Money was no object for Morgan Carey, a Nanaimo entrepreneur, when he appeared on CBC’s Dragons’ Den last week.
Carey, owner of the multimillion-dollar real estate website development company Real Estate Webmasters, appeared on Wednesday’s broadcast of the reality TV show where people pitch business ideas to entrepreneurs, called dragons, in hopes of obtaining development capital and business resources.
Carey presented his business model and asked for $2 million for four per cent of his company, representing a $50-million valuation on the company – the largest “ask” in the history of Dragons’ Den. Carey wound up haggling with dragons David Chilton, Jim Treliving and Michael Wekerle for potential investment.
“We negotiated hard, I like to say and I ended up doing a deal with two of the dragons [Treliving and Wekerle] for $2 million at five per cent, which puts us at a $40-million valuation,” Carey said.
Now the three parties have to sit down and ink the deal, should they all choose to proceed.
“After the show you go through your diligence process and you shake hands again, if you choose to, you look at each other’s numbers and all that sort of stuff and then you enjoy the spoils of the exposure you get from a national television show,” Carey said.
He said the money was irrelevant. His company doesn’t need it, but rules of the show require that those who pitch to the dragons ask for money, so he chose a large sum “honouring the valuation” of his company. The exposure from appearing on the show and the contacts he could potentially make through the dragons’ organizations to help grow his company over the next five years was what he really wanted.
Real Estate Webmasters has a strong presence in the U.S., but not Canada where Carey said he wants to promote the business.
“Our plan this year is $20 million in sales,” Carey said. “Our plan over the next five years is $100 million in annual sales, which puts us at a $1 billion valuation.”
Another of Carey’s goals is to possibly become one of the show’s dragons.