An Insignia SEO Agency http://www.autjournal.com Thu, 27 Aug 2020 05:45:55 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.5.3 Hold Your Haunches Shapewear: Shark Tank Updates in 2020 http://www.autjournal.com/blog/hold-your-haunches-shapewear-shark-tank-updates-in-2020/ Mon, 10 Aug 2020 13:48:33 +0000 http://www.autjournal.com/?p=22218 The Basics Company: Hold Your Haunches Owners: Erin Bickley and Jenny Greer Product: shapewear apparel for women Asking Price: $75,000 for 20% equity Final Deal: $75,000 for 40% equity, plus a line of credit Sharks Who Took The Bait:?Barbara Corcoran and Lori Greiner Season/Episode: Season 5, Episode 23 Hold Your Haunches Before Shark Tank Erin Bickley and Jenny Greer are the “head haunchos” of Hold Your Haunches, a women’s shapewear apparel line. They are two fearless Southern belles from Macon, Georgia, and their entrepreneurial spirit shows in their innovative product. “When it comes to business, we’re as tough as a peach pit.” The two friends are both mothers with three kids each. Over the years they’ve noticed their reflections have…

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The Basics
  • Company: Hold Your Haunches
  • Owners: Erin Bickley and Jenny Greer
  • Product: shapewear apparel for women
  • Asking Price: $75,000 for 20% equity
  • Final Deal: $75,000 for 40% equity, plus a line of credit
  • Sharks Who Took The Bait:?Barbara Corcoran and Lori Greiner
  • Season/Episode: Season 5, Episode 23

Hold Your Haunches Before Shark Tank

Erin Bickley and Jenny Greer are the “head haunchos” of Hold Your Haunches, a women’s shapewear apparel line. They are two fearless Southern belles from Macon, Georgia, and their entrepreneurial spirit shows in their innovative product. “When it comes to business, we’re as tough as a peach pit.”

The two friends are both mothers with three kids each. Over the years they’ve noticed their reflections have changed – particularly when it comes to their legs and derriere.? They’ve founded Hold Your Haunches to make their own product, a line of form-fitting, slimming, and flattering shapewear apparel.

“We’re on the cusp of something great, but the industry we’re in requires so much capital and so much expertise to even get to the doors, much less get them open.” They need the Sharks’ help to break into the industry and make it big. “We’ve put blood, sweat and tears into this, and if we don’t get a deal from the sharks, we’ll be heartbroken.”

Hold Your Haunches On Shark Tank: A Quick Recap

Erin and Jenny pitch their apparel line: a fashion product legging, with a fully integrated shapewear liner. It’s a totally unique, chic and one-of-a-kind product that offers smoothing and slimming support for all ages. It can be worn anywhere from the carpool lane to a cocktail party.

Charmingly, the two explain how as they’ve aged, despite all their best efforts at diet and exercise, they’ve been unable to stop their behinds from sagging beneath their underpants line, creating what they refer to as the “two-butt effect.”? They couldn’t find a legging that included shapewear anywhere in stores. “Since we were unable to find our dream pant anywhere on this earth, we created it.”

The sharks are impressed by the before and after picture. Jenny passes out samples of the fabric, and the sharks confess they’ve never felt shaper fabric this intense.

Leave it to Kevin to start raining on their parade.

“Women of a certain age with, let’s say, Rubenesque figure. Let’s say they use your product. They meet a single guy who sees them a certain way,” says Kevin, while Barb and Lori start to groan. “But on the third date, it’s time..and they find out the horrible truth. This is false advertising. And there should be litigation.”

Robert also wants to know who’s going to wear their product if the shapewear fabric is too thick and hot. “It’s too hot.”

Lori comes to the contestant’s defense. “I just have to inform my fellow male sharks here, because I think Barbara already knows: women like shapers. They do. If they have muffin tops, thighs that they don’t like, whatever it is.”

Running the Numbers

Mark, Robert and Kevin drop out before the ladies can even discuss financial details,?but eventually, Lori gets around to asking about numbers.

  • Cost of production: $18 per pair, made in Asia; $30 domestically
  • Wholesale: $69
  • Retail price: $139
  • Profit margin: 87%
  • Profits for the prior year: $50,000, all reinvested into the business
  • Total sales-to-date: $280,000 since 2010
  • Total annual sales: $165,000

The men are impressed by the profit margins here, and it’s somehow deeply satisfying to know that their innate sexism pushed them out of the bidding before they even heard the numbers. (Serves you right, Kevin!)?

The Bidding

Mark jumps in to say that while he understands “every push needs a tush,” this area isn’t his core competency, and he’s out. (Looks like we’re just going to skip the numbers section of this episode entirely – no sales breakdown? No profit margin discussion? The sharks must be getting tired.)

Robert drops out next, stating he can’t see someone using it because it just feels too heavy and thick. “Which goes to show, I know nothing.”

Barbara takes the opportunity to point out sexism: “Why is it every time we have a female-oriented product on this show, you guys go out right away?”?

Kevin, meanwhile, denies that he’s a sexist, and holds fast to his claim that he “knows a lot about shapewear,” but maintains that his problem with the product is that it’s “false advertising.”

Thank God for Lori and Barb Shark, lest the entire show go down in chauvinist flames. After the men drop out like a simpering pack of gutless weasels, Lori and Barb jump in to save the day, with a fantastic offer that both sassy Southern moms are thrilled to accept.

Final Deal: $75,000, plus a line of credit, for 40% equity.

Hold Your Haunches After Shark Tank

Erin and Jenny’s business is doing so well that in 2016 they received one of Georgia’s most prestigious business honors – the Georgia Grown award.

The sassy Southern duo was featured in one of Shark Tank’s?Where Are They Now??segments, where it appears that business was booming and sales were stronger than ever. Like most businesses, they received a significant boost in sales immediately following their appearance on Shark Tank.?

The full Hold Your Haunches shapewear apparel line is now available to purchase on the brand’s website, on Amazon, and at a range of smaller retailers.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is strictly informational; INSIGNIA SEO is not affiliated with Hold Your Hanches Shapewear, SharkTank, or any of its subsidiaries.

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Gameday Couture: Shark Tank Updates in 2020 http://www.autjournal.com/blog/gameday-couture-shark-tank-updates-in-2020/ Mon, 10 Aug 2020 13:46:54 +0000 http://www.autjournal.com/?p=22262 The Basics Company:?Gameday Couture Product:?Fashionable sports apparel for women Owner:?Shawnna and Kurt Feddersen Asking Price:?$500,000 for 20% equity Final Deal:?$500,000 for 33% equity, on condition of creating a fashion line for Dallas Mavericks Shark Who Took The Bait:?Mark Cuban Season/Episode:?Season 6, Episode 11 Gameday Couture Before Shark Tank Shawnna and Kurt Feddersen are from Oklahoma (in case you couldn’t tell by the spelling of their names), and they’re out to solve one of life’s most common problems: you want to support your boyfriend’s sports team, but you have nothing to wear.? The charismatic couple founded Gameday Coutoure in 2014 to create fashionable sports apparel for women, working with NBA and NCAA teams to create unique, fashionable clothing lines with feminine…

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The Basics
  • Company:?Gameday Couture
  • Product:?Fashionable sports apparel for women
  • Owner:?Shawnna and Kurt Feddersen
  • Asking Price:?$500,000 for 20% equity
  • Final Deal:?$500,000 for 33% equity, on condition of creating a fashion line for Dallas Mavericks
  • Shark Who Took The Bait:?Mark Cuban
  • Season/Episode:?Season 6, Episode 11

Gameday Couture Before Shark Tank

Shawnna and Kurt Feddersen are from Oklahoma (in case you couldn’t tell by the spelling of their names), and they’re out to solve one of life’s most common problems: you want to support your boyfriend’s sports team, but you have nothing to wear.?

