that Oliver’s pitch was ‘one of the most impressive’ he’d seen in the den was something to be proud of in itself. However, Peter lacked passion in the business and declared himself out.

With Nick also being out, Touker made an offer of all the money for a hefty 22 per cent more than the equity stake on offer as he wanted 25 per cent. After realising the potential of this offer being accepted, he soon withdrew his inital offer altogether.

Oliver ended up bagging himself a great pairing of Sarah and Nick who gave £40,000 investment each for a shared 8 per cent equity stake.