The Den of Broken Dreams: How 53% of Successful Pitches on Dragons' Den Never Saw Penny Monday 23 February 2015 PDF Print Fans of the long running business show might want to look away now. A new study has found 76 of the 143 businesses that successfully pitched on Dragons' Den never saw a penny of the money offered to them by the multi-millionaire investors. The research, carried out by TigerMobiles.com, looked at the 143 companies who successfully pitched for investment in Dragons' Den from Series 1 through to Series 11*. Data from companies’ house and information divulged by business owners who appeared on the show was combined with the Duedil API to produce a comprehensive resource of every winning pitch in the den. The interactive content piece, designed in house by the Tiger Mobiles development team shows who invested, the amount offered, the equity given up, whether they are still in business and if the investment ever materialised when the cameras stopped rolling. Key financial metrics are also included, as well as videos to the original pitches for those who want to refresh their memory of the businesses in question. Key findings from the research include: • 76 out of the total 143 agreed investments never went through after the den. • 23 of the 143 business that successfully pitched are no longer trading. • Of the £13 million pledged by the Dragons, only £5.8 million was ever invested. Dan Forster, a Technology Expert at Tiger Mobiles, who failed to hear back from the BBC when he applied to go on the show in 2008 had the following to say: “I've always been a big fan of the show and it would be interesting to see where the businesses that successfully pitched were today. I knew others would find it interesting too so I took it upon myself to compile the research. I was quite shocked that so many businesses never got the investment money after the show and to be honest I'm glad I never heard back from the BBC when I applied to go on.” Forster however doesn't think the Dragons themselves are to blame for the shocking figures: “I really think the problem lies with the BBC, who in a bid to keep the viewer count high have turned the show into a contrived affair that’s more about viewer entertainment than genuine business success. It’s heavily edited and they tend to pick pitchers who are TV friendly rather than those who are investable with a healthy balance sheet.” Forster also believes that it’s impossible for the Dragons to learn all the fact about a business from a single pitch - “Clearly not every business that was successful in the Den reveals every detail about their company during the pitch – minority shareholders, hidden debts and exaggerated numbers are the main reason that the investments don’t go through.” It’s not all bad news for businesses considering entering the Den though, as of the 65 investments that were successfully made; a Dragon(s) is still a shareholder at 37 of them. “That shows a level a commitment” says Forster who believes that one statistic is the show's saving grace - “If the Dragons do put forward their own cash then they are in it for the long term and will use their resources to help grow the business. You only need to look at Levi Roots as an example of what can be achieved with a Dragon on board and a cash injection. He’s now worth 35 million.” Other Fun Facts from the Research • £250,000 is the highest amount ever successfully pitched for in the Den. • However, on the two occasions £250,000 was offered, neither investment went through after the show. • £100,000 is the most common investment figure asked for by pitchers (30 of 143 pitches) • 35,000 is the lowest ever amount offered for a successful pitch, for the youdoodoll, Deborah Meaden did invest but the company has now ceased trading. • Peter Jones is the most prolific investor, offering investment to 54 of the 143 businesses who successfully pitched on the show. • The highest amount of equity ever given away in the den was 79% by RKA Records, which has since renamed to Bannatyne Music Ltd. • The most common amount of equity given away in successful pitches is 40%, with 42 of 143 pitches giving up that share in their company. The interactive Dragons' Den resource is viewable here. ENDS Spokesperson is available to comment, please contact Dan Forster on firstname.lastname@example.org *Series 12 was excluded from the data as not enough time has passed since filming for all due diligence and investments to be concluded. The team plan to add it on in the near future as their resource is fully updatable. TigerMobiles.com is a mobile phone comparison site – they help customers save cash on contract phones, SIM only plan and PAYG deals. Dan Forster applied to go on the show in 2008 but never heard back from the BBC. Duedil, who provide financial accounts for the resource are the largest source of private company information in the UK and Ireland. Their data combines profiles from over 10 million companies, and more than 13 million directors. 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