Disrupt

Gary Elphick
Gary is a great guy, who was immediately likeable and was very relatable to me. He is he a lover of life and I knew I could work with him, so big tick.

TIP : when looking at investing into a business or getting involved in a partnership. Make sure there is a culture fit. Does not matter how good you think the business is, if you do not think you can work with the other person then do not do the deal. This should always be your first and most important tick.
Gary talked about his love of surfing and yoga, something else we have in common, another tick. I loved his product and he was on trend with customised surfboards, more ticks.
TIP 2 : If you can find passion in the business you are investing in, then it is easy to get excited. Easiest way not to feel like you are working is to find your passion.
I could see his vision and what we could do together – so I was getting excited and ready start to look at an offer.
Then he went through his valuation and I thought 4.3m was a lot for 18 months, he must have an extraordinary business…… then there was a BUT. His sales for last year was 620K and then this year only 151K, the sales were going in the wrong direction. But even that is OK, if he has a change of direction and a good reason. Next year he was projecting 2m dollars, but had no sales to represent this in the pipeline. Slowly all the ticks are becoming crosses.
The bottom line is that you have to be able to trust and believe what you new partner is saying and often, if it is too good to be true, 99% of the time it is not true. This is not saying Gary was not letting the truth, but it did not make sense and it is very dangerous for Gary to promise 10 times your money return.
Tip 3 : when talking to investors under promise and over deliver, this will gain trust and confidence over time..
I was surprised when Glen made an offer, and I actually thought it was a good offer and Gary should have bitten off Glen’s hand, but he walked about. The problem I think Gary has is that he is still in that honeymoon period that he thinks he is invincible, and that he has the answers. I have seen it time and time again with young entrepreneurs who have not learnt enough lessons in life and business just yet. Businesses over time gives you that reality check.
I liked Gary a lot, and my wish him, is that he proves me totally wrong. Will not be the first time.
Offer Made: Glen 250K for 33%

Car Next Door

Will Davies and Dave Trumball
The concept is when you are not using your car then a third party rents it out for you to another person, they clip the ticket along the way and you get your car insurance paid for as well as a portion of the rental fee. This type of business model is proving to have great success for many industries, think Uber and Air B&B.

There are quite a few people who are trying to be number one in this space, hence the mention in the pitch of ‘land-grab’, which meant that you need to be the first in people’s minds. I am a real fan of the Immutable Laws of marketing, and if you are starting a business understand and live by these laws. ‘First in the mind’ of consumers is one of these laws, and this industry is about what people think about when they want to rent a car. There are many player starting to come into the market place, so are these guys going to be the winners.
The point of difference that Will and Dave had was their back of house system that they were patenting, this was a great start and showed that they were think ahead.
The offer of 4% of the business was a bit small for me, but I truly believe Steve will be the perfect partner for them, so I was wrapped when he made the offer. The pitch went for over an hour, so we really got to know the guys and they have a great opportunity to succeed with Steve and his people.
It was clever that the boys come up with the equity play which was respecting our time and giving extra equity for our expertise.
TIP: Value what people to add to your business and if you really want an investor, give them a sweetener, I would even go as far as if you really want an investor given them equity for nothing to prove to them that you are going to make a difference and you then get their contacts and expertise, which sometimes is more valuable than cash..
Will and Dave were a lovely guys who were very investable, I am thrilled that Steve chose to go for it!

Super Orbs

Shatrh and Bren
Healthy products with soul and passion – this was a real interest for me and the guys did a great job on their pitch and knew their business.
Their products were really quite yummy, good quality and they were passionate about their products but they have been around for 10 years and only turning over 260K per year which means that there is something wrong. At Boost, we go through millions of protein balls each year, so I know there is a need for the product.
The concern was the business side. With $61K in money that they owed to their suppliers but only $21K in money coming in and with not much money in the bank, the business model did not make sense to me and valuation was based on the business model.

This business is probably better as a small business that grows organically, as they will find it difficult to find investors that have the same culture fit.
Good pitch, product and taste.

 

My Fashion Box

Kath Purkis
This was a great concept. You pay an amount each month and you get a surprise fashion box each month with items like scarves, glasses and beauty products that has been customised based on your profile.
Kath has a great back-end system for her business where she can tailor each box per person and the product was packaged well. I really liked the product.blog-sharktank-herfashionbox

The issue for me was the business model itself. Her customers did not stay with her for very long, which says to me that she was doing something wrong. She is not making money which tells me that either her cost of product is not at the right level or she does not have enough customers coming in to replace the lost customers. She has a ‘hole in her bucket’ where customers are falling through and she is not getting enough customers to fill the bucket up again.
These are big issues that need to be addressed.
What Kath did do was reduce the valuation from a first round of investments to try and entice a shark to come on board.
I have spoken with Sophie, Andrew Banks’ daughter and she is seriously connected in the fashion and digital space in the USA and I knew she could open doors. Kath could talk the talk and had the confidence that you need in this business. Her tenacity and drive was very impressive, and you need that in spades to be a success.
I am not sure where Fashion Box will go, sometimes you have the right person and the wrong business, but we believed that if anyone was going to make it, Kath was it.
Business is all about people and the offer for investment was definitely and offer in Kath.