Finance · 20 August 2017

How the founders of Pouch picked from five Dragons? Den offers

Pouch voucher service
The founders of Pouch showed what can be achieved with a solid business plan
When Ben Corrigan and Jonny Plein took their business, Pouch, onto BBC investment show Dragons? Den the duo would never have believed all five Dragons would table an offer.

The pitch took place back in May, but the two had to wait until today to see their efforts on the first episode of Dragons’ Den’s 15th series. To find out more, Business Advice spoke to Plein, a former corporate financier at EY, about his entrepreneurial efforts with best friend Corrigan.

Pouch vital statistics

  • What it is a web browser extension that displays all of the valid discount codes for any website you browse
  • Who set it up Ben Corrigan and Jonny Plein
  • How old it is
  • Investment sought 75, 000
  • Dragons secured Touker Suleyman, Tej LalvanI and Jenny Campbell
  • Equity surrendered 18 per cent (six per cent to each Dragon)
(1) Why did you decide to take Pouchonto Dragons? Den?

We were looking for a legitimate investment opportunity that would also increase the exposure of the business when we started thinking seriously about being on the show.

We made the decision once we realised that having a Dragon on board would give our new, innovative startup a massive boost in credibility in what we are trying to achieve in the market.

(2) What kind of work did you have to do before appearing on camera?

The BBC’s due diligence process was far more gruelling than I imagined. My background is in corporate due diligence and their information request list was as detailed as any I had seen before. It took about two months to complete the due diligence.

We, of course, had to prepare our pitch as well. Each entrepreneur must do a three-minute pitch, followed by a Q&A, and there are no second chances. If you mess up in front of the Dragons, you mess up. So, there was a lot of preparation in anticipating what their questions might be and ensuring we had the answers for every eventuality.

Most active Dragons in history

  1. Peter Jones 64 investments in 139 shows
  2. Deborah Meaden 63 investments in 127 shows
  3. Theo Paphitis 45 investments in 78 shows
(3) Why do you think the pitch went so well?

Pitching on Dragons' Den
Hundreds of entrepreneurs have appeared on the show
I think the pitch went well because the concept of Pouchis very simple.

We save people money by solving the current broken system for finding voucher codes and deals. The Dragons saw this straight away.

Coupling our pitch with our respective backgrounds and industry experience, I think we looked like quite a good horse to back.

(4) Did you think, before entering the den, what you would do if numerous bids were tabled?

If I’m honest no. We would have been happy with just one bid, let alone multiple. We were so focused on nailing our pitch and our Q&A we didn’t really leave space for planning different offers scenarios.

Maybe that was a bit nave of us, but I don’t think anyone dares hope for that before they go in.

(5) How did you weigh up the respective benefits each investor would bring to Pouch?

Enthusiasm, industry experience and industry contacts. In that order. If you have an enthusiastic Dragon who is keen to help and pick up the phone to you when they have an idea, it will mean more than a Dragon who is a name in the industry but will only see you once every six months.


New Dragons' Den investors: Jenny Campbell (second left) and Tej LalvanI (second right) join the three remaining business leaders


A look at the new Dragons? Den investors



Hunter Ruthven was previously editor of Business Advice. He was also the editor of Real Business, the UK's most-read website for entrepreneurs and business leaders at the helm of growing SMEs.

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