The charismatic couple founded Gameday Coutoure in 2014 to create fashionable sports apparel for women, working with NBA and NCAA teams to create unique, fashionable clothing lines with feminine touches.

Gameday Couture On Shark Tank: A Quick Recap

It’s hard to focus on Shawnna and Kurt when their stage display is so distracting – a large and glittering display of sparkling, sequined women’s tops, all decked out in sports logos, MVP player numbers, and team colors. Hats, hoodies, t-shirts, tunics, leggings, skirts, you name it. It’s all there, and it’s all adorable. “High-quality fabrics, at competitive price points,” says Kurt, reminding us that the product is not just cute but functional and durable, too.

“We’re a success in the South, but we want to dress fans from all over,” Shawnna continues.

Robert Herjavec interjects with an insightful question, seeing as he has invested in a clothing business that has recently learned how expensive it is to acquire logo licensing from each college and university. “How many colleges and universities do you have licensing from?”

“As it stands right now, we’ve got about 37 licenses, with a few more in the works,” says Kurt, eager to show that they are capable of playing by big-kid rules.

Gameday Couture

Running the Numbers

The models pass out samples of gear and apparel while the sharks dig into the numbers.

  • Annual sales: $750,000 last year; $1.5 million projected
  • Average wholesale cost: $22
  • Retail price: $44
  • Cost of production: $8
  • Profit margin: 64% wholesale; 82% retail
  • Projected earnings on $1.5 million sales: $100,000 in revenue

Lori interjects to say that she recently bought a blinged-out, bedazzled sports team hoodie of her own, but the price point was $60-some odd dollars. Whereas, with Gameday Couture, the price point is much lower and more affordable. The brand has a much better chance of appealing to the masses and selling well.

They’ve also worked hard to procure something called an “alumni cut,” at a competitive price point, which helps grow their student and university customer base.

The Bidding

Kevin scolds them for not being proprietary, and for not knowing their own value. “I think you overpriced your business, and I think you’re worth about $750,000.” (In retrospect, this is deliciously ironic, given that the company did $20 million in sales just two years after this episode aired.)?Kevin is first to drop out.

Daymond is next, and then Robert.

Mark wants to know how their business is doing online – as he thinks most of their business?should?be online. They’re doing well, but not as well as he’d like to see. After realizing that it was a matter of proving themselves to their licensing partners with store orders, rather than vague online fellowship, Mark seems confident enough in the business and makes an offer – with a caveat.?

“I’m going to make you an offer for the full $500,000, for 30% equity, but there’s a caveat. And I’m not going to tell you what that caveat is until you answer the offer. So you’re going to have to trust me a little bit.

Josh and Sara take only a moment to mull it over, before happily accepting Mark’s offer. (And the caveat? They have to make a line for the team Mark Cuban owns – the Dallas Mavericks.)?

Final Deal: $500,000 for 30%, with a custom line for the Dallas Mavericks

Gameday Couture After Shark Tank: Where Are They Now?

Gameday Couture is one of the most successful companies – and best investments – that Mark Cuban has ever played a role in lifting out of obscurity.

In 2018 alone, Gameday Couture racked up a staggering $20 million in revenue.?

Their full product line is sold directly online, through Amazon, at Dick’s Sporting Goods, Social House Boutique, and tons of other retail locations around the country.

Gameday Couture consistently tops internet lists of the best Shark Tank investments and the most successful Shark Tank companies of all time.

The company’s Instagram boasts nearly 30,000 followers, while the Gameday Couture Facebook page has more than 318,000 followers.?

Needless to say, this women’s fashion line didn’t just score a touch down with sports fans – they changed the whole game, for fashionistas, designers, entrepreneurs, and investors.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is strictly informational; INSIGNIA SEO is not affiliated with Gameday Couture, SharkTank, or any of its subsidiaries.

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Coffee Meets Bagel: Shark Tank Updates in 2020 http://www.autjournal.com/blog/coffee-meets-bagel-shark-tank-updates-in-2020/ Mon, 10 Aug 2020 05:00:10 +0000 http://www.autjournal.com/?p=22221 The Basics Company:?Coffee Meets Bagel Owner:?Arum, Dawoon, and Soo Kang Product:?Online dating site for women Asking Price:?$500,000 for 5% equity Final Deal: None – Rejected largest offer in Shark Tank history ($30 million from Mark Cuban) Season/Episode: Season 6, Episode 13 Coffee Meets Bagel Before Shark Tank Coffee Meets Bagel is an impressive concept that uses mutual friend matching to take the fear and uncertainty out of online dating. The user-friendly app culls data from Facebook friends and mutual connections to find a high-quality romantic match. If both users approve of the proposed match, the app offers them a coupon or discount to use on dates. First launched in April 2012 in New York City, Coffee Meets Bagel quickly expanded…

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The Basics
  • Company:?Coffee Meets Bagel
  • Owner:?Arum, Dawoon, and Soo Kang
  • Product:?Online dating site for women
  • Asking Price:?$500,000 for 5% equity
  • Final Deal: None – Rejected largest offer in Shark Tank history ($30 million from Mark Cuban)
  • Season/Episode: Season 6, Episode 13

Coffee Meets Bagel Before Shark Tank

Coffee Meets Bagel is an impressive concept that uses mutual friend matching to take the fear and uncertainty out of online dating. The user-friendly app culls data from Facebook friends and mutual connections to find a high-quality romantic match. If both users approve of the proposed match, the app offers them a coupon or discount to use on dates. First launched in April 2012 in New York City, Coffee Meets Bagel quickly expanded to Boston and San Francisco markets a few months later.

How exactly did this online dating site manage to bag the single largest offer in Shark Tank history (Mark Cuban’s jaw-dropping $30 million proposal)?

And how fast, exactly, did these sister entrepreneurs reject his deal?

Read on to find out.

Coffee Meets Bagel On Shark Tank: A Quick Recap

Arum, Dawoon, and Soo Kang are three sisters from San Francisco, California. They were born and raised in Korea, but as teenagers they immigrated to America. To say they’re accomplished is a bit of an understatement: one went to Stanford Business School, one went to Harvard Business School, and one went to Parsons School of Design. They put their heads together, quit their high-paying jobs, and went into business together. Their company offers a new twist on online dating, and they believe it has the power to change lives.

They’re here on “Shark Tank” asking for a $500,000 investment in exchange for 5% equity in their company.

They’ve taken the proven concept of daily flash cell sites and merged it with social networking elements to create the highest-quality dating service for singles.

The app works in a beautifully simple way, as Soo explains:

Every day at noon, the app curates one perfect match – a match who also just happens to be a friend of a friend. You have 24 hours to review their profile information and choose to ‘like’ or ‘pass’ on the match. A ‘mutual like’ results in a private chat line that expires in 7 days.

“The secret to online dating success is winning over women,” says Dawoon. “Women are tired of signing up for online dating sites only to get hit on by creepy strangers bombarding them with disgusting messages.” (A fact which this reporter can absolutely confirm.)

The app solves all that, and takes the stigma out of online dating. Since the app was launched, it has grown by double digits each month, and is rapidly becoming a favorite among women.?

The core service is free, but premium services can be unlocked using virtual currency in the form of coffee beans. For example, the most popular premium service is called ‘Open Sesame,’ and it reveals to you who the mutual friends are that are usually kept anonymous. This level of intrigue increases the mystery and lures people into buying the Open Sesame feature, which costs about 95 coffee beans (around $0.50 in actual currency).

The app uses a proprietary machine-learning algorithm to sort matches based on user data. All users must sign up through Facebook, and the algorithm uses Facebook’s data as a foundation. No other questionnaires or features are used to gather data at this point, which helps streamline the signup process and keep processing time to a minimum.

