‘You’ve wasted £500k’ Dragons’ Den cast shocked at huge sum pitcher invested into business

Dragons' Den: Peter Jones stunned at app investment in 2020

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Ben Smith entered the Den in 2019 seeking £70,000 for 10 percent of his business Fine Diet LTD. Fine Diet is a weight loss app with diet plans that helped him to lose ten stone in weight. It wasn’t until he mentioned that he helped co-found The Body Coach, another fitness app, in 2014 that the investors became interested.

They were shocked when he said he had been involved in the company and left with shares worth £1.5 million.

He previously became a millionaire with one product so wanted to do it again alone. He wanted to help others with their weight loss journey by offering tailored diet plans in a fitness app.

Whilst on the show, he said they had started trading “only recently” but had managed to turnover £10,000. Subscribers pay £14.99 a month.

He wanted the investment from the Dragons’ so he could reach millions of people across the world.

Tej Lalvani agreed with Sara and explained that there are so many diet apps on the market for free that he would need an incentive to pay £14.99 a month. He said he could not invest.

Ben told the dragons he had spent “half a million pounds on this app so far”.

In shock, the investors said “wow”.

Ben explained he used the money for app development, graphic design, staffing costs, recipe videos and photography.

Ben had this money from the other business venture he had previously sold – at this point, the Dragons’ didn’t know what business this was.

He said his new app was “proven to work,” he just needed help with marketing and getting it out there.

Peter Jones said: “To spend half a million pounds on an app to get to this point is a serious amount of cash.

“To be able to get traction you’re going to need a lot more money than what you’ve spent on it.

“I think you might have wasted half a million pounds.

“This is not going to become a business, so for that reason I’m out.”

Deborah Meaden thought his idea was “not new or complicated”.

She said: “You had to use a lot of words to explain yours when it’s really simple. Eat less, move more.

“I’m just not convinced on the actual product so I won’t be investing.”

After revealing he used to be the co-founder of The Body Coach, one of the fastest growing online fitness health brands, Sara said she “knew there had to be something”.

Ben’s previous successful record in the industry restored some faith in the Dragons’.

Sara Davies thought that £70,000 was a high risk, but she was willing to take it.

She made Ben an offer for 40 percent of the business for £70,000.

Theo Paphitis also made Ben an offer from 25 percent of his business for £70,000.

Ben accepted Theo’s offer.

Dragons Den is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

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