From retail to the cloud as Piers Linney replaces Theo Paphitis on Dragons’ Den

Cloud entrepreneur Piers Linney has been named as the replacement to outgoing investor Theo Paphitis on the BBC's Dragons Den.

Piers Linney, joint CEO of cloud service provider Outsourcery, has joined the panel of popular investment television show Dragons’ Den.

The appointment comes a month after long-serving Dragon Theo Paphitis announced he was leaving the show to focus on his business interests, and is the second new investor brought in during 2013.

Linney will now join Duncan Bannatyne, Peter Jones, Deborah Meaden and fellow new Dragon Kelly Hoppen for the new series of the show.

Prior to being part of the founding team of cloud computing business Outsourcery, Linney qualified as a solicitor specialising in private equity and also worked as an investment banker and venture capital fund manager.

He is also a founder shareholder of Tower Gate Capital, a London-headquartered merchant bank which offers advisory and investment services.

The slot will not be his first foray into television having appeared on Channel 4’s ‘Secret Millionaire’, a show which sees business owners covertly infiltrate the lower levels of their company.

Commenting on his new role, Linney says, ‘Having been a professional and private investor, I stepped into what started out as a personal investment to run it.

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‘I am excited to have the opportunity to join Dragons’ Den and once again support entrepreneurs both finically and through my extensive network. I think I can widen the appeal of the Den to information economy entrepreneurs as they are the key to the future success of the UK economy.’

The outgoing Paphitis spent nine seasons on the TV show and broke the record for the largest investment made when, in October 2012, he shelled out £250,000 for a stake in internet-based trading hub Zapper, which allows people to get cash for unwanted books, CDs and DVDs.

Taking to Twitter, fellow Dragon Jones confirmed the appointment and said that he was off the to studios to begin filming for the 11th series.

Dragons’ Den executive producer Ceri Ashton says that Linney is a ‘new breed’ of Dragon.

She adds, ‘A young and dynamic digital entrepreneur, he has his finger on the pulse of an industry that has never been represented in the Deb before.

‘He’s at the helm of a business that he is successfully building and growing, so his story is an inspiring one for any entrepreneur looking for investment on the show.’

Want to know a bit more about this entrepreneur? You should check out thinking outside the box: in the boardroom with Outsourcery CEO Piers Linney.

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter was the Editor for from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

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