“The idea is that you don’t have to make someone go through a separate application process,’ says Kevin.

“Exactly,” the sisters confirm, almost in unison.

Running the Numbers

After an impressive introduction and review of how the product works, the sharks dig into the financial details of the dating app.

  • Monthly users:?Between 100,000 and 500,000 users
  • Annual sales: $87,000 last year; $270,000 in first five months of current year
  • Projected annual sales:?$1 million for current year; $10 million for next year
  • Customer acquisition cost (CAC): $0.30 cents
  • Profit margin:?negative

The sisters refuse to reveal an exact number of monthly users, which they claim is for competitive reasons, but they are maddeningly vague on this point. They claim that it gives a good idea of user base, but it clearly doesn’t. After repeated grilling from the sharks, Mark Cuban drops out on principle. “I’m out.? You have to give us that, are you kidding? I’m out,” he says. The sisters seem unruffled, and continue fielding questions.

As it turns out, their profit margins are negative – meaning they aren’t making any profit currently. They had to spend a huge amount of money upfront, mostly on salaries to pay their web developers. That includes paying themselves a $100,000 salary each. The sharks seem incredulous at this number.

“That is still a significant pay cut from what we were making prior,” says Dawoon, to which Robert responds with rollicking, mocking laughter.

The sisters have raised $2.8 million in external funding so far, with one notable investor being one of the co-founders of Match.com, who loved their idea.

But although they’re raking in the money, they’re not making any.?

They plan to break even on a projected $10 million in revenue, but here’s why: they plan to bring on 4 million users next year, which will generate about $2.50 each – hence the $10 million. They plan on spending about $3 million on marketing.

“It is our decision to invest more now to accelerate growth,”?says Dawoon, sticking to her guns.

The Bidding

Robert says they’re an all-or-nothing game. They’re losing so much money that they’re not really in the making-money business, they’re merely in the business of acquiring users. They absolutely need to hit a home run for this to work, and it’s too risky for Robert. He’s the first to drop out.

Kevin is next to drop, saying that one of the things he’s noticed after six seasons of Shark Tank is that he’s really, really valuable. And it’s made him very, very greedy. “I don’t do 5% deals,” he says. “That’s worthless to me. I’m out.”

Lori drops next, saying that the combination of the very high salaries they are drawing out of their own business, combined with the internet’s high propensity for knocking off ideas and stealing their business model, makes her weary of investing.

Barbara respects their killer fundraising skills, and says their site is needed. (And she’s right.) The market for this is definitely there, and women really do need a site where they can feel like more than just a piece of meat. Much as she loves the idea, the investment is just way too much risk for way too little payoff. She drops out next, leaving only Mark Cuban remaining.

“Let me ask you a question,” says Cuban. “If I offered you $30 million for the company, would you take it?”

The sisters’ mouths fall open in shock.

They take only a few seconds to regain composure, though, and are swift to answer a resounding “No.”

“30 million dollars might sound like a lot of money, but Match.com makes $800 million a year. We think we’re on track to be as big as Match.com.”

And with that, the Kang sisters walk confidently off stage and out of Mark’s life forever.?

Final Deal: None – Largest offer in Shark Tank history, rejected.

Coffee Meets Bagel After Shark Tank

After the Coffee Meets Bagel episode of Shark Tank, the Kang sisters raised $23.2 million over the course of five funding rounds.

The app is still available on both Android and Apple devices and has reportedly 10 million users – but overall, it seems to be struggling. The market dominance the sisters envisioned has failed to materialize. In a search of top-ranked and most-popular dating sites, Coffee Meets Bagel doesn’t even crack the top 20.

Their website, meanwhile, looks sparse and suggests that their marketing angle has shifted from marketing specifically to women, to marketing to young professionals “from the richest countries in the world.” A strange shift, and one that was likely forced upon them with the rise of insanely popular women-oriented dating apps like Bumble and Zoosk.

Given the site’s sink to the bottom of the online dating barrel, it seems like the Kang sisters should have taken Mark’s deal. At least they could have used the money to buy a lifetime supply of bagels.?

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is strictly informational; INSIGNIA SEO is not affiliated with Coffee Meets Bagel, SharkTank, or any of its subsidiaries.

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Doorbot (Ring) Doorbell Camera: Shark Tank Updates in 2020 http://www.autjournal.com/blog/ring-doorbell-camera-doorbot-tank-updates-in-2020/ Mon, 10 Aug 2020 04:56:24 +0000 http://www.autjournal.com/?p=22216 The Basics Company: Doorbot (now Ring) Product: Doorbell camera hybrid (security product) Owner: James Siminoff Asking Price:?$700,000 for 10% equity Final Deal: None (rejected one offer from Kevin O’Leary) Season/Episode:?Season 5, Episode 9 Ring Before Shark Tank Opportunity knocked loudly on the Shark Tank doors, back in 2013, but only one of the sharks seemed to recognize the visitor. Like all brilliant ideas that revolutionize daily life, Ring was ahead of its time, and the market for it didn’t quite exist at the time of its inception. Ring is a simple concept that seems so logical and intuitive that its invention now is almost surprising – because one assumes it had already been invented. Its usefulness is so valuable to…

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The Basics
  • Company: Doorbot (now Ring)
  • Product: Doorbell camera hybrid (security product)
  • Owner: James Siminoff
  • Asking Price:?$700,000 for 10% equity
  • Final Deal: None (rejected one offer from Kevin O’Leary)
  • Season/Episode:?Season 5, Episode 9

Ring Before Shark Tank

Opportunity knocked loudly on the Shark Tank doors, back in 2013, but only one of the sharks seemed to recognize the visitor. Like all brilliant ideas that revolutionize daily life, Ring was ahead of its time, and the market for it didn’t quite exist at the time of its inception. Ring is a simple concept that seems so logical and intuitive that its invention now is almost surprising – because one assumes it had already been invented. Its usefulness is so valuable to society that it fits seamlessly into modern life, as though in hearing about it you do a double-take and think to yourself, “Oh, obviously. You mean, this didn’t already exist?”

But at the time that the product debuted on?Shark Tank?back in 2013, the mass marketability of this product wasn’t so obvious – at least not to the sharks. Their failure to invest in this product – and to recognize opportunity knocking – would ironically become one of their biggest regrets.

Ring On Shark Tank

Jamie Siminoff, founder and CEO of Doorbot, opens this episode with one of the more memorable entrances in Shark Tank history. Instead of striding through the double doors onto the stage like most contestants, Jamie waits behind the door and knocks politely. The sharks have to guess who’s knocking. “Who is it?” “It’s Jamie,” he says, and Lori tells him sweetly to come in.

“Wouldn’t it have been nice to know who was behind the door?before?you let me in? With my product, you can.”

Siminoff now has full command of the room, all the sharks rapt at attention. He’s seeking a dizzying $700,000 for 10% equity in his company. (If you’re doing the math, that’s a $7 million valuation. But given that the company, seven years later, is now worth more than a billion dollars, this would have been a steal.)?

“Customers are spending billions of dollars outfitting their homes with smart security technologies that connect to their phones,” says Siminoff. “But the doorbell hasn’t changed since it was invented in 1880. Until now!” Adorably excited, Siminoff whips out a prototype of his product, the Doorbot. (Back then, Ring was called Doorbot.) It looks a little like a silver soda can, with a concave glass lens on top and a speaker built into the bottom. Not much to look at, and clumsy in design, the concept is undeniably brilliant.

Siminoff demonstrates the product with a prop front door and doorbell hookup, showing the video feed connected to his smartphone – (with his smartphone projected on a television screen, to make the demonstration easier to view). He rings the doorbell, and the Doorbot app alerts him to the visitor, showing him a live video feed of the front door. The app allows him to see and hear his visitor without opening the door – a revolution in both household convenience and home security. He can either accept or decline the visitor directly through the app.

