‘Cocky’ entrepreneur scores astonishing u-turn | Dragons’ Den

‘Cocky’ entrepreneur scores astonishing u-turn | Dragons’ Den

Saddled up first to enter the Den
are entrepreneurs Ben Knowles,
Robert Sargent and Chris Dickson,
with a business they think
will change the way the world views
travelling on two wheels.
We know we have something that works
and we’re looking for the help
to get it to the size it needs to
They believe their passion for pedal
coupled with their professional
is sure to secure them a deal
in the Den.
We’ve got a product, we’ve got the
we look great.
I mean, you know,
what could go wrong?
Hello, I’m Chris. I’m a cycling
instructor and I manage training.
I’m Rob, web technologist,
and I manage IT and finance.
I’m Ben, I’m in charge of
Together, we are the directors of
Pedal Me.
We’re here today to ask for £100,000
in exchange for 5% of our business.
In cities all across the world, time
and money is wasted for people
and their goods sitting in traffic,
not going anywhere.
Pedal Me is a taxi and logistics
service that offers fast
and convenient transport around
cities for people
and their goods.
We approached a manufacturer
in Amsterdam.
They built us this and we now have
eight of them, ridden by highly
trained employees offering a service
that is cleaner,
faster and better value than any
Our customers love us and demand is
Since we started trading in May
2017, we’ve seen an average
monthly revenue growth of around
This year, we expect to take
£600,000 in revenue.
By year three, our target revenue is
£10.5 million,
with a profit of £3.4 million.
The market is huge.
In London alone, there are 400,000
taxi and private hire vehicle trips
per day – worth around £1.3 billion.
And, together, we believe that we
can make our streets better
places for everyone.
Thank you for listening and we’d
like to invite
you to have a go on our bikes.
I want to have a go. I’ll have a go.
I’m having a go.
Not in this skirt!
Hoping the Dragons will jump on
board with their eco-friendly
transport business…
You have to sit at the front,
Hang on, hang on.
..are Ben Knowles, Robert Sargent
and Chris Dickson.
All right, you ready? Ready. Yes.
Hey, we’re cornering.
They’re looking for £100,000 for
just 5% of their people
and product delivery service.
Thank you.
Tej Lalvani is first to get the
wheels of commerce in motion.
Hi. Look, I like what you guys are
I mean, you know, anything to reduce
pollution is great and congestion
in metropolitan cities is brilliant.
But if it’s for transporting people
as a taxi service… Yeah.
..it can be hugely weather
dependent, you know. Mm-hm.
Britain, with its rain, snow, wind,
etc. Yeah.
If you’re taking passengers,
they’re not going to be dressed
in the right attire and they don’t
want to get, all of a sudden,
drenched if they’re going to go for
a meeting
or if they are going to
visit friends. Yeah.
OK, so the bikes are equipped
with these ponchos.
But do you think people would want
to wear some stuff
which has been worn by 20 or 30
other people, smelling and…? Oh!
We expect our riders to be looking
after the equipment to a degree
and also making sure everything is
in order.
But it would be quite seasonal,
because during the winter periods
you’re not going to get people
sitting on that.
In terms of balancing it,
how easy is it to balance?
Because if you tip over,
everyone falls over.
This is part of our control
over the marketplace
because we have this syllabus
and we train people to a very high
standard so that doesn’t happen,
but someone else trying to set
up from a competitor company would
find that very difficult to do.
Uber could.
If Uber decided to do this…
..in one week, they’d put the team
OK. Would you agree?
Er, no, I wouldn’t.
You wouldn’t agree? No.
Want to take a bet? Yeah.
Uber, with all their money… Yeah.
..you don’t think they could hire a
good cycling instructor?
Why can’t Uber do it?
Because it’s the skill gap.
It’s very unlikely that they would
have this combination of people
who understand how to use cargo
bikes in cities,
a cycle instructor and someone who
has the knowledge about tech.
There is no-one else…
How did you find them?
Can I tell you something, guys?
Guys, you’re delusional, right?
OK. You are delusional. OK.
If I wanted, tomorrow, find an
instructor like you,
I’d have a queue of people in my
office. Sure.
If I wanted to find a tech guy like
you and I put an advert,
I’d have a queue of people.
If I wanted to find someone as cocky
as you, it might be difficult.
A bad start for the entrepreneurs,
whose refusal to accept
that their idea can be copied has
infuriated Touker Suleyman.
Now, Deborah Meaden wants to get a
on the delivery arm of the business.
So, where are you operating at the
At the minute,
we’re operating in London.
OK, so then I want these goods
delivered here,
and I want them there, so, you know,
what’s that going to cost me?
So, the average cost of a journey,
two-mile journey, is around £10,
and that would include a £2.50
pick-up fee.
So, what’s your revenue – daily?
So, our revenue – daily – is £500 or
