Dragons' Den: Peter slams business owner's 'horrible demeanour'
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Yosi Romano and Ziv Leinwand entered the Den in 2018 seeking £100,000 for five percent of their business, Brizi. Brizi was established to protect babies and young children from air pollution.The pitch was labelled “one of the biggest u-turns ever seen in the Den” as viewers did not expect entrepreneurs to get any offers after all of the Dragons’ voiced their opinion about their attitudes during their pitch.
The duo researched that half of the children in the UK live in areas where pollution exceeds the safe recommended level and millions of children worldwide develop respiratory allergies due to exposure to poor air quality.
They developed the Brizi Baby device to cut down pollution by up to 80 percent around a baby’s head. It is a portable cushion-shaped air filter made to fit any pushchair.
Deborah Meaden said she could see “massive opportunity” with their product, however as the model they brought in still needed improvements, they had basically brought in “absolutely nothing”.
Their product was not yet market ready.
When Peter Jones asked about their credentials for valuing the business at £2million, the duo could not give any concrete evidence for successful past performances.
Mr Jones said he could not see the £2million value of the business, which Mr Leinwand responded “fair enough”.
Shocked by his response, Mr Jones asked the entrepreneur ‘Do you not care?’
“Wow, what an attitude,” he said.
Jenny Cambell agreed with Peter. She said their attitude showed a lack of care whether they get investment or not.
“You don’t seem bothered,” she added.
Mr Leinwand reassured the Dragons’ that he was “extremely interested” in receiving investment today. However only by a Dragon who is interested in the business and can see its potential.
“Not everyone sees the vision, it’s okay,” he said.
During the pitch, Mr Leinwand refused to disclose some information to Peter, stating it was confidential.
Peter said that there was something about Mr Leinwand that was “just horrible” and that his attitude and demeanour was “off putting”. However there was still something that he “really liked about him”.
He said: “When we’ve gone into the detail, you’ve been really honest, honest to the point you could push away an investment with your candidness so that is genuinely refreshing.”
In possibly “one of the biggest turnarounds” in the history of the programme, the entrepreneurs secured offers from all five dragons for a stake in their start-up, despite Mr Leinwand’s attitude.
Peter made them an offer for all the money for 30 percent of Brizi, so did Touker Suleyman. Deborah could see past the design flaws and also made the pair an offer for all the money for 30 percent.
Tej Lalvani thought he could add a lot of value to the business in terms of manufacturing and distributing. He matched Peter and Deborah’s deal. The entrepreneurs were shocked and extremely grateful for the offers however Mr Leinwand explained that they were “unrealistic”.
His counter offer was £100,000 for 15 percent of the business.
Peter, Deborah and Tej could not lower their stakes and withdrew their offers.
Touker offered them £125,000 for a 25 percent stake in the company, which the pair accepted. He has since upped his investment and money available for the company to £1million and now owns 50 percent of the firm.
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