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Dragons’ Den history made as all five dragons invest in lowest valued business

Husband and wife Simon and Charlene valued their children's story streaming service at just £100.

Dragons' Den ,Touker Suleyman, Sara Davies, Deborah Meaden, Peter Jones, Steven Bartlett,BBC Studios,Simon Pantling
Dragons' Den history was made as all five dragons invested in one business. (BBC)

What did you miss?

Dragons’ Den history was made as all five dragons invested in a business wih the lowest ever valuation presented on the show.

Married couple Charlene and Simon were seeking just £1 for a one per cent stake in their children's story streaming service Sooper Books. In a first for the business investment show it was the dragons and not the entrepreneurs who went into the corner for a discussion as to which of them was to take up the opportunity to help turn the free story service into a successful business.

What, how, and why?

Dragons' Den S20,26-01-2023,4,Peter Jones,BBC,Grab
Peter Jones told the couple they had made Dragons' Den history. (BBC)

Charlene and Simon impressed the dragons with their rhyming pitch and their specially written and illustrated short story about Dragon's Den. Charlene is an illustrator and revealed that she and Simon were inspired by their three-year-old daughter Goldie to start a free children's story service during the COVID lockdown.

Peter Jones told them: "Sooper Books is going to go down in Dragons Den history. It's the first time ever we've had somebody valuing their business at £100. So I'm going to hone in on that a little bit." Simon said: "The reason we valued it at that today is - on paper the business is worth £3.2million, we've got cash in the bank. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for us, to stand in front of you today. We just think if we had dragons involved this could help millions and millions of people."

The couple revealed that they had started the business with £2.5k of their own money but realised they could not afford to keep running it as a free service. They have now gained £800k investment from 'Angel' investors including Tom Blomfield, founder of Monzo bank and Princess Beatrice.

All five dragons Peter Jones, Deborah Meaden, Touker Suleyman, Sara Davies and Steven Bartlett offered the couple the £1 investment for one per cent of the business they were looking for.

Jones asked them: "Are you going to choose one, what's your strategy here?" He then added: "Dragons, could you do me a favour, could you come to the wall with me."

For the first time in 19 years of the show the dragons all went to consult together. Jones said: "Do you have a feeling that this is their intention, they want all five dragons for one per cent?" Bartlett said: "My concern is it's a bit of a mirage in some ways, it's all good having traffic, but where is the business model?"

The dragons then put their hands in the middle and Jones said: "Dragons are go!" as Charlene became overwhelmed with emotion awaiting their decision. Sooper Books accepted the offer of £1 from each dragon for a five per cent stake of their business.

As they accepted the offer Jones told them: "We're joining your family."

What else happened on Dragon's Den?

Dragons' Den Deborah Meaden
Dragons' Den star Deborah Meaden told a young entrepreneur to be more gracious. (BBC)

Deborah Meaden gave a cat-lover a lesson in manners after he insulted her with his bad attitude.

Entrepreneur Victor, 29, managed to win an offer from fellow animal-lover Meaden for his feline toothbrush wand. But after being left to choose between her offer and one from rival Touker Suleyman Victor he almost lost her investment with his ungracious acceptance.

Cat 'parent' Victor came to the Dragons asking for an investment of £45k for 10 per cent in his feline toothbrush called the Clever Cat Dental Wand. Meaden and Sulyeman both offered him all of the money for 40 per cent of his business,

After thinking about it he told them: "The fact that I got offers today is an honour so thank you so much. I think I'm going to have to go with Deborah."

Meaden retorted: "Going to have to go with me?! Do you want to say that all over again. Go on then, come back in there and show me that level..."

Victor walked out and back into the middle of the room again. He said: "I'm so sorry. Thank you so much for your offers, it's an honour and a privilege to be standing here. I want to go with you Deborah."

Dragon's Den airs on BBC One at 8pm on Thursday.


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