‘Shark Tank’ gives a grand platform to budding entrepreneurs from around the world to pitch their business models to a panel of uber-successful investors (or Sharks, as we know them). The aspirants get a chance to impress the Sharks with their idea and past and projected sales, and the ultimate goal is to persuade the investors to invest big money in their business. Think Kickstarter for TV, only on a much bigger scale and helmed by industry biggies, that’s ‘Shark Tank’ for you. It is known for its interesting, informative dialogue between the investors and the pitchers, and the generally friendly banter among the Sharks themselves as they fight for their favorite businesses, trying to outbid each other. Not all deals made on the show are successful (some of them fall through) but the reality show is absolutely binge-worthy.
‘SlumberPod’ was pitched to the Sharks by co-founders and mother-daughter duo Lou Childs and Katy Mallory (from Atlanta, Georgia) in January 2020. Curious to know what ‘SlumberPod’ is, how it came to be, and where Lou and Katy’s business stands today? Well, we’ve got you covered.
SlumberPod: Who Are They And What Do They Do?
Katy Mallory once had to cut a family trip to her mother’s short because of an acute lack of sleep due to her kid keeping awake full nights. While at her mother Lou’s, Katy and her husband found that sharing a room with their toddler was detrimental to their child’s sleep and their own. After Katy returned to her own home, she searched in vain for products that would help a child sleep better while traveling. When she failed to find a suitable and safe product in the market, Katy and her mom Lou came up with the idea of ‘SlumberPod’ – an easy-to-assemble blackout canopy tent made of breathable fabric that slides over any crib or baby cot and helps make traveling with little ones less stressful by giving babies a dark, safe and cozy space to sleep. ‘SlumberPod’ is specifically designed to be lightweight enough to fit into carry-on luggage, making it easy for families with little babies to pack for trips.
‘SlumberPod’ came into existence in 2016, when Lou Childs and her daughter Katy Mallory got together to make their idea into a legit business. Through a Kickstarter campaign, they raised $45000 with 356 backers and started selling their product in 2018. In 2019, before they appeared on ‘Shark Tank’, ‘SlumberPod’ had already made over $556,000 in sales.
Kate and Lou entered the Tank seeking a $400,000 financial investment in exchange for 20% equity in the company. Some of the Sharks felt that their product was so impressive and their business model already so successful that they didn’t really need an investment from the Sharks. Even after advising Kate and Lou against selling equity, Barbara Corcoran makes them a deal for their asking amount with a contingency that she gets paid back first. Their stint on ‘Shark Tank’ ends with the deal that in exchange for $400,000, ‘SlumberPod’ will give up 20% equity to Barbara.
Since then, ‘SlumberPod’ has been doing very well in its niche market and the business has shown decidedly steady growth. In April 2020, ‘SlumberPod’ received the Good Design Award (in the Children’s Products category for 2019) that is organized by The Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design. Since June 2020, ‘SlumberPod’ has also been named as one of Atlanta Inno’s “50 On Fire” in the B2C/C2C category. It certainly looks like Barbara bet on a winning horse.
‘SlumberPod’ has, so far, gotten rave customer reviews, high user ratings, and multiple endorsements from influencer mommies. The product is available for purchase in the United States at Buy Buy Baby, Bed Bath and Beyond, and Amazon.
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