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Can the New Dragons Live Up to Expectations in the Den?

New research shows that Series 12 of Dragons’ Den was the most successful since 2008; shifting the pressure onto the 3 new investors who will be offering up their hard earned cash in Series 13 of the hit investment programme which began on Sunday.

Moonpig's Nick Jenkins, TV personality Sarah Willingham and Hawes & Curtis owner Touker Suleyman will sit alongside longstanding Dragons Peter Jones and Deborah but can they match what was a record twelfth series?

The analysis was undertaken by as part of their Dragons’ Den – Where are they now interactive content piece which looks at every investment made since the show started in 2005. The latest data from series 12 has just been added and reveals that:

• It was the best ever series for Deborah Meaden who made 7 successful investments out of the 8 in total that were made during the series – Swing Patrol, Spoon Cereals (shared with Peter Jones), Grip it Fixings, Just for Tiny People, Clean Heels (shared with Kelly Hoppen), Zeven Media and Yee Kwan.

• Her investments total £345,000 in Series 12. The highest ever from a Dragon in a single series.

• A new den record was also set; Piers Linney invested £100,000 in Lost My Name for 3.42% equity which values the company at just under £3 million. That’s the highest ever valuation by some margin – the previous record was held by and Mainstage Travel (another Piers investment) who got £100k in return for 15%.

• Lost My Name then received a further $9 million from a funding round headed up by Google Ventures.

• Series 12 saw £495,000 successfully invested after the show which is the most since Series 6 (£978,000 in 2008)

• 2 businesses that failed to receive investment (Enclothed & Flavourly) successfully turned to crowdfunding –which raises the question could the future Dragons’ Den feature businesses pitching to experts who quiz them and viewers invest whilst watching the show.

Dan Forster, the man behind the Tiger Mobiles research isn’t sure the latest additions have the funds to to compete with investment heavyweights Peter Jones and Deborah Meaden.

“We’ve looked at every successful pitch in the Den and on average £1.2 million is pledged to businesses per series with each Dragon offering up an average £260,000 of their own money. That requires serious capital.”

It doesn’t look good on paper for Sarah Willingham whose online money saving business Lets Save Some Money racked up losses of £262,869 in 2012 and £379,765 in 2013. Shareholders have since had to inject a further £594,103 into the company in a bid to make it turn a profit.

The research comes after the first episode of Series 13 faced a backlash from viewers after undergoing an X-Factor style makeover. Fans of the show reacted with outrage on social media accusing the BBC of “trivialising the show” and “packing it with sob stories”.


Spokesperson is available to comment please email

About Tiger Mobiles

Tiger Mobiles are a UK based mobile phone comparison site, their website helps customers find the best mobile phone deals on the market. With over 1,000,000 deals updated daily they source offers & pay monthly contract deals that you won't find anywhere else.

Tiger Mobiles & Dragons Den

The research, carried out by, looked at the 163 companies who successfully pitched for investment in Dragons Den from Series 1 through to Series 12. 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.