Four pretty good presentations last night, but none deserving of the coveted Sharky Award. Mr. Wonderful was in a holiday mood as he made two deals with a couple of diverse businesses……one selling Christmas Tree lights and the other pop-up greeting cards. These were the two presentations I liked the least.
The presentation I liked the best was Jess and Sarah from Piper Wai. Their product was an all natural deodorant that was charcoal-based. Jess developed the product based on her own personal experience. She couldn’t find a natural deodorant that actually worked. She and Sarah were very passionate about their product. Their sales were minimal, but Shark Barbara was so impressed by these two young ladies that she made them an offer. She said she followed her gut (vintage Barbara) and made them an offer of $50K for 25% equity.
Mark Cuban pointed out the fact that a very low percentage of customers were re-ordering the product. Because of the high drop-out rate, he opted out, but Barbara is the perfect partner for these two real estate agents, and should be able to help them fix the re-order problem.
My second favorite presentation was David from Beard Head. David was a one man show that had sales of over $1 million per year of his sports oriented bearded face masks. His products were in 400 to 500 stores and were also sold online.
David is a true entrepreneur who gave a nice presentation. Unfortunately, he had one “down-year” from a sales standpoint and that’s the kiss of death for most investors. This down-year happened last year when David was distracted by a lawsuit from a competitor who claimed he copied one of their designs. The case went nowhere, but it cost David $150K in legal fees. David has developed a good business, but he needs to wait a couple of years to seek outside investment when he can show two to three years of rising sales. That will show investors that the down-year was an anomaly and is ancient history.
Mr. Wonderful’s deals……included Brad from GeekMyTree who was selling a very cool Christmas Tree lighting system featuring animated glow balls. Even Mr. W. said that this system was so expensive (over $500), that most people couldn’t afford it, and if they did buy it, they wouldn’t have any money left to buy Christmas presents! Why he invested is a mystery to me. Perhaps he drank too many holiday eggnogs before the show.
Mr. W.’s second deal made a little more sense. He made a deal with Wombi and John from lovepop. Mr. W. could envision their pop-up greeting cards business working with his portfolio companies that cater largely to the wedding industry. As he pointed out, people spend a lot of money on weddings. He’s right. Our daughter got married in September and we learned that the typical mark-up on many wedding products is 8X. Mr. W. likes this kind of multiple so he invested $300K for 20% of lovepops, even though they have a very complex business model and limited operational experience…….. not a surprise on either count as they had just graduated from Harvard Business School three weeks prior to the taping!