“Think of it as caller ID for your front door.”?

If you hit ‘accept’ on the app, Siminoff explains, your doorbell turns into a standard apartment building intercom, so you can hear and speak to your guest. The product features two-way audio and one-way video. (Essentially, you can see out, but they can’t see in.)

Running the Numbers

The sharks are impressed with the product’s home security potential, but want to dig into the financial details before making any bids.

  • Retail price: $199
  • Cost of production: $81.83 per unit, landed
  • Revenue streams: direct-to-consumer online, with Staples distribution deal in progress
  • Sales to date: $1 million over 9 months
  • Direct competitors: None

Siminoff is careful to point out the distinctions between his product and the closest competitors on the market. Though there are none that include 2-way communication and smartphone connectivity, there are several companies making products in a similar vein – but these products tend to be multipanel security systems that cost thousands. Doorbot, as Siminoff explains, is the first of its kind: a true original.

The Bidding

Mark Cuban gets into a little bit of a tiff with Siminoff at this point, daring to wade (as only Cuban does) into philosophical waters. He seems concerned that other businesses could come along with a better, smarter product and push this company into oblivion before it takes off. Siminoff counters by asking “What technology isn’t going to be replaced? The doorbell’s not going to change. We’re always going to need this technology.”

Lori Greiner is first to drop out, stating that she isn’t confident enough that the product can distinguish itself from other similar products on the market – especially given the product’s higher price point.

Mark Cuban is next to drop out, and in a scene that is almost comically off-base in retrospect, he says that he doesn’t see what makes this company worth its $7 million valuation. He wants to see something that could “someday be $80 or even $90 million.” (As of 2020, the company is worth $1.2 billion.) He doesn’t see the potential, so he’s out.

Daymond and Robert drop out next, stating that the product doesn’t have what it takes to rise through lower and mid-tier markets. (This reporter would like to note here that Daymond Green’s red-and-white pinstriped shirt with red silk tie is an exceptionally great look during this episode.)?

With four sharks out, Kevin is Siminoff’s last chance at a deal. Kevin offers $700,000 for a 10% royalty (in perpetuity) that drops down to 7% after the initial investment is recouped – but he wants 5% equity today. (This is a borderline predatory offer, at which Mark Cuban audibly scoffs.)

Siminoff mulls it over for a moment, but respectfully declines the offer. He counter-offers, replacing the royalty with an interest fee, which he insightfully points out can be paid off – unlike Kevin’s royalty-in-perpetuity offer. Kevin doesn’t like the terms, and Siminoff walks away without a deal.

Final Deal: None (one offer rejected)

Though Siminoff walked away from the tank empty-handed, Doorbot (now Ring) has gone on to become one of the most successful companies to have ever been pitched on Shark Tank. One major takeaway from the Ring saga is that not all the sharks are as good at spotting a billion-dollar idea as they’d like to pretend, or as NBC would have us believe. While Mark Cuban is never one to admit regret, the rest of the sharks’ are open about their mistakes with this episode, seeing it as a missed opportunity to invest in a billion-dollar company.?

In 2018, Ring was sold to Amazon for $1.1 billion. Shaquille O’Neal even came onboard as a Ring spokesman, hired by Amazon.

Ring is now the highest-valued company ever to have appeared on Shark Tank.?

In a final spectacular twist of fate, Jamie Siminoff – CEO of Ring – joined the tank as a guest Shark five years after his initial appearance as a contestant, now the CEO of one of the most successful security companies on earth, and a certified billionaire in his own right.

If you liked it, then you shoulda put a ring on it.?

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is strictly informational; INSIGNIA SEO is not affiliated with Doorbot, Ring Doorbell, SharkTank, or any of its subsidiaries.

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Honeyfund: Shark Tank Updates in 2020 http://www.autjournal.com/blog/honeyfund-shark-tank-update-in-2020/ Mon, 10 Aug 2020 04:54:29 +0000 http://www.autjournal.com/?p=22214 The Basics Company: Honeyfund Owner: Sara and Josh Margulis Product: Honeymoon registry service Asking Price: $400,000 for 10% equity Final Deal: $400,000 for 33% transaction revenue until 3x investment recouped Shark Who Took The Bait:?Kevin O’Leary Season/Episode: Season 6, Episode 6 Honeyfund Before Shark Tank Josh and Sara Margulis are a beautiful married couple from Sebastopol, California (aka Sonoma wine country) who founded Honeyfund, the free honeymoon gift registry. Both aspiring entrepreneurs when they met, they founded the Honeyfund site to fund their own wedding and honeymoon, originally – but when they saw how successful it was and how much their wedding guests raved about the idea, they knew they had hit on something big. Honeyfund On Shark Tank: A…

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The Basics
  • Company: Honeyfund
  • Owner: Sara and Josh Margulis
  • Product: Honeymoon registry service
  • Asking Price: $400,000 for 10% equity
  • Final Deal: $400,000 for 33% transaction revenue until 3x investment recouped
  • Shark Who Took The Bait:?Kevin O’Leary
  • Season/Episode: Season 6, Episode 6

Honeyfund Before Shark Tank

Josh and Sara Margulis are a beautiful married couple from Sebastopol, California (aka Sonoma wine country) who founded Honeyfund, the free honeymoon gift registry.

Both aspiring entrepreneurs when they met, they founded the Honeyfund site to fund their own wedding and honeymoon, originally – but when they saw how successful it was and how much their wedding guests raved about the idea, they knew they had hit on something big.

Honeyfund On Shark Tank: A Quick Recap

Josh and Sara take the stage dressed like – you guessed it – a newlywed couple on their honeymoon, replete with Hawaiian t-shirts and flower leis around their necks. They look sun-kissed and glowing, and confident enough to ask for $400,000 in exchange for 10% equity in their company, Honeyfund.??

The idea behind Honeyfund is brilliant and long overdue: a free, unique wedding registry where couples can raise funds for their dream honeymoon, using donations as wedding gifts. Their entire honeymoon, essentially, becomes their wedding gift, which is collectively paid for by individual guests. “We call this process crowd-gifting,” says Sara, and the sharks look highly impressed.

“Would you rather have a set of China, or a trip to China?”?

Instead of traditional samples, Sara and Josh pass out flower leis and Mai Tais in cutesy Tikki bar coconut cups.

Somebody take away Kevin’s Mai Tai before he gets belligerent.

Running the Numbers

“We’d like to propose a toast!” The sharks and contestants all raise their coconut cups in a toast to cash flow, as the show heads into the numbers segment.

  • Fundraising totals: $200 million
  • Revenue streams: Paypal transaction fees
  • Annual sales: $67 million in transactions
  • Income from annual sales: $987,000
  • Profit from annual sales: $219,000

Kevin points out here that this business raises the essential, age-old question of customer-acquisition cost (CAC). Sara explains that every wedding registry account invites an average of 150 wedding guests, so their exposure and brand visibility automatically expands with each new registered couple.? On average, she says, their customer acquisition cost is $0.88 cents per customer, and their average value per customer is $9.

These numbers might sound great to the layman, but Mark Cuban is skeptical.

As Cuban explains, putting half a million dollars in the bank for themselves, as a couple, is phenomenal. But it’s not necessarily investable.?He wants to know what the long-term plan is and how they intend to grow. “Because, to be honest, to be in business ten years and do $987,000 in gross revenue is horrible.”

“It’s been a lifestyle business up to this point, but of course – we’re here because there’s more,” says Sara.

People eventually began using honeyfund for things other than weddings and honeymoons. The couple took this idea and ran with it, creating Plumfund. Plumfund lets users crowdfund anything, online, for free.

