Partnership on the rocks after “shambles” pitch is torn apart by Dragons | Dragons’ Den


Hello, Dragons. I’m Darren Markwick, managing
director of Parcel Boxes Installed. I’m Liam Stamp, I’m operations manager. I’m Brian Wilcox and I’m
the inventor of these parcel boxes. We’re here today seeking £40,000
for a 15% equity share in our start-up company. Have you ever come home to find
a parcel on your doorstep – if it hasn’t already been stolen –
letting everyone know you’re not at home? Or you’ve had a parcel delivered
to one of your neighbours, and you need to go and retrieve it,
wasting your valuable time. We have a patent-protected
anti-theft parcel delivery box which is courier-agnostic
and accepts multiple deliveries. If I can give you a quick
demonstration… So any courier can turn the handle
and open the drawer, place the parcel inside,
close the drawer and it automatically gets delivered to the secure
compartment and then, with your key, you can retrieve
it when you come home. With the parcel box,
we genuinely believe we’ve created the future of mail,
ensuring our customers, residential and commercial, never
miss a parcel again. We’d like you to take a closer
look at our products and we invite any questions. Many thanks. I’ll have a quick look. Hoping for investment
in their company that produces secure mailboxes for
packages are Darren Markwick, Liam Stamp and Brian Wilcox. So, if I open that… Yeah, turn the handle. Open the drawer. Put that box in… That’s it. It should drop in
automatically. And it’s concealed, so no-one knows
the parcel’s in there. They want £40,000 in return
for a 15% stake in their business. This is a freestanding unit, is it? Yes. So this one’s stand-alone,
this is built-in and this one’s for apartments. But Peter Jones thinks
it’s all looking a little familiar. I’ve got something
similar at my house, actually, that takes parcels
and it’s got a key lock, and it was built into the brick. Mm-hm. But my personal view
is that this is already a very limited market in terms
of its size and the potential, because a typical home has just got
enough space to have a letterbox. It’s not going to go
and have a filing cabinet near its outdoor area, is it? It’s pretty much for people
that are lucky enough to have either brick walls or nice
big houses, isn’t it? I wouldn’t have said that. Would you put that in the front
garden? Well, most houses have got a
front garden, yeah. But it would look like somebody’s
left their filing cabinet outside. But that’s what people
are doing, Peter. Really? We’re thinking about getting
them vinyl wrapped, Peter, so it could blend
in with the atmosphere. A vinyl wrap? Mmm. People would have that in their
garden? Yeah. It would look like a filing
cabinet in your garden though, wouldn’t it? But it’s convenience, isn’t it? Maybe now it may look like that,
but it won’t be long before they blend in. At the moment, you have two
bins and the recycling bin in your front garden. It doesn’t look aesthetically
pretty, but it does the job. Yeah, it’s just the possibility
of having this in most homes, it’s not currently feasible. Peter Jones is far from convinced
of the aesthetic draw of these particular parcel boxes. Next up, Tej Lalvani,
who wants to unwrap the company share structure. So, shall we start by figuring out
how much you guys each own of the business? So, I’m 79% shareholder. I have 1%. And I have 20%. Right, so, in terms of pricing,
how much is the one which is installed
in the bricks at the moment? 199. So how much does it cost you? Cost to us is $70. 70 is about £55. That’s right, yeah.
You said you were a start-up… Yeah. But you have some sales,
presumably. Yeah. So what have you done so far? We’ve actually been selling
for about ten months, of which our turnover is 21K and,
in that time, we’ve supplied 68 boxes and we’ve provided 37
installations of the box. Can I just say something
as a slight aside? Up to now, we’ve been two
separate companies. Darren’s company has sold 68 units,
but my company have sold about 500 in the UK and Europe
and another 500 in Japan, and then we’re merging
the companies together. Right, so, what sort of business
is your company doing at the moment? My company’s been more
in the inventor side of it, and then Darren and Liam
have been the salespeople. Right, so the investment today
would be in the combined company?
Yes, that’s right. And the IP would be held in
that company, as well.
Yes. That’s correct. So, when I asked you,
how much have you sold, you only said 68.
Why did you do that? So, in our UK-based operations under Parcel Boxes Installed,
we have sold 68. However, because obviously
we’ve only been actually selling them for ten months,
Brian was the inventor who obviously preceded that, and his figures
go back a bit further. With two sets of figures to marry
up, Tej Lalvani is having to work hard to get a clear
picture of the sales. Now it’s Touker Suleyman’s turn
to attempt to get a better understanding of the
combined businesses. You’ve come here wanting 40 grand. It’s a total start-up, which I can understand,
but you’ve made the thing very complicated. Based on our projections, so… OK, projections, let’s start.
