If you love the beach but hate lugging around a heavy, unwieldy beach chair, this new company might have just what you’re looking for. Founded by Leslie Hsu and Greg Besner, Sunflow is a comfortable, portable chair with all the accessories you need for a perfect day at the beach. The pair, who both come from startup backgrounds, were able to quickly grow their product thanks to their unique design and word-of-mouth marketing. Today, the New Jersey-based company is generating $3-4 million in annual revenue and is worth close to $16 million.
The couple came to Shark Tank seeking a $1 million investment for 6% equity in their business. They’d already racked up $2.9 million in direct-to-consumer sales since launching the brand 13 months prior. The sharks were impressed by the numbers, but most were concerned about their high valuation. Additionally, they’d already sold about 1,000 chairs at the time of their pitch, meaning they’d probably hit their sales target within a matter of weeks.
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As a result, most of the sharks pulled out of the deal. Barbara Corcoran, Lori Greiner, and Mark Cuban all gave the founders their compliments, but they were unable to offer any sort of investment. Guest Shark Daniel Lubetzky did make an offer, but it was too much for the founders to afford. Lubetzky offered $1 million for a 22.5% stake in the company, but it was too high of an investment for Besner and Hsu.
Ultimately, it was only Kevin O’Leary who made a deal with the founders. He offered them a $1 million investment for a 5% stake in the company, as well as a royalty of $5 per chair until they recouped their initial $1 million investment. It was a great deal for the founders, but it still left them with less than they were hoping for.
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After the Shark Tank appearance, sales for the company shot up by 4x. They’ve also expanded their line of products to include more accessories. Today, they’re selling a variety of different bundles that include the beach chair, sun shade, drink holder, dry bag for valuables, and a towel. You can purchase a single chair for $198 or get the complete package for $296.