“Hang on,” says Robert. “So…your answer to expanding Honeyfund…is to do…another fund?”?

“Our answer is to do a whole portfolio of funds,” says Sara, with a click of the television display – revealing an entire family of other crowdsourced websites.

“Ugh,” says Cuban, clearly disgusted with the expansion concept.

Sara and Josh, unruffled by Cuban’s criticism.

As the camera pans to the display, we can see an array of future funds or fund concepts, including:

Kevin digits into Plum Fund a little deeper to get an idea of the likelihood of success for these other, future funds. Over the course of 12 months, Plum Fund has generated $400,000 in transaction sales and $10,000 in revenue.

When the sharks say that it’s clearly a great idea but that they’re not totally sold, Sara takes the presentation in yet another direction. “I’ve got another idea,” she says, and a new slide appears on the television display. “Fondo de Miel.” (That’s Spanish for Honeyfund.) “There are 53 million Spanish speakers in the United States alone,’ she says. This could double our business over the next few years.?

The Bidding

Lori is first to drop out, though she praises their idea to expand into other countries and capture the Spanish-speaking market. “I think crowdfunding is crowded. For that reason, I’m out.”

Kevin seems interested, but it still obviously skeptical. “If I fund you today, how do I get my $400,000 back?” Sara responds that they’re planning on scaling the business quickly, over five years, and come to dominate the crowd-gifting space.

“Guys, just what you said right there, does not make sense,” interjects Cuban. “There’s no such thing as scaling quickly over five years. By bringing in all these other options, you’re saying you’re not dominating the space you’re supposedly already dominating.”

“We already do dominate this space – we have 30% market share in this space.”

“You’ve got a nice little business, and again, bravo,” says Cuban. “But when a business starts looking everywhere else, it suggests to me that it’s on autopilot. If it was growing so fast, and becoming so profitable, you’d be telling us you need this capital just to keep up with it. But that’s not what’s happening here. For that reason, I’m out.” And with that, Cuban is out.

After Cuban and Lori drop out, the Honeyfunders receive three offers in rapid succession from the other sharks.

First, Robert Herjavec offers $500,000 for 50% equity. He says they’ve done a phenomenal job creating transaction value, and that transaction value is where they should focus (not on brand extensions).?

Next, Kevin proposes a more complex, “Mr. Wonderful”-style deal: $400,000 with no equity interest in return for one-third of their transaction revenue until he recoups $1.2 million (or three times his original investment).

Last, Barb Shark jumps in to undercut Robert, offering $400,000 for 30% equity. Robert quickly tries to match her, but to no avail.

After running the numbers on stage, Sara and Josh agree to Kevin’s terms.

Final Deal: $400,000 for 1/3 transaction revenue until $1.2 million recouped

Honeyfund After Shark Tank: Where Are They Now?

So just how successful was this appearance, and what has Honeyfund been up to lately? Well, let’s start with the immediate repercussion of this episode. On the night that Honeyfund debuted on Shark Tank, their average daily visitor count skyrocketed from 150 to 5,000.

That growth has since leveled out, but the company still sees an average of 45% more web traffic than they did prior to their appearance on Shark Tank.?

Since their appearance on Shark Tank, they’ve processed $514 million in gifts. They’ve branched out into travel giftcards and are partnering with retailers to create universal gift registries, so that travel or experiential packages are no longer the only thing a wedding guest can fund via someone’s Honeyfund page.

While their other sites they envisioned – the various ‘funds’ like Babyfund and Gradfund, etc – have all been umbrellaed under? Plumfund, which has sextupled in size since the couple appeared on?Shark Tank.?

And of course, since every true success story is now reflected and amplified through social media, it goes almost without saying that the Honeyfund Instagram account is massively popular, with more than 5,000 followers, while the Honeyfund Facebook page boasts more than 24,000 fans and followers.

They’ve received glowing writeups in?The New York Times, Vogue, BRIDE magazine, and countless other media outlets.

In short, Honeyfund was a smashing success, and their appearance on?Shark Tank?was one of the best decisions they’ve ever made. Years of hard work and months of rehearsing their presentation paid off more than the couple ever imagined.

For Honeyfund, it seems, dreams really do come true.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is strictly informational; INSIGNIA SEO is not affiliated with Honeyfund, SharkTank, or any of its subsidiaries.

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Grease Bags: Shark Tank Updates in 2020 http://www.autjournal.com/blog/grease-bags-shark-tank-update-in-2020/ Thu, 06 Aug 2020 02:28:04 +0000 http://www.autjournal.com/?p=22210 The Basics Company:?Grease Bags Owner:?LaTangela Newsome Product:?Compostable bags for disposing of kitchen grease Asking Price:?$75,000 for 25% equity Final Deal:?$75,000 for 50% equity Shark Who Took The Bait: Barbara Corcoran (aka Barb Shark) Season/Episode: Season 8, Episode 13 Grease Bags Before Shark Tank LaTangela Newsome – a sassy, sharp-dressed entrepreneur from Allen, Texas –? auditioned for Shark Tank on a spontaneous impulse, after she heard that Shark Tank was doing a casting call near her town. At the time of her audition, she hadn’t sold any of her Grease Bags (compostable bags for disposing of kitchen grease), but she had confidence and drive. “I wasn’t ready [for the show], but I was like, ‘If I don’t make it, I’ll try…

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The Basics
  • Company:?Grease Bags
  • Owner:?LaTangela Newsome
  • Product:?Compostable bags for disposing of kitchen grease
  • Asking Price:?$75,000 for 25% equity
  • Final Deal:?$75,000 for 50% equity
  • Shark Who Took The Bait: Barbara Corcoran (aka Barb Shark)
  • Season/Episode: Season 8, Episode 13

Grease Bags Before Shark Tank

LaTangela Newsome – a sassy, sharp-dressed entrepreneur from Allen, Texas –? auditioned for Shark Tank on a spontaneous impulse, after she heard that Shark Tank was doing a casting call near her town. At the time of her audition, she hadn’t sold any of her Grease Bags (compostable bags for disposing of kitchen grease), but she had confidence and drive.

“I wasn’t ready [for the show], but I was like, ‘If I don’t make it, I’ll try again,'” she says. “I went out there and stood for hours and hours and hours, but it was worth it.”

She eventually landed on Season 8, Episode 13 of?Shark Tank,?to pitch her innovative kitchen waste disposal product and hopefully get a sizeable investment from one of the sharks.

Grease Bags On Shark Tank: A Quick Recap

Newsome takes center stage in a crisp white suit and heels and introduces herself with trademark Texan charm. Her accent is thick, her hair is curly, and her smile is enormous. She’s here in front of the sharks today seeking $75,000 for a 25% equity in her company, Grease Bags. She’s a? woman of many talents, most notably her home cooking. When it’s time to clean up, what to do with all that grease? Cities are wasting hundreds of thousands of dollars on pipeline replacements due to fats, oils and grease. Grease clogs from people who pour their unused kitchen grease down the sink can result in costly damages and repairs to home kitchens. Surely, Newsome thinks, there must be a better way.

Enter Newsome’s product: convenient, disposable bags for safe cooking oil disposal. Even the packaging, Newsome points out, is compostable. She demonstrates the product by pouring a frying pan of liquid grease into one of her grease bags. “I am now the only person with an eco-friendly product for at-home grease disposal,” she says. A bold claim, and one that captures the sharks’ attention.

Newsome hands out samples of chicken wings along with her prototype bags so the Sharks can test the product first-hand. Barb Shark wants to know what happened to the grease when she poured it in the demo bag. “We have a blend of all-natural oil-absorbing ingredients,” she says.