Sure. Year one… So we project a turnover of 63K.
63K… Yeah. Turnover. Yeah. This is purely Parcel Box
figures, by the way. Brian’s figures are separate. I’m talking about going forward
as the new collective business. Yeah. You’ve just told me 63 grand. Yeah, yeah. That includes Brian’s,
that includes yours. Yeah, that is… That’s just our
figures. Brian’s got his separately. I’ve got separate
figures as well, yeah. Guys, you’ve come
in with three of you. You should have said,
“we’re going to go in as one,” and I’ve just asked for some figures
for the next 12 months, and I’m assuming
that the partnership or the amalgamation’s happened. It hasn’t yet, no.
Oh, it hasn’t. It hasn’t happened.
The merger hasn’t happened. OK, so, year two,
which is the magic year… Yeah. So give me the magic figure. Turnover 383. 383. 383. This is not taking into
account Brian’s figures. Oh! But you’ve come in here,
with all due respect, to say it includes two
businesses in one. So, OK, what will
the combined figures be? For last year, it was
£150,000 I turned over. OK. So, if I double it for next
year, it will be 300,000. I’m sorry, I’ve got to stop this. This is a shambles. Are you seriously expecting
us to sit here and add all of your numbers
together, so we can work out for you whether or not
you’ve got a business that might possibly work joined? I’ve never seen a presentation
like this in the Den. Have you actually spoken
to each other before you walked through those doors? We did, yes. Did you think about
making a presentation that actually presented the business
that we were going to invest in, instead of expecting me
to sit here and say, right, what’s your bit
of the business, which year? What’s the bit that you’re
talking…? Let’s add that together and let’s
see what’s going forward… I respect that. Well, no, I’m not asking
you to respect it, because I’ve got to tell
you this is shambolic. I’m sorry about that,
but at the moment we’re two separate companies, and… But you’re not asking me to invest
in two separate companies. You can’t stand in here and say,
“We’re combining the business “but actually we’re going to give
you the two separate numbers.” You’re confused. I mean, you’re completely befuddled! I haven’t got any questions
for you whatsoever. I could not possibly invest
and spend my time trying to work out the confusion that you yourselves
haven’t bothered working out the other side of those lift doors. I won’t be investing. I’m out. Deborah Meaden is unequivocal
in her disdain of the entrepreneurs’
pitch, and, perhaps not surprisingly, becomes the first Dragon out. Will Peter Jones be
any more forgiving? Well, that’s put a very interesting
atmosphere in the Den, and I actually couldn’t agree more. It’s embarrassing, isn’t it? We’ve been a bit naive. This is an embarrassing moment
for you, but it’s… We can quickly add
the numbers up, surely? I think it’s best
that we just leave it there. Erm, I’m out. The bit I don’t understand
in putting two businesses together is how you then ended
up with 79% to you, Darren, and 20% to you,
Brian, but, Brian, you’ve got the track record
of a business that has sold… Yeah. ..500 units in Europe,
500 units in Japan or something… Yes. ..and you guys are just resellers,
but you end up with 20% of the business and you,
Darren, end up with 79. It doesn’t make sense. It would be an equal
amount between us, if you invest. After the merger? After the merger,
if you invest, it would be an equal amount. I can’t believe this is happening! But you just said it was 79, 20… And one. That’s what it is at the
moment. To be honest, I think
the proposition is a disaster, let alone the investment
that you’ve tried to present. I could ask you a trillion
questions, but it will all lead to the same thing,
which means I’m out. Thank you. Confusion reigns in the Den
as Jenny Campbell’s probing reveals discrepancies over
the company’s share structure. With three Dragons now
out of the picture, has Tej Lalvani got any chance
of getting this pitch out of the doldrums? How can you not have this organised? This doesn’t make sense. You guys haven’t got
a proper business. You don’t know what
the shareholdings are. You don’t know what the sales are. And I can’t be part
of something like this, so I’m going to say I’m out. How do you feel? Gutted. Could have went better. Look, guys, I’ve got
to be very straight with you. There is a problem. Unfortunately, you’re not
going to sort it out. For that reason, I’m not
going to invest and I’m out. Thank you, cheers. Thank you very much.
Thank you. They started so optimistically,
but the fault lines in their pitch soon started to appear. Well, that’s life. I’m absolutely speechless. It is shocking. We won’t be doing a
celebratory dance in here. And it’s created a seismic split
in their new partnership. As Deborah said,
it’s a shambles and, you know, I can’t disagree with her. Based on what I’ve just experienced,
I won’t be merging with these two guys now, most definitely. And Brian’s walking home. Yeah, you’re fine.

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