min read

Landlord turns up heat on TV show with winning pitch

Anthony Cherry Dragons' Den

An HMO landlord and entrepreneur has secured £80,000 worth of funding on Dragons' Den for his thermostat business.

Anthony Cherry took his Time:o:stat onto the BBC TV programme, seeking investment to help launch new models, and managed to convince Dragon Touker Suleyman to invest in the company. Suleyman offered the amount Cherry had asked for, but the landlord had to concede a 25% share of his company – rather than the 10% share he had hoped for – which will drop to 20% when the initial investment is paid back.

Spiralling bills

In his pitch, Cherry explain that he had noticed spiralling heating bills in his HMO as tenants would often leave the heating on when they went out to work or university. “When I spoke to the tenants, they said the thermostat was too complicated. They had no idea how to set the different heating I made something bespoke for my properties.”

After designing the first model, seeing 40% savings on heating bills and getting positive feedback from tenants, Cherry decided to refine his invention so other landlords could benefit. First launched in 2016, the business had a turnover of £394,000 last year, netting £93,000 in profit. Cherry has already sold 12,735 to fellow HMO landlords at a cost of £169.99 to £229.99 depending on the model.

Netting profit

Time:o:stat allows tenants to increase the time that heating is on between two and eight hours at the touch of a button - the longer time allowed, the lower the maximum temperature - so it can’t be left running continuously.

He explained that the payback period for landlords could be a month but not all the Dragons were convinced, with Peter Jones telling him that the new Nest controller could do something similar.

Cherry adds: “It was one of the most intense experiences of my life.”


Heating system