She then demonstrates the impressive oil-absorbing power of the bag’s ingredients. In a glass of oil and water, she pours the proprietary blend into the glass and watches as it absorbs the oil. She then pours the water into another glass, and the water pours clear – the oil has been completely absorbed by the blend. “Oh, wow,” says Cuban. “Good for you.” It’s clear from the reactions off-camera that the sharks are impressed.

Running the Numbers

Barb Shark is first to ask about financial details. “I need to know the price,” she says – and Newsome is happy to oblige.

  • Retail price: $12.99 for set of 3 bags
  • Cost of production: $2.34 for 3 bags
  • Profit margin: 82%
  • Sales-to-date: none yet (still in production/prototype phase)

Newsome is careful to mention that she’s not entirely sure what all of her costs will be yet, once she starts selling the product. So she’s tried to ratchet the retail price up enough to cover anticipated costs.

The Bidding

Lori is first to drop out, saying that (surprise, surprise) she’s never fried anything in her life and has zero knowledge about this industry. Fair point.

It’s here that Barb Shark interjects with a critical question – can she pour hot grease directly into the bag? “As of now, the bag isn’t heat-tempered,” she says. “That’s a huge problem,” says Kevin. And it’s true. Having to wait to let your grease cool, instead of pouring it directly into the bag, is a major drawback that definitely hurts the product’s marketability.

Mark Cuban asks if the heat-tempering can be fixed. Newsome assures him that it can, but that doing so would make the bag non-compostable. So there’s an inherent conflict and a tradeoff happening here – she can make the bag heat-tempered and capture the hot grease market, but in doing so, she would lose the ecofriendly marketing angle and forfeit her environmentally-conscious customers.

Mark Cuban is insightful in pointing out that the eco-friendly, environmentally conscious demographic typically aren’t doing as much frying in the first place – so her main marketing demographic may not actually exist. For that reason, Cuban is out.

“I give you an 8.62 out of 10 for presentation,” says Kevin, “but I would never actually use this product. I cook bacon, so this solves nothing for me. I’m out.”

“I give you a 10 for presentation, amazing job,” says Robert. “But this is a tough one.” She tries to sell him again and Kevin urges her to lay off for a minute while he makes up his mind. “There’s just too much unknown with the product,” says Robert, after a moment. “I’m out.”

With all the sharks out, Newsome looks heartbroken. “So is that everybody?” she says.

“I went out so fast earlier…let’s pretend it didn’t happen,” says Barb Shark. All heads swivel in shock toward Barb. Barb runs the numbers with Newsome one more time and then asks if there’s any way she could bring the retail price down from $12.99 to $6.99 – cutting the price (and her profit margin) in half. Each bag is only $0.78 cents to make, though, so Newsome agrees it’s doable. “I’ll give you the money on that contingency, that you lower the price down to $6.99 – but I want half the company,” says Barb. Instead of Newsome’s original offer of 25% equity, Barb Shark is demanding 50%. Newsome takes a moment to mull it over, and then happily agrees to Barb’s offer.

“I can’t believe it,” says Newsome in the segment’s final moments. Through happy tears, she confesses how much she appreciates the offer and the fact that Barbara believes in her. “I think she’s going to be an awesome partner,” says Newsome.

Final Deal: %75,000 for 50% equity in Grease Bags

Grease Bags After Shark Tank

Even though Newsome and Barb Shark reached a deal on air, the deal ultimately fell through. It turned out that Newsome’s cost of materials was just too high to sustain the $6.99 price cut. In anticipation of the notorious boost in sales that all businesses receive after appearing on the show, Newsome tried to prepare for a jump in orders. She paid out of her own pocket for materials — then didn’t have the money to get her customers’ preordered purchases shipped on time. Understandably, some of those customers weren’t thrilled, and her customer service suffered. But she quickly regained stability and kept the business afloat.

The product now sells for $8.99 – a convenient middle ground between her original retail price and the price Barb Shark suggested.

All in all, Newsome is grateful for her appearance on the show and the struggles that pushed her to streamline her business. “I think if I hadn’t gone on Shark Tank?it would have been one of those things where when the going got tough, we wouldn’t have pushed ourselves.”

The Grease Bags are available for purchase online, and the Grease Bags site is still up and running as of July 2020.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is strictly informational; INSIGNIA SEO is not affiliated with Grease Bags, SharkTank, or any of its subsidiaries.

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Can Social Media Stop Anti-Asian Harassment? http://www.autjournal.com/blog/can-social-media-stop-anti-asian-harrasment/ Wed, 22 Jul 2020 17:33:29 +0000 http://www.autjournal.com/?p=22208 Disclaimer: This blog is an information piece that discusses racism and sensitive political issues surrounding the covid19 pandemic. It is not representative of Insignia SEO’s views as a company, but merely an educational post intended to inform, examine, and hopefully, entertain. A few weeks back, in a Pew Research Center survey from July, Americans exposed a disturbing trend – a trend that, sadly, is not entirely new, but one that has been gaining significant momentum in recent weeks: Anti-Asian harassment. This trend is not new in America by any means, but as the coronavirus has spread from China across the globe, Anti-Asian harassment, tragically, has skyrocketed. A whopping 58 percent (more than half) of all English-speaking Asian-American adults reported that…

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Disclaimer: This blog is an information piece that discusses racism and sensitive political issues surrounding the covid19 pandemic. It is not representative of Insignia SEO’s views as a company, but merely an educational post intended to inform, examine, and hopefully, entertain.

A few weeks back, in a Pew Research Center survey from July, Americans exposed a disturbing trend – a trend that, sadly, is not entirely new, but one that has been gaining significant momentum in recent weeks: Anti-Asian harassment. This trend is not new in America by any means, but as the coronavirus has spread from China across the globe, Anti-Asian harassment, tragically, has skyrocketed.

A whopping 58 percent (more than half) of all English-speaking Asian-American adults reported that racist or bigoted views about Asians had become more commonplace since the coronavirus pandemic began. More than 30 percent (nearly a third) said they had witnessed or experienced slurs or racist jokes firsthand in recent weeks, while 26 percent (more than a quarter) said they feared for their physical safety, and were frightened of assault, threats, or attack, purely because of their race. For the record, that’s a higher percentage than for Black and Hispanic adults.

Then, just this week, Anti-Asian harassment made the front page of the New York Times, thanks to a new public service announcement highlighting the surge of harassment Asian-Americans have faced in recent weeks and months.

The PSA, which debuted last Tuesday, shows testimony from a nurse, a firefighter, an artist, a driver, the celebrity chef Melissa King and others, who all describe – like something out of an ’80s true-crime movie – being told to “go back to China” or sometimes even having people spit in their path.

The ad was produced by the nonprofit Advertising Council and Emmy-winning writer Alan Yang. It closes with a powerful request: “Fight the virus. Fight the bias.”

The Ad Council’s anti-harassment ad as it appears on mobile devices.

Ever since the coronavirus was first detected in Wuhan, China, months ago, the pandemic has fueled bigotry, irrational fears, and xenophobia toward Asians and Asian-Americans. A coalition of civil rights groups recorded more than 2,100 incidents of anti-Asian harassment over the course of just three months (coinciding with the pandemic’s outbreak and subsequent spread across the globe). To make matters worse, a list of recent cases gathered by the Anti-Defamation League reports “surging reports of xenophobic and racist incidents.” Asian-owned stores have been vandalized and defaced with racist graffiti, Zoom calls and video chats have been disrupted by anti-Asian remarks, and Asian Americans have been beaten, spit at, and denied entry to businesses on no other basis than that of their Asian ethnicity.

In light of President Trump’s repeated descriptions of the coronavirus as the “Chinese virus” and “kung flu,” it would seem that correction or curative action, as a society, is going to have to come from somewhere other than government or federal leadership-by-example (seeing as, you know, we have none). If anything, the sitting president’s inflammatory statements have exacerbated racist behavior, and given dangerous, racist ideas a thin veneer of legitimacy in the current fear-based climate.?

