Shark Tank is kicking into high gear as a new round of entrepreneurs enter the tank and prepare to tango with the Sharks. Businesses on the latest episode of Shark Tank include an olive oil company, personal safety app, and most surprisingly, horse pants (yes, you read that correctly). In case you missed the latest round of action in the Shark Tank, here’s how it all went down.
First into the Shark Tank was Curt Campbell, looking for a $500,000 investment in exchange for 35% equity in his company, The Oilerie. Inspired by a trip to Poland where he saw boutique olive oil shops, Curt decided to bring the idea of bulk olive oil buying back to the states. Now, Curt owns seven shops where patrons can taste and sample the various Italian-imported olive oils before choosing which bottles they’d like to buy. Resident Olive Oil Snob, Mr. Wonderful, is quick to call Curt’s offerings “mid-to-low,” but he agrees that Curt has clearly found a blossoming market in smaller cities where high-quality olive oil is harder to find. Curt is able to import truffle olive oil for roughly $3.60, which he can sell bottled for $16.50. While the non-olive oil snob Sharks really enjoy the flavors, they’re concerned that the business just isn’t ready to scale. Curt pleads to the Sharks that this is his passion, and that he and his wife, Amy Jo, have had their electric and phones cut off, all in the name of making the Oilerie a success. While the Sharks aren’t interested in investing, they do have a soft spot for Curt. Mark tells Curt that he’s the opposite of a Shark Tank Golddigger (or, someone who comes on the show purely for the business exposure). With well wishes and “hellos” to Amy Jo, all of the Sharks are out.
Next into the Shark Tank are Josh and Sara Margulis, owners of Honeyfund, looking for a $400,000 investment in exchange for 10% equity in their honeymoon-funding company. Inspired by the desire to raise funds for their own honeymoon ten years ago, Josh and Sarah designed Honeyfund to help couples ask for wedding gifts in the form of money that funds their dream honeymoon. To date, Honeyfund has helped couples raise more than $200 million. Through a small fee that they take from the Paypal transactions, Honeyfund made $987,000 on their $67 million in transactions last year, netting a profit if about $217,000. The customer acquisition fee is approximately $0.88/couple, and Honeyfund makes approximately $9 per wedding registry. Based on Honeyfund’s success, Josh and Sara are planning to expand Honeyfund into other avenues so people can raise money for a variety of causes, from medical costs to bar mitzvahs, through Plumfund. The Sharks realize the crowd-funding market is crowded, but Honeyfund has been able to capture 30% of market share. Robert is first to make an investment, and he’s in at $500,000 for 50%. Kevin jumps in next, with a twist on his standard Kevin-offer: he’s in at $400,000 for no equity, but wants 1/3 of the transactional value until he recoups his investment x3 ($1.2 million), and then he’s gone. Barbere is in at $400,000 for 30%, and the Robert quickly matches Barbara’s offer. The Margolises counter Robert at 25%, and when he balks at and declines the counter offer, they quickly accept Kevin’s royalty deal. A match made in Shark Tank heaven!
Earlier on Shark Tank, fans met Charles Michael Yim, founder of Breathometer, a smartphone-enabled breathalyzer. After making a deal with all five Sharks for $1 million at 30% equity, Charles has never looked back. He’s in the process of releasing a Bluetooth-equipped breathalyzer, Breeze, and partnering with the Cleveland Clinic, the #1 breath analysis lab in the country for future research. Just one year after airing, Breathometer is approaching $10 million in sales. That’s the Shark Tank Effect in action!
Next into the Shark Tank are Phil Reitnour and Jason Friedberg pitching their personal security company, EmergenSee. The men asked the Sharks for a $250,000 investment in exchange for 10% equity in their company. EmergenSee is a free smartphone app that turns a users phone into a personal security system that instantly transmits video, audio, location data, and texts to the user’s emergency contacts. To date, the men have 211,000 free downloads, but only 130 users have opted into the $8.99 a month premium version that connects them with emergency responders, in addition to their emergency contacts. The men are currently focused on getting businesses and universities on board; at a $25,000 starting point, larger institutions can buy into EmergenSee and use geo-fencing technology to monitor all activity within an established perimeter. Unfortunately, with $185,000 in sales, EmergenSee has yet to turn a profit, a fact that is cause for concern among the Sharks. The guys have invested $3 million of their own money (!!), the vast majority of which has gone to developing the technology, leaving only $68,000 in the bank. The Shark see one fundamental flaw with EmergenSee – neither of the owners are “geeky” enough to lead a tech-focused company to success in such a competitive market. There’s no secure deal on this transaction, all of the Sharks are out.