This month, we’re looking to take
about £13,000 or £14,000.
On how many bikes?
Eight bikes.
And last question from me for a
minute, how much do those cost?
£5,000 each.
£5,000 each. And are they bespoke to
you, or…?
So, we had a limited degree of
which runs out in this month.
Oh, right.
Our vision, to be clear,
is not just about London.
Our vision is about franchises in
cities all across the world.
Guys, the idea is not necessarily
Do we need to cycle more and be more
Of course we do.
However, what is crazy is you coming
in with…£2 million valuation?
So, the valuation we put on the
company is based on working
back from what we expect to take in
three years’ time.
In the future. Yeah.
So, when I go and buy a new house
you want me to pay the price that
it’s worth in three years’ time,
rather than the price I can pay for
it today, is that your mentality?
Well, why would I pay…? Sorry.
Why would I pay three years’ price?
I wasn’t clear. So, we’re expecting
the company to be worth somewhere
between 60 and 100 million in
three years’ time.
OK, but that is crazy.
That is absolutely ridiculous.
But we are offering something that
other people can’t do.
What, a bike that I can go and get
procured in the Netherlands tomorrow
and a set of riders and trainers?
You’re not going to do it with my
money and certainly not
with that valuation, so I’m out.
Jenny Campbell puts the brakes on
investment and is the first
Dragon to exit the deal.
Could Peter Jones steer proceedings
down a less rocky road
for the entrepreneurs?
I think the bike’s fantastic and I
think this would do quite well,
but this is really tough.
Coming in, a valuation of £2 million
is incredibly naive. Mm.
To do something like this you
probably needed to come
in and give 60 to 70% of your
business away to raise
that type of capital to have a
I’m not going to invest,
so sadly I’m out.
I just think that the business model
doesn’t make sense financially
to me, as I think it will take a
long time before I get my money back
and I’m going to be diluted
because you’re going to have to keep
raising funds,
so all the best, but I’m out.
I really want to love this,
but there’s something
about it that worries me.
You, actually, honestly, don’t have
a barrier to market.
You say it’s training – I can train.
That isn’t the barrier.
I understand completely why you
think that, yeah.
That is saying, that is,
just so you know,
I’m really good at interpreting what
people say. Yeah.
What you’ve actually just said is
you don’t agree with me at all.
I just don’t believe that other
people are going to come in and find
people who can ride round multiple
people on the front of their bikes
without having collisions.
Or 150 kilos of cargo.
You’re like the voice out of the
I haven’t said much, have I?
He’s a deep voice that comes in and
he goes “150…”
You haven’t said much, but it’s very
effective. It comes right in there.
That’s why he does the training.
He scares the living daylights…
Not much scares me.
But I’m out.
A slightly unnerved Deborah Meaden
is reluctant to hop on board
the city bike business,
making her the fourth Dragon
to leave the deal.
The trio’s investment now rests
solely with their old adversary –
Touker Suleyman.
Has he had a change of heart over
the viability of the business?
Look, guys, you all look very
The problem is I see you guys as
being a delivery service, working
with 50 brands, where you pick up
all the time and you’re delivering
on the same day.
Once you start going into the
commuter world,
it’s not going to work.
You either do one or the other.
There’s so many brands who want that
So, I’m going to make you an offer.
I’ll give you all the money,
but I want 45% of the business.
That’s if you agree with my
OK. Thank you. Thank you.
I bet you didn’t see that one
coming, did you?
We believe in our business, so…
No, no, I didn’t.
Come on, be honest.
No, I didn’t.
Cool, shall we go and have a chat?
Yeah. Thank you.
An astonishing U-turn from Touker
Suleyman, who is offering
all of the money for a sizeable
45% of the company.
I don’t think I can do that to the
existing investors.
Will the entrepreneurs be prepared
to give up a much larger stake
than the 5% initially offered to
secure investment and a Dragon
in the driving seat?
OK, Touker, we really appreciate
your offer.
And we really appreciate your
and we can see how we could make use
of that,
but we don’t think that
that is something
that we want to make as a company.
OK. Thank you very much.
For that reason, I’m not going to
invest in your business. I’m out.
OK. Thank you. Good luck. Thank you.
On your bike.
The entrepreneurs just don’t share
Touker Suleyman’s vision
for their business and they leave
the Den without the £100,000
they were hoping for.
Slaughtered. Yeah. Absolutely.
We feel that it was a failure on our
behalf to communicate
properly the full potential here.
We might be thought of as
possibly a little bit
cocksure, perhaps,
but I mean, I don’t think
I’ve had my beliefs shaken in what
we’re doing…one bit.
Who wants to be pedalled around
here? Pedal me?
Not if you’re driving!