Since the president refuses to do anything about it, the righteous fight against pandemic-related harassment of Asian-Americans has fallen predominantly on civil rights groups, marketing agencies, nonprofit organizations, and – most importantly – social media accounts. Hashtags like #IAmNotCovid19, #RacismIsAVirus, #HealthNotHate and #MakeNoiseToday have multiplied and proliferated across the internet.

While it’s always tempting to resort to our default cynicism mode – to assume that social media and hashtag activism have no effect – it might be time to set aside our social vanity, reassess that cynicism in the name of justice, and reconsider just how powerful social media has become. Acting as a sort of positive counter-pandemic to the pandemic, this social media movement seems to be one of the only things with the kind of sustained virality and momentum capable of matching the natural virality of racism, hatred, and bigotry. (After all, is there anyone in America who doesn’t recognize the #metoo hashtag, and possess at least a cursory knowledge of its meaning?)

Asiancy, a Portland-based ad agency, posted a video in May about anti-Asian discrimination and its ripple effects across society. Meanwhile, the Los-Angeles-based marketing firm IW Group called on designers, actors, musicians, and – wait for it – social media influencers to participate in their #WashTheHate social media campaign – a campaign designed and implemented specifically to counteract Anti-Asian harassment.

The Ad Council, which worked with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York this month to create a face mask initiative, will roll out the new anti-Asian harassment campaign through multiple media formats, including online and television.

In recent years, social media platforms have exploded in popularity, with membership, user bases, and ad revenues expanding exponentially across the globe, every fiscal quarter posting record gains and shattering world-records for membership. (Instagram alone has more than 1 billion monthly users – that’s more than the entire religion of Buddhism worldwide.) Social media enables us to be more connected to each other than ever before, and along with that connectivity comes a hyper-virality of information, an ability for social justice movements to spread like wildfire in a matter of hours. Hashtags can quickly catch on and carry a movement around the world in less than a day. Entire societies can be reshaped, thanks to social media, over the course of a few years of consistent online activism and digital pressure.

Activists in civil rights, LGBTQ rights, environmental protection, and – perhaps most famously – the sexual violence prevention movement have all used social media campaigns and hashtags, specifically, to start vital conversations. Hashtag activism has ignited long-overdue examinations and reflections about social norms and societal values, and inspired necessary, crucial work across the globe. Work that, in time, creates a culture shift, a societal transformation, and has the power to reshape our legal and ethical systems.

From a marketing standpoint, perhaps it helps to remember that posts that incorporate a hashtag receive, on average, 20% more engagement than those that don’t.

If you’d like to incorporate some good old fashioned hashtag activism into your online life, we here at Insignia SEO have put together a handy dandy hashtag list for you, a short-and-sweet collection that encompasses some of the? most popular, most pertinent, and most powerful social media movements of this post-COVID world:

  1. #metoo – sexual harassment, abuse of power as a tool of sexist, patriarchal societies
  2. #aufschrei – sexism in German society and culture (“aufschrei” means “outcry” in German)
  3. #niunamenos and #niunamas – “not one woman less” and “not one woman more” – Latin American femicide resistance movement
  4. #blacklivesmatter or #blm – support for black Americans suffering from generations of police brutality and systemic racism, support for civil rights and police reform
  5. #sayhername – justice for Breonna Taylor, support for arresting the police officers who murdered her in March of 2020
  6. #love –?an evergreen hashtag, always popular, can be applied to any social justice movement or activist cause. generally used in association with LGBTQ and civil rights movements.
  7. #IAmNotCovid19, #RacismIsAVirus, #HealthNotHate, and #MakeNoiseToday – current anti-harassment hashtags, supporting public health and anti-harassment social movements during the covid19 pandemic

So now that we know how it works, we know that it’s needed, and we know how to use it – it’s time to get to work. Get out there and start hashtagging. And remember: social change can start with just one person, in just one tiny corner of the world. With enough momentum and the right hashtags, we can build a more peaceful, less hateful and less fearful world.

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Veggie Mama: Shark Tank Updates in 2020 http://www.autjournal.com/blog/veggie-mama-shark-tank-updates-in-2020/ Sat, 18 Jul 2020 16:22:15 +0000 http://www.autjournal.com/?p=22135 The Basics Company: Veggie Mama? Owners: Teresa and Robert Fraijo Asking Price: $75,000 for 15% equity? Final Deal: $75,000 for 20% equity? Shark Who Took The Bait: Mark Cuban? Season/Episode: Season 5, Episode 5 Veggie Mama Before Shark Tank Teresa and Robert Fraijo are a married couple with two young children. They’re heading to the Shark Tank from Laguna Niguel California, and hoping the sharks will bite at their healthy alternative to frozen dessert pops. Like most parents, the couple has had a hard time getting their kids to eat a healthy, balanced diet – their kids do not like vegetables. Teresa found that if she could sneak vegetables into fruit smoothies, the kids would drink them up and be…

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The Basics
  • Company: Veggie Mama?
  • Owners: Teresa and Robert Fraijo
  • Asking Price: $75,000 for 15% equity?
  • Final Deal: $75,000 for 20% equity?
  • Shark Who Took The Bait: Mark Cuban?
  • Season/Episode: Season 5, Episode 5

Veggie Mama Before Shark Tank

Teresa and Robert Fraijo are a married couple with two young children. They’re heading to the Shark Tank from Laguna Niguel California, and hoping the sharks will bite at their healthy alternative to frozen dessert pops.

Like most parents, the couple has had a hard time getting their kids to eat a healthy, balanced diet – their kids do not like vegetables. Teresa found that if she could sneak vegetables into fruit smoothies, the kids would drink them up and be none the wiser. Experimenting further, she turned the smoothies into frozen pops and had her “aha” moment when she realized she could turn that idea into a business.

Her husband agreed, and he quit law school to help with the project. The Fraios were so invested in this new enterprise that they liquidated almost all of their assets – Teresa even sold the diamond from her wedding ring – and borrowed the rest from friends and family.

Veggie Mama On Shark Tank

Teresa and Robert approached the stage, introduced themselves, and began to pitch their solution for dealing with picky eaters – kids and husbands. Teresa told the sharks she had figured out a way to sneak nutrients into fun and tasty frozen pops that were gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan-friendly and had no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. The pops were sweetened with all-natural agave nectar. Their ask was $75,000 in exchange for 15% equity in their business.

The Fraijos passed the pops to the sharks, and all of the sharks seemed surprised that they tasted so good. The flavors included Carrot Berry, Citrus Cucumber, and Sweet Potato Pie.

Kevin wondered how costly the pops were to make since agave nectar is rather expensive, and Robert Herjavec wanted to know how much the wholesalers pay for it. Robert Fraijo answered that each package of 6 pops cost $1.10 to make and they sold it to the wholesalers and distributors for $2.25 per package.

Kevin asked about their sales numbers and Robert Fraijo said they had made $30,000, and most of that had been within the last few weeks. Teresa chimed in, reporting that they had distribution at Whole Foods and had recently been picked up by Sprouts Farmers Markets – in all 160 of their locations.

Robert Herjavec was interested in their backgrounds and how the product came to be. Teresa said that her husband had been a law student and she was a stay-at-home-mom. When she figured out how to get the kids to eat healthy, all of the other moms wanted to know her secret. She told the moms she gave her kids homemade green smoothies, but a lot of the moms thought that seemed like too much work. Teresa decided that she wanted to make it easy and convenient for moms to feed their kids healthy treats, and with her husband, developed a plan to bring their pops to market. Robert, her husband, was more interested in starting a business than going to law school, so he dropped out, although he was still working outside the home.

