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Dragons Den the British version of Shark Tank has been running on the BBC for 10 years starting in January 2005 – The show only has one of the original Dragons left – Peter Jones worth over £250 Million Pounds ($367 Million US Dollars)
Peter knows a few things about domain names owning his matching Dot Com – PeterJones.com as well as Tycoon.com, PJ.TV and several others.
In the latest episode of Dragons Den Peter invested in a company called YogiYo! The company manufactures Korean Cooking Sauces, Peter knows this market very well having invested in Levi Roots and his Reggae Reggae Sauce business in 2007 now worth an estimated £30 Million GBP.
One of the interesting facts during the pitch was that Peter Jones pointed out “You didn’t secure the dot com domain name” YogiYo actually uses the DOT Co domain name for there website – Again this domain name was only registered on the 20th of May 2015 probably on the back of the comments from Peter Jones.
Here is the snippet from Startups.co.uk
Concept: Korean cooking sauces
Investment sought: £50,000 for 20% equity
Investment received: £50,000 for 33.3% shared equity
Up next it was time for another husband and wife team to try their luck in the Den with a range of Korean cooking sauces. Vying for the attention of Jones, in light of his involvement with one of the Den’s most famous success stories, Levi Root’s Reggae Reggae sauce, the couple also hoped to impress serial restaurant entrepreneur Willingham.
Claiming to be the UK’s “first Korean cooking range”, Yogiyo takes its name from a Korean expression used to get a waiter’s attention. A hugely successful taste test put the pair on a good footing, especially with Willingham who congratulated them on a “great pitch and great food”.
The Dragon was astounded to learn they could turnover £600 a day from their streetfood van, and there were practically pound signs in her eyes as she said: “this has got a restaurant concept in it”.
All was going well until their biggest hope Jones uncovered a potential flaw in the business – they didn’t secure the dot com domain name. Things got worse as the duo were forced to reveal that Yogiyo.com actually belonged to a “pizza delivery service”.
Suleyman was keen to know where his £50,000 would go and quizzed the entrepreneurs on what the investment would be used for. They explained that it would be used to get the product into supermarkets and to team up with the manufacturers who make the ingredients. Should they achieve that, they added, “the potential for the brand is absolutely huge”.
Having “lived this for years of his life”, Jones hit the pair with some harsh truths: “publicly I know how easy it looks, but I know the reality, and it’s going to be incredibly tough”.
Meaden said she thought that as they grow, their “margins are going to be really, really squeezed”, and became the fist to drop out. Suleyman echoed his statement to the last hopefuls and dropped out on the basis that other Dragons would be better at adding value to the business.
Despite remaining relatively quiet throughout the pitch, Jenkins had decided that “it was a punt, but a reasonably priced punt” and made a surprise offer of £25,000 for 10%.
Having claimed that she “can’t lose this restaurant thing”, Willingham improved on Jenkins deal with an offer of all the money for 25% of the business. It seemed Jones was about to become the third Dragon to drop out when he said it was “too early”, before a turnaround saw him offer all the money for 40% of the company.
After a brief discussion, the husband and wife team returned to Jones with an offer of 33.3%, saying they thought it “would be a really positive way to begin a relationship”.
His reply: “there are times when you need to stick hard and be a Dragon, and there are times when you need to do the right thing… I would be more than happy for us to be equal partners”.
They agreed the deal to a round of applause but left an embittered Willingham, as Jones saw them out of the Den with a cry of “Yogiyo!”.
Start-up business lesson: When choosing a company name and developing a brand, ensure you do your research on competitors and secure the relevant domain names from the off.