Posted on November 25, 2016 by staff

Does Dragons’ Den get tech?


Less than 10 per cent of investments on BBC’s Dragons’ Den show are in tech companies.

Figures from business data website Company Check show that only 18 investments were technology related out of a total 187 made during 14 series, writes Jenny Brookfield.

Out of those 18 investments, just one related to a mobile app, according to the Nottingham-based business, the UK’s largest company data website.

Company Check founder Alastair Campbell, who also founded used car website Carsnip, says he is not surprised by the results.

“It’s not easy to make a mobile app successful, just as you can’t put up a website and expect it to gain traffic overnight,” he says.

“The investment required, in terms of time and money, is large and means you need to be fully bought in and sure of your product.

“The Dragons are great at what they do, but they tend to be specialists in their own areas and none are app experts.

“Piers Linney was the closest we came with his business Outsourcery, a cloud-based service, but even he shied away from the potential tech investments.”

Frazer Fearnhead went on the hit show in 2015 to seek funding for his tech property business, The House Crowd.

He had asked for £1m for a five per cent stake in his business, a £20m valuation that seemed to bring out the worse in the panel of entrepreneurs.

“Peter Jones said it was a ridiculous valuation, which I thought was a stupid thing to say,” Fearnhead says.

“It’s very hard to value a fast-growing tech firm and if you look at it as you would a traditional business model then it does seem ridiculous.

“If you look at high-growth tech companies like Amazon or Uber they don’t make profits for years and have billions of pounds invested in them, but once they reach the tipping point the profits will be huge and the share values enormous.”

BusinessCloud contacted the BBC for comment.