Voucher code toolbar Pouch triumphed on the popular BBC Two show Dragons’ Den aired on Sunday night, securing a full house of offers in the fifteenth series’ opener.
According to the show's producers, this has only ever happened once before in the programme's 13-year history.
Founders Ben Corrigan and Jonny Plein faced the wrath of the Dragons with confidence, fending off a grilling by experienced tech investor Peter Jones and accusations by fashion retail magnate Touker Suleyman that they would be “fighting retailers” for revenue.
The two came armed with confidence in the “business and numbers”, Corrigan told PerformanceIN, which was enough to earn a slew of offers across the board and a final deal of £75,000 for 18% of the business, split between Suleyman and new Dragons Tej Lalvani and Jenny Campbell.
Corrigan said the two were “overwhelmed” with the result, owing the success to the simplicity of the product and the “universal” problem it solves.
While Pouch recently announced a controversial update, the pitch was focused around its original offering: targeting users with relevant, aggregated voucher codes at the checkout and a solution to the “billion-pound” issue of cart abandonment which affects up to 85% of e-commerce sales.
Despite an airtight presentation, the pair faced interrogation by Jones over the product's originality, however, news that its nearest competitor in the US was on track to facilitate $15 billion in transactions this year was enough to win over interest, while concerns over the details of how the two would scale revenue remained.
Meanwhile, fashion retail investor and entrepreneur Suleyman predicted Pouch would be “fighting retailers” for discount offers, but the two were able to allay concerns once again, explaining that the consumer data it could provide on competitors would prove a significant value-add to potential partners.
After a brief negotiation, the end result saw Pouch’s owners relinquish just 3% more equity than originally asked, reeling in the assistance of Suleyman - who promised to provide five brands to the platform as part of the deal - Lalvani, the CEO of vitamin company Vitabiotics, and Campbell, a former banker and founder of ATM provider YourCash.
Looking back on the pitch - which he claims unedited took “over two hours” - Corrigan noted the “surprising detail” of affiliate marketing knowledge held by the Dragons. However, it’s not the first time a company from the UK affiliate marketing scene has braved and conquered the Den, with Deepak Tailor sparking a “bidding war” for his site LatestFreeStuff.co.uk - a base for free product offers from partnering brands - in January last year.
Speaking on the new investment, Corrigan called it a “fantastic bonus” but said it would not influence the company’s original business plan.
“Obviously we are anticipating a very large increase in users off the back of the show and it will make hiring and onboarding retailers much easier, but the plan remains the same: continue to build a brilliant product and service for our users by helping them save time and money when buying online,” he said.
On recent controversies, Corrigan added that he hopes success on the Dragons’ Den highlights that Pouch, and others to come, can be an “impactful and important piece” of the affiliate marketing and e-commerce ecosystem.
“We have lots of plans for future features and products so we hope people understand that we are doing things differently and are here to stay.”
Pouch’s pitch can be viewed on BBC iPlayer at 41:30 onwards here.