Dragons' Den inventor wins haggle with Touker Souleyman

Thermostat gadget entrepreneur Anthony Cherry managed to push the Dragon to lower the percentage he wanted of his business after tense negotiation.

Dragons' Den Touker Suleyman
Dragons' Den's Touker Suleyman agreed to reduce his demanding deal in a thermostat gadget. (BBC)

What did you miss?

Dragons' Den star Touker Souleyman surprised his fellow Dragons by agreeing to reduce his demanding percentage of a company investment.

The businessman - dubbed 'Vampire Souleyman' by Dragon Steven Bartlett - was the only investor interested in landlord Anthony Cherry's thermostat gadget. But Cherry stood firm on the portion of his company he was prepared to give away, and became locked in a back-and-forth with Souleyman that had the other Dragons in the den on the edge of their seats.

What, how, and why?

Dragons' Den S21,14-03-2024,11,(l-r) Touker Suleyman, Sara Davies, Deborah Meaden, Steven Bartlett, Peter Jones,BBC Studios,Screen grab
The Dragons dubbed Touker Souleyman a vampire over his big demands. (BBC)

Cherry was seeking an £80k investment for a 10 per cent share in his thermostat company Time-O-Stat. The gadget is designed to be used in shared houses, such as student accommodation, or holiday homes, to prevent the heating being left on unnecessarily and costing landlords money.

Sara Davies and Bartlett both confessed they had never understood thermostats and declared themselves out. Deborah Meaden admitted the gadget could be useful across her holiday park empire, but added that it was too expensive to install in every single static caravan. And Peter Jones believed that Cherry would face too much competition from big tech company rivals.

But Souleyman admitted he was connected to lots of landlords who would be interested in purchasing the device. He said: "I'm going to make you an offer. But it comes at a price. So I'll give you the whole £80,000 but I want 35 per cent and when I get my money back I'll drop it down to 25 per cent."

Cherry winced: "Would you consider doing all of the money at 30 per cent and when you get the money back dropping to 15." Souleyman replied: "No I would drop down to 25 per cent but that is it."

Cherry replied: "If you drop to 20 you've got a deal." But Souleyman refused. The entrepreneur sighed: "I would love to say yes... it's not a yes. I can't go to 25 per cent." He laughed: "I see this on TV all he time and I say 'Why don't you just take the deal?! It's a good deal.'" He added: "There's no movement on that 25 per cent. You cant give me anything more?"

Peter Jones jumped in "That's after you've had all the money back." Cherry added: If I pay you back all the money, down to 20?"

Souleyman then smiled: "Okay, come on!" Davies told him: "Oh good I was thinking I was going to kick you if you don't take that deal!"

What else happened on Dragons' Den?

Dragons' Den S21,14-03-2024,11,Steven Bartlett,BBC Studios,Screen grab
Steven Bartlett compared fellow Drago Touker Souleyman to a vampire. (BBC)

Souleyman offered another entrepreneur an investment for 40 per cent of their company, a figure which was considered too high, even by the Dragons. Barlett laughed: "Vampire Souleyman over here!"

The inventor of Ezidrop eye drop applicator turned down the deal.

He said: "I'm 100 per cent confident in rejecting the office because them suggesting licensing the product, wasn't the vision I've got."

Dragon's Den airs on BBC One at 8pm on Thursday.

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