100 thoughts on “‘Cocky’ entrepreneur scores astonishing u-turn | Dragons’ Den”

  1. My mother in law is 74. She is riding the same bike through Amsterdam with 5 kids in it. Those bikes are so well made and easy to ride.

  2. You could be an Armstrong of a rider but that doesn't mean that a boy racer can't tip your cycle over at the intersections.
    The amount of insurance and public liability they'll need to purchase before start operation could sent them broke.

  3. That was a good business if only the dragons had some balls and expertise they could fix the little kinks and get it sorted. I could totally see it doing well. Keep at it guys.

  4. Walks through Londen get stabbed. Sit in bike basket gets acid attack. Order Uber get robbed at gun point. Get a taxi? Fine just arrive at the destination. Taxi is cheap in UK anyway… I payed less than 10 pound for a 4mile ish ride….

  5. 🤣 I was half expecting Jenny to say 'That was fun, I'm out.' as soon as she got off the bike

  6. Update, within 6 month now, their company is worth 7.6 million as an investor bought a share of 62% and implemented 600+ bikes around london with daily profit of 20-30k

  7. Seen plenty of bike carriers in Dublin, New York etc…but there bikes are covered. This idea isnt good without covering plus they would be better off having electric bikes

  8. This is just more proof of what I’ve known all along!!! “CYCLISTS ARE COMPLETELY DELUSIONAL AND HAVE ABSOLUTELY ZERO GRASP ON REALITY!!!”🤷🏼‍♂️🙄🤦‍♂️

  9. Although I don't like the idea, the criticism of the dragons is the dumbest thing ever. ANYONE could always copy and do something like it. Everyone said that when Uber was starting out. These guys are clearly controlling their quality of service very very carefully, like Apple with their products and look at where they are at, whilst there were soooo many people copying after the iPhone release.

  10. So many white people walking in the office, where the blacks? Oh they are better at athletics aren’t they, running and jumping

  11. This will do well for a courier service as it looks like it can carry a large object. Basically could be like uber eats or deliveroo but for items. Could work well with Amazon and all other major retailers the deliver. They need to take it that direction. Further more 10 pound for 2 miles is more expensive then using a private hire provided by uber or viavan or so. So why would consumer want to sit on a bike when they can sit in a comfy Prius.

  12. I thought the shark tanks are tough, but the Dragon's Den are brutal. The JENNY COMMENTS ARE MISOGYNISTIC ON STEROIDS. YOU GUYS NEED TO CHILL.

  13. T.S well said ubar can do it but they aren’t stupid to go with this kind of stupidity bike taxi 😂😂😂😂

  14. Funny how these guys don't even cover the aspect of safety here like no helmets or anything and how the hell are you meant to filter through traffic on one of these, if you don't you're just another road user stuck in traffic

  15. The messengers bike reinvented.
    Next some guy will come up with a ship that sails across oceans with nothing but the wind🙄

  16. You're not gonna do it with ma money
    Who would have thought
    Regardless of the potential, if any
    Y'all know that I'm oot

  17. I think the transport is a good idea but it already exists in the bike world that kind of cargo bike I would have gone the other direction and added one wheel each side to make it more stable and take the balance factor out of the equation 3,4,5 wheels are more stable than two. For tourists cities in summer, I can see the potential or quick delivery but from China, for around US$2k you can get a fibreglass pedicab already made with bike and motor for the operator at a fraction of the cost of this heap of metal and with that, I am out.

  18. Terrible design for a bike, the customers would be the first things hit in an accident. Rickshaws are common a fuck in developing countries, driver on the front, customers in the back.

  19. Those blokes are living in a fantasy world! Valuation of £10m in 3 years time? Lucky if the company is still afloat!


  21. Their choice in transportation needs a slight changes, it should be categorized as an entertainment, find some travel and your agency

  22. if they Genuinely thought their company will be worth 100 million in 5 years then they are fools for turning down that offer simply because it was a lot of equity. I'd rather 10% of 100 million in 5 years than 100% of NOTHING. But that's only if they believe it to be worth that. Obviously it wont be lol

  23. There’s already bike operated transport in London, mainly soho.. They have neon lights and you can plan your own music which is so much fun.

  24. A mobility charity by the name of Whizz-Kidz provides bikes of the same if not similar design for disabled children and their parents…I know I worked for them in procurement and as a trainer running wheelchair skills training for the charity

  25. Dials phone <RING….. RING….. RING…… CLICK….>
    “Hello, please leave a message after the beep. My mane is Jenny. I’m out”

  26. Should of built a back with 4 seats a roof and side walls and a sliding door that way when it rains the passangers are safe and dry

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