Shark Tank March 29 Simple Sugars & Drop Stop

by Laura Thieme

This is a live blog during ABC’s Shark Tank, at 9 pm ET.  It gets edited throughout the show and afterwards once our keyword discovery is done.

Drop Stop’s Jeffrey Simon and Mark are looking to the sharks to invest 300k for 15% stake. Drop Stop has a built in stop gap for food, keys, anything that gets dropped – making drop again driving a thing of the past.  Mark Cuban called it the Carmuda Triangle – They’ve sold 260,000 units – in $1.3M.  They sell on website, 42x on QVC.  Over 500k accidents from distraction driving.  $2 cost, retail of $9.  Have IP – provisional patent.  Robert indicates he has never dropped anything, so he’s out.  Mark says he’s a slob, and gets the product, but not the right investor.  Kevin as always, doesn’t want equity, he wants royalties at $2 a unit.  Lori, the QVC Queen, says she can make Jeffrey and Mark millionaires.  She offers 300k for 20%.  Kevin countered with a $1 royalty and dings Lori’s offer.  But, Lori gets the deal.  Poor Kevin. Tsk, tsk.

Eat Lionfish to Save the Water? The next guys [will insert names later] are asking for $225k in return for 25% equity – About 20 years ago, a lionfish problem occurred – and they have no natural predators.  They eat grouper, snapper, lobster larvae and fish that are crucial to keeping the coral reefs.  Their slogan? To beat ’em, just eat them.  Guess what, why not eat them? Perfectly safe to eat, so they say, although read this and you may not agree after reading.  They’re selling them.  Comparable to seabass, grouper.  These guys are not really marketing gurus.  Ouch. Only $12k in sales.  Robert said their problem is they need demand.  And since the article above referenced neurotoxins, maybe not…..

Keyword Discovery – how many people are searching online for keywords related to the products featured on Shark Tank?

  • lionfish” – 234
    Not many people searching for lionfish problem related keywords, but apparently people want to get a tattoo with a lionfish on it.
  • Lionfish tattoo – 9 searches
  • ciguatera poisoning – 38 searches (related to fish poisoning)

Simple Sugars is run by a high school entrepreneur, Lani Lazzari, from Pennsylvania.  She wants $100k for 10% equity, which puts the company at a million dollar valuation, which is something she had to defend on the show.  She suffered from eczema and psoriasis, at the age of 11.  She did her own research and created her own product, a sugar scrub product.  All natural sugars.  Lani invites Lori to try them out and says sugar removes the barrier, and allows the oils to penetrate the skin.  60% of her sugar scrub sales are online, and in wholesale.  $55k sales to date.  $100k expected this year.  She’s a niche player online.  Kevin O’Leary asked her to defend her $1M valuation.  She went from $16k to $32k in sales.  Six stores to 20 in her first year after high school.  You can talk about the ingredient benefits, but not that it cures anything.  She saw her mom go through something tough and wanted to avoid the corporate.  $50k would go towards part-time sales associates.  She has a facility in Pittsburgh.  She has three employees.  I’m impressed by this girl, but Daymond exits quickly.

Keyword Discovery – number of people searching online for specific keywords related to Simple Sugars’ products (sample)

  • eczema – 1345
  • aromafloria muscle soak sugar salt glow body scrub 12 oz  –  150
    (seems like a wild card keyword, right? This occurs frequently in keyword research, and you will have to determine if it’s not a (ro)bot creating this keyword search in the database, or if it you really want to target such a long-tail keyword string/phrase such as this one)
  • eczema treatment – 131
  • eczema remedies – 107
  • sugar scrub – 85
  • body scrub – 64
  • foot scrub – 60
  • eczema cream – 58
  • eczema parsley – 51
  • eczema kale – 49 (clearly there is a connection between healthy food, awareness of diet’s connection to eczema) – lots more keyword opportunities here that we can see in our database
  • eczema fruit butters – 48
  • eczema sugars – 46
  • sugar scrub recipe – 42 (shows how many people might just make it themselves)
  • homemade sugar scrub – 26
  • facial scrub -13

Kevin talked about how hard it is to get share from the big players.  Mark Cuban is the only shark left for Lani.  Gentle exfoliation is the only way – her primary competition is Fresh.  Simple Sugars is more affordable.  $15.95; $3.61 is her cost.  Now, Mark is in.  Can’t blame in that the numbers sound much better.  He offers $100k for 33% of the company.  She tried to counter, but he stayed firm.  He’s got three kids and a wife that knows the issues she referenced.  Lani rocks! 18 years old. Follow her story on Twitter @simplesugars.

Updated Monday, April 1 – SEO & Keyword Discovery Report I tried to run an SEO Report to see how Lani’s website shows up in the search engines, however, her site redirects to a Shopify website (as of Monday, April 1).  Thus, I am withholding this SEO report until we can pull it on her regular site.  The good news is that due to the Shark Tank appearance, she had over 9,000 online orders over the weekend.  That’s $144k in online sales, minimum, if people only ordered one container.  I’m guessing that based on the Facebook fans comments relating to psoriasis and eczema, she’s getting online orders with average orders much greater than $16.  It’s possible the Shark Tank buzz generated took the site down, and she was ready for it, and Shopify could potentially handle the volume, but am not sure.

Jeffrey Miller wants $100k for 40% equity for Coolwraps, a shrink wrap present.  They were out in the market, got on QVC twice, and sold out.  They went to the bank asking for $300-$500k.  The partners were not willing to collateralize their homes.  Was a 20% shareholder.  He owns 100% now.  He’s not a sales guy.  He needs to be at the Home & Garden shows.  He has a utility patent.  Costs $.11-$.18 per bag.  QVC had a special price of $16.88.  Lori wants to give him $150k and buy him out.   Cuban wants to give $250k + 3% royalty for a 100% stake.  Holy cannolis.  Great exit for Mr. Miller!

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