Despite telling the cameras beforehand that he “might just be bricking it,” Kershaw went on to give a textbook pitch, resulting in something almost unprecedented on the show: all five Dragons wanted in.“I love it, you got me already,” gushed Deborah Meaden within a few minutes of the M14 founder’s opening gambit.“I would just like to go on this journey with you,” she confessed.Then it was Jones’ turn to put his cards on the table.Our relationship with Nick leads us to meet and eventually buy [dating app] Double, who appeared on Dragon’s Den the previous series and got investment from Nick.” In a final, and perhaps ironic, twist of fate, the unnamed investor would also go on to pull out of the deal in favour of simply remaining a customer.
That’s because Tech Crunch can reveal that the Dragons’ Den deal would eventually collapse.
And finally Deborah Meaden: “I’m going to make it really hard for you,” she warned.
After turning his back on the Dragons for a few minutes to deliberate, the M14 founder chose to accept a combined offer from Jenkins and Jones of £80,000 for 20 percent equity, giving the young startup a £400,000 pre-money valuation.
“I get on a call with Nick a couple of weeks after the show (apparently that’s fast in Den terms) and we start chatting through how everything went, what the next steps are, and wanting to make sure everyone is still OK with things. However, at around the same time, M14 was approached by one of its larger clients who, says its founder, had learned that the startup was preparing to take more investment and asked if they could be part of the deal.
To complicate things further, the unnamed client was willing to invest at a £1.5 million pre-valuation, up significantly from the Dragons’ Den £400,000 valuation (which also accounted for a number of advisory shares) and more than the £1 million pre-money valuation M14 had taken during a previous funding round.