Dragons’ Den: Game on!

Dragons' Den

Back on our screens were the much loved Dragons and, oh how they were missed!

A new set of eager entrepreneurs walked into the den in hope to receive a vital cash investment for their businesses. Yet again, variation was not lacked as we saw socks, chocolates, dance mats and active getaways all presented in the programme tonight.

First to stride into the den were Alex and Ini, founders of ‘Quiet Rebellion’ who were seeking £75,000 investment for a 10 per cent equity.

The product they were presenting were socks that are able to be worn for corporate and professional use, but also have a hidden pattern which makes them more fun to wear. Having a pattern on the sole and top of the socks means that people from the outside just see a regular sock but the wearer knows they are very different to your average pair of socks. So, what’s the point? Why would you hide what actually is your unique selling point? – just a couple of questions that were raised by the Dragons.

As the pair attempted to fight off the challenging roars of the Dragons, it became clear that many of the views each side argued were somewhat opposing, in which they had to agree to disagree.

Peter Jones being a proud wearer of more snazzy socks, in-particular stripy ones, meant that his view on hiding this element of the product was fairly negative. As he declared himself out, so did the other Dragons and ‘Quiet Rebellion’ left with no investment.

Next to enter the den was a surprising performance. A mix of different dance genres all performing individually to portray the different types of dance this ‘Dancercise’ mat could potentially teach its owner.

The company were hoping to receive a rather hefty £150,000 investment for a mere 10 per cent stake in the company.

After a rather humorous trial of Deborah, Nick and Touker using the dance mats, all three found it more confusing and much more easier to follow the instructor without following the instructions on the mat at all – not at all promising for the entrepreneurs.

Peter suggested how it is merely a variation on a classic – ‘Twister’, which obviously lessens its uniqueness.

The Dragons were struggling to get their heads round the fact that the entrepreneurs valued their company at £1.5 million, despite their low profits of around £2000. Consequently, all Dragons declared themselves ‘out’.

Another company brought to the den was ‘Cocoa Ooze’. Founder, Jamie, was hoping to receive a £70,000 investment to help achieve his expansion plans, for a 10 per cent equity stake.

This chocolate gift business is in a clearly crowded but potential market. However, many Dragons, Deborah in-particular, were raising concerns on the fact that it has already been done and the uniqueness between ‘Cocoa Oooze’ and other existent companies is actually quite slim.

Despite the concerns, Touker granted Jamie an offer of the full amount for 35 per cent of the business, with a buy back offer to 20 per cent. Jamie accepted and ‘Cocoa Ooze’ was on the road to expansion!

The final pitch presented to the Dragons was by Steven and Matthew with their ‘Active Away’ business. They were hoping to receive £25,000 for a 5 per cent equity and had their eyes on one Dragon in-particular – Peter Jones.

‘Active Away’ is a company that organises activity based holidays for all types of audiences. It not only promotes good health but is also supposedly really fun – this sounded right up my street.

Knowing that 85 per cent of customers book with the company again definitely lit the eyes of the Dragons in a proven repeatable business.

To be honest, it was tough to fault the business at all with Deborah setting the ball rolling with an investment offer of the full £25,000 but for 15 per cent, three times the equity stake the entrepreneurs came in offering.

As Touker proposed offer of head office space thrown in with his matching offer to Deborah’s, the den quickly became heated and the true roars of the Dragons let loose as tension between the two grew.

With Peter openly expressing his love for the company, he offered £25,000 for a quarter of the business stake, which Sarah saw as unfair and offered the full amount of money for 10 per cent.

After discussion near the famous back wall of the den, Steven and Matthew were still keen to get their ideal dragon on board and so by negotiating, Peter Jones eventually invested £25,000 for an initial 20 per cent stake with a buy back offer to drop it down to 15 per cent.

With two happy entrepreneurs, it was clear that Peter wasn’t afraid to express his triumph to the other Dragons too!