(Cross posted at Kempton with additional readers’ comments)
The following are my brief reviews and comments on the Dragons’ Den Season 2 episode 2 pitches/ideas.
Reality Check — IMHO, pure talk and no products don’t make a good business. And the 10+ Reality Check men and women seemed to me were just there for show and wasn’t really part of the business at all. Not a good way to pitch, IMHO.
3D Fanware — Since they were fanware to wear at live games or at home, I suppose we don’t need to worry as much about safety. (I was picturing kids wearing these hamlets to play street hockey!) I forgot was it Jim or Arlene or someone else, the sports promotional business is a tough business and the novelty of the product may wear off quickly.
The team of Florence Leung, Robert Dunlop, Grant Ringham, Parham Yaghoobi and Lewis Zimmerman have done a great job developing PeerFx. And Florence and her teammate (sorry, I forgot his name) did a nice job presenting their ideas.
With a lack of precise details of the working of PeerFx provided on the show, I will post some of my questions and make some comments based on assumptions that are potentially wrong . But thats half of the fun, right? (big smile)
Questions & Comments
- If the users want to exchange Canadian $ and US$, do they need to have bank accounts in both currencies? Will the users need to provide their account numbers to PeerFx? The question is how does the users get their hands on the physical US$ or C$? And how long will this process takes?
- I am *not* a lawyer and I am definitely not a Canadian or US banking law expert. But PeerFx may need to find lawyers that know the area. When I was thinking about this area, PayPal came into mind. And the “The Legal Relationship between You and PayPal” section in the PayPal User agreement may be a good place to familiarize some issues, including “(i) PayPal is not a bank and the Service is a payment processing service rather than a banking service“.
- The issue of float. As an aside, float is an important and interesting topic discussed by Warren Buffett many times, for example see the title “The Power of float” in this link or search for float in the official 2004 annual report (a great read)).
- Now, since we are talking about float. Then PeerFx must be temporary hold users’ money. (issues in — trust, rules and regulations, etc.) I think it is important for the business to use the float wisely because if the amount of money being dealt with is sizable then there can be good extra income generated. (As a side note, the float of *only* a few days are how some payroll processing companies make their money processing companies’ paychecks to employees.)
- The barriers to entry is quite low in this business. But then the barriers to entry for Craiglist was and still is quite low too.
PeerFx definitely has a good business idea here and I am interested in how the team and the dragons execute it. Best of luck to them.
Oct 9th Update: Here are some further research and discussions on PeerFX’s patent.
By the way, I think PeerFX got $200K and gave up 51% of the company to three dragons.
Forever Chelsey — Watching the dragons analyze the market and the product, I agree with their judgment.
Sincerity Inc. — The products are just not good. But the web name sincerity.ca may worth something. (Note: sincerity.com looks unused and ready to be sold?)
Urban Inukshuk — Sorry, just a bad idea. The art DYI “art” look quite cheap.
Heartland International English School –– Like Robert pointed out, I think web based interactive language instruction is better than a simple phone based one.
Island Sports Entertainment — (Thanks to Shaun for reminding me I missed this company.) — Although the wrestling match and commentary were entertaining but I will trust Jim and Arlene’s instinct on the limited potential of the business. The potential sales may be worldwide but how to generate paying interest around the world is a totally different story.
The ability to generate interests of the wrestlers outside of the immediate surrounding geographical area is a big challenge that these entrepreneurs have to face. And the valuation of over $600K just make the decisions to say no that much easier. Just my 2 cents.
Vent Kit — I am really happy the lady got her $10,000 and a licensing agreement with the Dragons Jim and Laurence. Sometimes we all need a break and I am so glad that this lady got her break tonight. Hopefully with Laurence’s contacts and Jim’s help, this lady will make good on her words and create a nice viable business for herself and the dragons.