This week’s episode of Dragons Den on BBC 2 saw two entrepreneurs who had met at university, Henry de Zoete and Will Hodson, land what is, on paper, the best deal in the history of the show so far. The pair went into the Den seeking £90,000 investment for just 1% of their business. Their product is an online service that uses algorithms to automatically switch subscribers to the best available energy deals when they reach the end of their current deal, meaning their customers would always be paying the best rate available without having to raise a finger after they initially sign up.
At first it appeared that the Dragons were unimpressed with the valuation of the business, as is so often the case. However, the strength of the pitch and the idea itself clearly piqued their interest as all five Dragons ended up making an offer to invest, with the opportunity to disrupt the energy market seeming to appeal to them all. The first offer came in quickly at £90,000 for 7% of the business. However, Henry and Will held their nerve in tense negotiations and walked away with an offer of more money than they had requested; £120,000 in exchange for only 3% of their business and two Dragons as business partners.
While it might seem on the face of it that Henry and Will succeeded in securing the funding they need for their business to grow, in reality the hard work now begins in making the offer of investment a reality. Indeed, it was reported in 2016 that only about half of the successful pitches that you see on the show actually go on to secure the investment and business relationship with the Dragons, as due diligence and legal complexities are ironed out.
If you are starting up a business, thinking of bringing in an outside investor, or investing in an existing business yourself then get in touch with our Corporate and Commercial department to discuss what steps you need to be taking to make sure that both you and your business are protected legally and risks are reduced as far as possible.