Although Uckfield inventor Steve Ransom persuaded two TV Dragons to invest in his company, TrafficAngel, he was shocked when they later pulled out.
Steve Ransom appeared on the BBC 2 show last Monday evening asking for a £90,000 investment in return for 20% of his business.
Dragons Deborah Meaden and Peter Jones each offered him half the £90,000 he sought for seven and a half per cent of his business.
When he left the Den, Steve said: “I’m elated and couldn’t believe it.”
But then came the surprise decision.
Steve said: “Peter and Deborah dropped a bomb on us. They have since pulled out of the investment. At first, we were shell-shocked. All the due diligence was carried out with no issues. So, why the turnaround?
“The principle reason we were told is that the Dragons’ PR team had looked at the TrafficAngel equity share the Dragons had asked for in the Den and it was felt they had been given too good a deal out of TrafficAngel! Their cash injection for 15% of the business undervalued the company, therefore it could be viewed that Peter and Deborah were taking advantage of an already established business in which they had also made nil contribution.
“Fair enough, but it was our decision in the Den to have them on board. But the more we thought about it, the more we asked ourselves, would this really be such a blow? Could Peter and Deborah’s withdrawal actually be that harmful? Was it a blessing in disguise? And on reflection, we really do think this is the case. Yes, the Dragons open doors that we could never open and we would have welcomed their partnership. But with no Dragons on board, there are still huge benefits.”
Steve continued: “Investment or not, I wouldn’t have swapped my experience for anything. From all here we wish Peter and Deborah all the best in their ventures, and we thank them for their confidence expressed in the business and on national TV.”