An entrepreneur bagged herself a £140,000 investment after a gutsy Dragon’s Den pitch where she asked for double her initial request last night.
Charlotte Morley, from the Isle of Man, who created the baby clothes rental subscription Thelittleloop in 2020, was left in tears after convincing Deborah Meaden and Steven Bartlett to both invest £70,000 each into her business for 12.5 per cent control on the BBC One show last night.
Initially, the mother and businesswoman was hoping to get an investment of just £70,000 for a 7.5 per cent stake of her business.
But after receiving four out of five offers from the show’s dragons, she bravely asked Deborah and Steven if they would both give her all the money each in exchange for 25 per cent control together.
She was left in tears when the investors agreed – in what appears to be a Dragon’s Den first – and viewers were moved by Charlotte’s pitch and impressed with her determination, with many remarking she got the life changing amount of money because she dared to ask.
Charlotte Morley, who created the baby clothes rental subscription Thelittleloop in 2020, was left in tears after convincing Deborah Meaden and Steven Bartlett to both invest £70,000 into her business for £12.5 control each on Dragon’s Den last night
Deborah agreed to give Charlotte all the money in exchange for 12.5 per cent of the business because it made her feel like ‘something she wanted to be a part of of’
Steven Bartlett compared Charlotte’s idea to streaming services like Spotify and said he was willing to up his offer to get her the £140,000 investment
Viewers were impressed with Charlotte and some said her gutsy pitch had landed her a bigger investment
In the show, Charlotte was confident about her business, and delivered a strong pitch.
She also brought a sample of the clothes available on Thelittleloop so that the businessmen and women could see the quality of the product for themselves.
She equally impressed them with her projections on how the business would grow over the next two years.
She claimed that 7,000 customers by the end of this year would bring nearly £1million into the business, and said she hoped to reach 30,000 customers by nest year, which would bring in £4.16million.
For that reason, she asked for £70,000 investment for 7.5 per cent of her business. The dragons were keen to get on the action, and she received four offers out of five.
The newest dragon, Steven Bartlett, drew a comparison between what Charlotte is trying to achieve to how the music industry moved into streaming in the 2010s.
‘Where once upon a time you’d go buy music for 99p and nobody wanted Spotify,’ he said. ‘There was no incentive at all for Warner and Universal to sign up to Spotify.
‘But when something becomes inevitable, I think you get to the point where we have no choice and it’s funny because I have sat in the room with these big fast fashion brands,’ he added.
Charlotte, who initially asked for £70,000 investment in return for 7.5 per cent of her business, was over the moon
The mother and entrepreneur explained costumers can pick as many items as they want and keep them for as long as they want
‘And they are talking to me about creating their own secondary market place because so many secondary market places are rising and taking such a huge amount of their market away that they are now thinking of creating their own.’
Steven went on to offer Charlotte £70,000 for a 15 per cent stake into her business.
Deborah was very enthusiastic about the project as well. ‘I absolutely love this,’ she said, ‘it’s a business that makes me think “I actually want to be a part of something that make a difference”.’
She offered Charlotte all the money she was asking for, for 12.5 per cent of the business.
Sarah Davies made the exact same offer, telling Charlotte: ‘I love the business but I think most of all, I think you are a fantastic entrepreneur, and I believe I’ve got all the mentoring skills you need to take you on that journey.’
Touker Suleyman, who suggested he had contacts at M&S and could get them onboard, put forward his knowledge of the fashion industry in order to make his offer.
The entrepreneur brought samples of the clothes available on Thelittleloop website, adding she wants to collaborate with more sustainable brands in the future
Charlotte explained she believes fast fashion business model will have to change due to climate change
‘Don’t get me wrong, each dragon here can do a certain job for you. I’m the expert in this field,’ he said, offering all the money against a 15 per cent stake.
Only Peter Jones was not enthused with Charlotte’s idea, due to his belief that the fast fashion industry would never be interested enough in investing in clothes renting.
‘People want consumers to buy the next products as far as they can, what they don’t want is that product to go into the market and be used five times,’ he said.
‘How big can this bubble go without bursting because of pressure on the market price for products?’, he asked. For that reason, he decided to take himself out of the discussion.
Faced with four promising offers, Charlotte had to think fast in order to get the investment she wanted.
‘Thank you Touker, thank you Sarah. Deborah you were the dragon that I came here for. I have a bit of a crush on you,’ she joked. ‘And also Steven because I do recognise how much experience you’ve got in growth,’ she added.
‘I’m gonna ask for something I’ve never heard asked for in the Den before,’ she said, adding: ‘would you both be prepared to invest all of the money, so £70,000 each, taking the total investment to £140,000 for 12.5 each.’
Deborah was the first to answer: ‘ I don’t think that has happened in the Den, see, that’s why I like you Charlotte. I would love to do that. It’s really down to what Steven feels. But I actually think you’ve got a really combination there.’
Viewers were as impressed with Charlotte as the Dragons’ were, and congratulated her on her pitch
Steven was also not deterred by Charlotte asking for double the investment.
‘Charlotte, I think you’re 10 out of 10. Just by adding Deborah to your business, it becomes hugely more valuable. On that basis, I would then increase my personal valuation of this business proposition, and therefore I’m willing to reduce my personal equity ask for sure.’
Hearing that her pitch had been accept caused Charlotte to burst into tears, with Deborah quipping: ‘I hope that’s good tears.’
And Charlotte had to take in a minute to recover from her shock. ‘I cant quite believe what just happened,’ she told the camera, beaming after exiting the Den.
Viewers were equally as impressed with Charlotte’s pitch. ‘That last pitch on the den was great. Asking for double the money,’ one said.
‘Probably my favourite Dragon’s Den moment so far Charlotte was so impressive! Looking forward to seeing this one grow,’ another wrote.
‘What an excellent way to pitch, congratulations Charlotte. Made me teary! Entrepreneurial passion in action, well done. Amazing idea and result,’ said one.
‘Dragon’s Den done made me cry! Well done Charlotte! What a smart fast thinker,’ another said.
Thelittleloop is a clothes rental service that specialises in baby clothes and works based on a subscription service. Parents can rent the items they want, keep them for as long as they wish, and then swap them for other clothes.
The business offers three plans, depending on the number of items customers wish to get. The smallest plan costs £50 payable every three months in exchange for six to seven items.
The medium plan stands at £75 every three months for nine to ten items, and the largest plan, costing £100 every three months, lets you borrow 12 to 14 items.
Charlotte stresses she wants her business to be an answer to fast fashion, and said she wanted to work only with ethical, sustainable businesses so far.