Dragons’ Den success stories: Pouch
Even though Pouch gained offers from all five Dragons, the investment didn't go through. But this hasn't stopped the retail tech start-up from hitting a multi-million pound valuation...
Company name: Pouch
Description: A free browser extension which automatically finds and shows discount codes for the online retailer you’re browsing
Investment sought: £75,000
Why didn’t the Dragons invest? The founding trio accepted £75,000 in exchange for 18% equity (with Touker Suleyman, Jenny Campbell and Tej Lalvani each taking 6%). However, the deal was not concluded.
We’ve all been there while shopping online – you’ve found that perfect item, added it to your basket, taken it through to the check-out page… and then been presented with a box for a discount code.
Not wanting to miss an opportunity to save a bit of cash, users will often leave the check-out page to scour the site for discount codes. If they find none, they may take to Google – and find some fake and irrideemable codes there.
This is time-consuming and frustrating for the shopper and disrupts the sales process for the retailer. However, there is a solution.
Pouch, a free browser extension launched by Jonny Plein, Ben Corrigan and Vikram Simha in 2016, automatically finds and presents users with the best legitimate discount codes available as they shop online.
In need of a funding boost for the innovative tool, in May 2017 Corrigan, Plein and Simha took to Dragons’ Den seeking a £75,000 investment – with their episode airing three months later in August.
The Dragons were hugely impressed, and Pouch entered the Dragons’ Den hall of fame when it became one of only three businesses to have ever attracted offers from all five of the tycoons.
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Eventually, the trio accepted an offer of £75,000 in exchange for 18% equity, split three ways between Touker Suleyman, Jenny Campbell and Tej Lalvani… but, after the episode finished filming, the deal was never sealed.
However, Pouch hasn’t suffered as a result. In fact, it has thrived – not least financially. In a statement released shortly after the episode aired, Pouch said:
“Post-Dragons’ Den filming, we were offered nearly triple the investment amount for an equity amount we felt much more comfortable with, putting Pouch at a deserved multi-million pound value.”
Not to mention the PR boost afforded by the episode. After it went live, Pouch gained a whopping 60,000 new users and, as of May 2018, had hit 100,000 downloads.
The breadth of its offering, too, has grown – the extension now shows codes for more than 3,500 retailers, including ASOS, Amazon, Argos, Currys, Debenhams, Gap and John Lewis.
Furthermore, in May 2018 Pouch was rightly recognised as one of the UK’s top 100 most exciting start-ups in our 2018 Startups 100 index.
With goals to hit one million users by Christmas and expand across the world, we can safely say that Pouch has earned its place among Dragons’ Den’s most successful businesses – regardless of the fact that it didn’t actually gain investment.