EP 6 Review: Just give me the numbers

29 October 2014
Everything you need to know about last night's episode of Dragons' Den.
EP 6 Review: Just give me the numbers Image : 111

Another epic episode of Dragons’ Den SA hit our screens last night and woe betides the pitcher who doesn’t have their numbers in order. That was clear.

First up we had brother and sister team Amanda and Paul who hoped to wow the Dragons with MUVA, a smart phone based web tool for students to find part time work and discounts. What was unique about the site is that it is a convenient tool to assist students in the search for work and to receive discounts at a touch of a button. They gave a compelling pitch; they had all their numbers in order, trajectories and growth plans were realistic, but these two didn’t live in the same city. A potential problem when running a business, additionally, they needed an angel investor, someone hands on who was versed in the technology space. Tech guru Vinny saw the potential but according to him, R120 000 for 10% was not enough, “If I do this it would have to be for more cash in to make this work and you’d probably need to get a technical co-founder. I don’t know about the South African student market so I’d want Gil to come in on a deal.” Keen to invest, he wasn’t going to take the plunge without Gil, each to take a 20% share at a R500 000 buy in on the proviso they brought in another technical co-founder. Gil felt there were too many variables, “I’m sorry guys,” he said. “I’m not feeling it, I’m out.”

Enter George Anderson with his Bottletot concept, a device that can effectively and accurately control alcohol stock take. George wanted R1 million for a 30% stake. Bottletot is a locally designed software programme that provides easy and accurate stocktaking of spirit beverages; and is done by printing calibrated stickers that are used to determine the remaining volume of specific beverages. George gave a demonstration of Bottletot but came terribly unstuck when the Dragons interrogated his financials, attributing not knowing his numbers to his bookkeeper being on leave. “You’re telling me for four years, you don’t have a clue of how much money you’re making?” said Lebo. "Basically George, you’re not prepared for this, you are supposed to go to a pitch prepared when you’re talking investment, you should be working hand in hand with your bookkeeper in preparation for this pitch… so I’m very unhappy about your pitch and I am definitely not investing, I’m out.”

Lungisa Lutshaba was next to present to the Dragons with an usual idea of a flavoured water (still and sparkling options) fortified with panadol for those headache days when you need to knock back a painkiller and keep going; this drink does two in one. Lungisa’s ask was R450 000 for a 20% stake of his product. Very eloquent in his presentation, Lungisa certainly captivated the Dragons but despite his efforts, Vusi was still at a loss, “This is water; finished. I don’t even know what we’re talking about here and I’d like to think I’m part of this growing middle class demographic that consumes these products… you’re looking at five to seven years to get this off the ground and I’m sad to say, for that reason, I’m out.”

Now for something a little different, RoboBeast 3D Printing Farms from Simon Carter and Richard Van As. They would potentially be the first to implement 3D printers manufactured in South Africa. Although this sounds like progressive technologically, it’s not, 3D printing will soon be available to the masses which means this commodity will eventually be as affordable as a home computer. “Gentleman, it sounds like a great idea though I don’t understand enough about this business to bring any value so I’m out,” said Polo. The other backed away too, unconvinced by RoboBeast 3D Printing Farms return.

Last to face investors was Lynne Scullard of Scully Scooters, an affordable alternative transport solution driving the creation of small businesses and employment. So far Scully Scooters have managed to put 87 people into business and have trained 600 people. Lynne was asking for R800 000. Essentially, this is a CSI initiative with the majority of clients being corporate. Vusi enquired about the business’ 10-year plan to which Lynne’s answer was to go national and eventually onto the contintent. Vusi was curious, he put an offer on the table of 25% for the asking value on condition another Dragon came in with him, but there were no takers and although all Dragons loved her concept, Lynne walked away with nothing.

So no deals were struck in this round, although two pitchers came close. Better luck next week? Tune in to Mzansi Magic at 19:00 on Tuesday nights to find out.

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