Shark Tank Season 4, Episode 23: An Unexpected Investment

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According to the previews before this latest episode of Shark Tank, as well as what the Sharks were spilling on Twitter before the show, fans were in for a great episode with one completely unexpected move from everyone’s favorite Shark, Mr. Wonderful. In case you missed the outcome, here’s what happened on the latest episode of Shark Tank.

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College coffee moguls earn $75,000 investment with Misto Box

First into the tank were college friends, Samantha Meis and Connor Riley, founders and owners of Misto Box. The two partners asked the Sharks for a $75,000 investment in exchange for 15% of their subscription coffee service company. Misto Box was actually born when Samantha and Connor were still at Arizona State University, and members of the school’s entrepreneurship program. Misto Box is basically like a wine-of-the-month club for coffee lovers. Consumers can choose their subscription size and duration, and Misto hand-selects a batch of coffees that are sent on a monthly basis. The Sharks have been skeptical of subscription service companies in the past, so Kevin’s curious to see if Samantha and Connor can tell him their cost per acquisition. Without skipping a beat, they inform him that the cost is around $4.60, and the Sharks are definitely impressed. At a cost of $150/year for the subscription service, the company is making a profit margin of roughly 30-45%. Although the Sharks are worried that subscribers will terminate their membership once they find a coffee they like, Sam and Connor are prepared for that too. Once a subscriber decides to switch from the monthly subscription to purchasing a specific type of coffee, Misto Box can fulfill that purchase on a scheduled basis. In fact, that company has grown 370% in just the last 3 weeks before Shark Tank filming. Kevin’s first to make an offer of $75,000 for 25%, but it seems as though the two are holding out for another offer. Mark sits back and waits for more equity, and Connor quickly makes Mark an offer of $75,000 for 30%. This happened to be Mark’s magic number, and the deal is made! Citing the reason for their offer to Mark, Connor replies: “Sam’s got a crush on Mark and I like sports.”

Shark Tank Success Story: eCreamery

Earlier this season, Shark Tank fans met eCreamery, the revolutionary custom-made ice cream and gelato mail-order company. While eCreamery didn’t make a deal with any Shark, business since the show has been booming. The company has done half a million in sales in just 3 months, and is forecasting $2 million in the next year. Congrats!

Squirrel zapper, Michael DeSanti requests $130,000 for Squirrel Boss

Second into the Shark Tank was an inventor who hopes to alleviate a standard problem faced by bird-watchers: squirrels on the bird feeder. Michael DeSanti asked the Sharks for a $130,000 investment in exchange for 40% equity in his company, Squirrel Boss. When hungry squirrels climb on the bird feeder, owners simply push a button to zap the squirrels away. After just two zaps, they won’t come back again. Unfortunately Lori is disappointed to hear that the design isn’t actually patented, a downfall that Michael blames on his bad patent attorney. The company has almost $200,000 in sales and very little debt, but that’s just not enough to encourage the Sharks to make a deal. They’re all out.

David Glickman asks $400,000 for Vermont Butcher Block

Next into the Shark Tank is the tie-dye suit-wearing businessman, David Glickman, seeking a $400,000 investment in exchange for 25% equity in his premium cutting board company, Vermont Butcher Block. The company, David says, is premium products built with premium materials, sold for premium prices. After David escaped “New York City’s rat race,” he left his normal suits behind and started his own company. David’s sold $2.9 million since the company’s inception in 2004. In fact, his company made $150,000 in profit just last year. While Lori appears to be the frontrunner with her QVC background, she challenges David’s company with her concern about the new wave of antimicrobial cutting boards. David clearly understands his competitive set when he counters that science has actually proven wooden boards to kill bacteria faster, but Lori isn’t convinced. Even his last stitch efforts of upping the equity to 40 and then 45% are fruitless, and David leaves without a deal.

Mr. Wonderful invests with his heart, gives Mee Ma’s $100,000

Last into the Shark Tank is Carole Foster, owner of Mee Ma’s Louisiana Gumbo Brick, seeking a $200,000 investment in exchange for 20% of her home-grown gumbo company. Using the recipe passed down from her Mee Ma, Carole is hoping an investment from the Sharks will help her leave her long-haul truck-driving job in order to really focus on her gumbo brick company. After years of getting asked by friends to make them gumbo to their specifications, Carole starting making simple gumbo bricks that consumers can heat up and customize to their own flavor preferences. While Carole has $500,000 in sales in the last 2.5 years, she’s having difficulty scaling the company to meet her inventory demands, especially at the big box retailers she’s targeting, like Costco. While the Sharks seem to love Carole and her gumbo, what really sells them on the idea of investing in her is her passion. Carole tells the Sharks that she’s currently homeless, and just doing what she can for her company and her daughter. To everyone’s surprise, Kevin is most touched by her story, and he offers her $100,000, with Lori chipping in the second $100,000 for a shared equity of 50%. Without a second thought, self-proclaimed Gumbo Geek Carole says yes and the deal is done!

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About Author

Carolyn is a 20-something marketing professional from Chicago, and she's been working with InTheSharkTank since August 2011. Some of her favorite past Shark Tank contestants are Litter SF, REMYXX, and Villy Customs. When she's not busy live-tweeting the show, Carolyn likes reading on her Kindle, exploring the city, and getting in touch with her inner Betty Crocker. Google+

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