In part two (read part one here) of our look at how the Dragons invested, we’ll focus on individual and combined investment and to conclude we’ll answer the question; if you were to secure investment on the show with your business, who would be the Dragon most likely to invest?
Individual investment per series
Our analysis shows that more than half (52%) of total investments on the show are individual. The highest individual investment was made by Theo Paphitis in October 2012, when he shelled out £258,253 (real value) for a stake in internet-based trading hub Zapper, which allows people to get cash for unwanted books, CDs and DVDs. The investment came as something of a surprise after company owner Ben Hardyment was forced to admit that three existing investors each had a 10% share in the company that had cost them just over £16,000 each – a fraction of the £250,000 that Hardyment wanted from the Dragons for a smaller stake of just 7.5%. When Peter Jones declared himself “insulted”, Paphitis smelt opportunity to negotiate a 30% share for his wonga.
Meanwhile, the Dragon who spent the most money individually in a single series was Peter Jones in series 10, with investments totalling £656,035. Per episode, that honour was left to James Caan, who reached an average of £26,371 (adjusted for inflation).
Combined investment per series
Some 48% of Dragons’ Den investments are group efforts, with Deborah Meaden and Theo Paphitis the most likely to couple – and cough – up. We’ve already discussed their record joint investment in the misfuelling prevention gadget, but they racked up another 15 deals over nine series.
Paphitis also holds the crown for the most money spent in joint investments in a single series, as well as per episode. He splurged £403,792 (adjusted for inflation) in series 2 and reached an average of £28,844 (adjusted for inflation) per episode in group deals. That’s an average of 3.78 group investment deals per series.
Top investors at a glance
As already noted, Theo Paphitis has the best group investment record and has also made, on average, the most deals per season. However, having served three seasons more than Paphitis, it’s Peter Jones who has made the greatest total number of investments on the show. On average, he makes 4.5 deals per season. He also boasts the highest accumulated individual investment. Significantly, when Theo left the show at the end of series 10 the number of investments overall dropped (as shown in chart 1 on our previous post).
You’ve ‘Doug’ your own investment grave if you wait for Richard to invest… keep up with the (Peter) Jones’s instead for a more sure-fire way to win some wonga on the show.