Appearing on Dragon’s Den is an utterly terrifying experience, which has chewed up and spat out its fair share of wannabe entrepreneurs over the years.
All the rehearsing of sales pitches and ‘accurate’ financial forecasts in the world can’t prepare you enough to meet five successful business owners that are worth hundreds of millions of pounds.
To watch these contestants come in as cocky as you like, overvaluing their fledgling business and then being brutally torn apart and whittled down to nothing but a husk does make for great TV – there’s no denying that.
Still, it’s worth remembering that the dragons aren’t immune from fucking up either, as they passed up on Shaun Pulfrey’s offer of his young company, Tangle Teezer, with the hairdresser-turned-entrepreneur now set to be worth a whopping £200 million.
But this absolute schoolboy error on the latest episode was another level entirely.
John Hulme and Jon Burke were touting for investment for their Craft Club company, The Sun reports.
After asking for a £75,000 investment for just three measly per cent of their business, the two men were lucky enough to be fought over by three of the dragons, Sarah Willingham, Deborah Meaden and Peter Jones – an enviable position to be in for any contestant.
Sarah offered the money for 12.5 per cent, while both Deborah and Peter pledged the money for a 10 per cent stake.
It seems pretty obvious which option you’d take here right? Wrong! They instead asked Sarah to reconsider her offer and totally snubbed the other two potential partners. Awkward…
Deborah’s face says it all really:
Yeah, that just happened. A bit of simple maths concludes that 10 is definitely smaller than 12.5 – by a whole 2.5, in fact.
But it seems these guys couldn’t grasp basic mathematics and, as a result, insulted both Deborah and Peter, who are worth a staggering £40m and £791m respectively.
What do you think that makes an investor feel like? When you’re asking us to commit to you and change your business.Advertisement
The pair instantly regretted their decision and tried to backtrack, by claiming that they were just trying to see if she would go further – but it was too little too late.
Deborah fumed: “You’re very good. But I won’t believe that. Clearly you want Sarah.”
That’s when she declared that she was out of the process, with Peter soon following.
They moved on to haggling with Sarah to no avail, as she stuck with her initial offer of 12.5 per cent.
— BBC Dragons' Den (@BBCDragonsDen) July 24, 2016
Unlike others before them, this utterly cringeworthy exchange did actually have a happy ending, as after much deliberation the pair decided to take Sarah up on her offer – knowing in their heart of hearts that they did ultimately fuck up.
Saying that, however, Sarah does seem like a pretty safe pair of hands as her portfolio already includes The London Cocktail Club and the Craft Cocktail Company. Oh, and she’s already one of their customers.
However, this doesn’t hide the fact that they were very lucky to grab such a lucrative investment:
— FinalFantasyAerith (@FinalFantAerith) July 24, 2016
— Sarah Willingham (@sarahwillers) July 24, 2016
Good luck to them.