Robert Herjavec asked about production. How was the product made? What was the capacity? How much more could be made? Teresa told him they have room for more production since they have rented a facility in southern California.

Mark wanted to know how much they had invested so far. Teresa told him they had invested $30,000 of their own money and had borrowed $110,000 from family and friends. So, $140,000 total.

Robert Herjavec wondered who was running the machinery. The Fraijos said they were. Then Kevin directed a question to Robert Fraijo. “How much are you making in your job right now?” Robert Fraijo told him $67,000. Kevin asked if he could buy him as an employee for $67,000 and Robert Fraijo said, “Absolutely.”

Mark interjected. He hated the frozen food business, and thought it would be very expensive to take their product nationwide. He didn’t think the Fraijos were ready to take that challenge on, and he certainly didn’t think he was ready to take it on. He was out.

Barbara spoke up next. She told the couple that they are the complete opposite of other food business partners she works with. While the Fraijos had $140,000 cash invested and $30,000 in sales, her partners had roughly the reverse of that. Their numbers scared her, so she dropped out, as well.

Kevin was ready to make a deal. He would give the Fraijos $75,000 but would require that he be paid a royalty of 50 cents for each unit sold until he makes his initial investment back. Then the royalty would drop to 25 cents per unit. He said this is the way he has structured other food deals and he’s been very successful using this approach.

Robert Herjavec said, “You want half of everything they make?” Kevin said it would be temporary – probably only a few months. But Robert was ready to make his offer. He said there was no other product like theirs but that $75,000 would likely not be enough to get it going. He offered $75,000 for 25% equity, and then committed to pay another $75,000 if Robert Fraijo agreed to work for the business full-time in the next 6-12 months. So, altogether, he was offering $150,000 for 25%.

But then Lori wanted in, too. She really loved the product and would offer $75,000 for 20% – and she would provide even more cash if needed when things got up and running. With her connections, she could get their product into the best stores.

What happened next started a bidding war with the sharks. Kevin came back and said he wanted to modify his offer based on getting Robert Fraijo in the business full time. He would match Robert Herjavec’s offer of $150,000 but wouldn’t be asking for any equity in the company. All he needed was 50 cents per unit until he made his $150,000 back, and then the royalty would drop to 25 cents per unit. But while Kevin was talking, Lori was making a side deal with Robert Herjavec.

Lori admitted that since Kevin wanted to spice things up, she wanted to do the same. Robert Herjavec and Lori would partner up, offer the Fraijos an initial $75,000 and then another $75,000 when Robert Fraijo was ready to come back full-time. They would receive 20% in equity and a royalty of 20 cents per unit because the Fraijos were getting the benefit of two sharks rather than only one. Kevin immediately snapped back saying, “Now you have to give up royalties and equity.”

That’s when Mark jumped in. He basically told the Fraijos they were suckers for not accepting a deal earlier when royalties weren’t involved. Barbara also had some things to say. She told the Fraijos they had two offers and were now in a good negotiating position. They should take some time to think it over and come back.

After the Fraijos left the stage to talk, the other sharks were not happy that Barbara butted in. But she felt like they were taking advantage of the couple with talk of royalties.

When the Fraijos returned, they admitted they didn’t like the idea of the 20-cent royalty. Their counter was $75,000 now, another $75,000 when Robert returned to the business, and 20% equity. No royalties. But Robert Herjavec insisted that the royalty remain part of the deal because the Fraijos would have the benefit of working with two sharks.

Barbara jumped in and said, “The 20-cent royalty going forward is 10% of everything they sell.” Robert Herjavec seemed annoyed with Barbara. He asked if she was coming back in and Barbara said she just might because she was getting so annoyed. Robert Herjavec then told the Fraijos they shouldn’t take advice from someone who’s not even making an offer, but while he was talking, Barbara was trying to get Mark to partner with her and make a deal. Mark said he wasn’t interested in doing the work, but Barbara said she would do it. Mark agreed and made the Fraijos an offer of $75,000 for 20% equity. No royalties. The Fraijos agreed and the deal was done.

Final Deal: $75,000 for 20% equity

Veggie Mama After Shark Tank

The Fraijos made their appearance on Shark Tank in 2005. Since that time a lot has changed for the company.

Veggie Mama Garden Pops are no longer in stores, the company has updated its logo, and the product lineup has been completely transformed. The company is selling supplements and cleansing products that bring “the same health ideals and values we have pleaded to provide when we originally launched Veggie Mama.”

Their supplement is powdered and plant-based. You can add a scoop to your smoothie or incorporate it into recipes they share on their site. The powdered supplement, called Garden Power, is available in two flavors and is promoted as delivering three goals: energy, digestion, and immunity. The company claims its product can help you to lose weight, detoxify, and transform both your mind and body. There aren’t any testimonials on the website.

Veggie Mama also sells cleanses – 3-day, 10-day, and 21-day. And for anyone who misses the original Garden Pops, they offer a recipe on their site so you can make it at home.

The nutritional supplement market is very crowded. It’s admirable that the Fraijos are still in business, but they certainly are not doing much to promote the brand. Their Instagram following is relatively small – about 2,200 followers and the last post was made in July 2018. The company has even fewer Twitter followers and no presence on Facebook. It’s difficult to see how they can sustain their business amidst the fierce competition in the nutritional supplement sector. It’s clear they are no longer supported by the sharks who shook hands in the deal.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is strictly informational; INSIGNIA SEO is not affiliated with Veggie Mama, SharkTank, or any of its subsidiaries.

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Lynnae’s Gourmet Pickles: Shark Tank Updates in 2020 http://www.autjournal.com/blog/lynnaes-gourmet-pickles-shark-tank-updates-in-2020/ Sat, 18 Jul 2020 16:20:54 +0000 http://www.autjournal.com/?p=22124 The Basics Company: Lynnae’s Gourmet Pickles Owners: Lynnae Schneller and Aly Cullinae Asking Price: $125,000 for 20% equity Final Deal:?None Shark Who Took The Bait:?None Season/Episode:?Season 5, Episode 1 Lynnae’s Gourmet Pickles Before Shark Tank Lynnae Schneller and Aly Cullinae are sisters-in-law from Tacoma, Washington. They are privy to a 100-year-old secret recipe for sweet pickles, handed down by Lynnae’s great-grandmother, nicknamed “Grandma Toots.” They’re so invested in sharing Great-Grandma Toots’ pickles with the country that they’ve quit their jobs and put everything on the line for the brand they’re calling Lynnae’s Gourmet Pickles. They’ve decided to apply for Shark Tank because they need additional capital to handle the growing demand for their specialty pickle product. Lynnae’s Gourmet Pickles On…

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The Basics
  • Company: Lynnae’s Gourmet Pickles
  • Owners: Lynnae Schneller and Aly Cullinae
  • Asking Price: $125,000 for 20% equity
  • Final Deal:?None
  • Shark Who Took The Bait:?None
  • Season/Episode:?Season 5, Episode 1

Lynnae’s Gourmet Pickles Before Shark Tank

Lynnae Schneller and Aly Cullinae are sisters-in-law from Tacoma, Washington. They are privy to a 100-year-old secret recipe for sweet pickles, handed down by Lynnae’s great-grandmother, nicknamed “Grandma Toots.”

They’re so invested in sharing Great-Grandma Toots’ pickles with the country that they’ve quit their jobs and put everything on the line for the brand they’re calling Lynnae’s Gourmet Pickles. They’ve decided to apply for Shark Tank because they need additional capital to handle the growing demand for their specialty pickle product.

Lynnae’s Gourmet Pickles On Shark Tank

Lynnae and Aly approached the stage, introduced themselves, and wasted no time asking for $125,000 in exchange for a 20% stake in their company, Linnae’s Gourmet Pickles. They stated that specialty foods are among the fastest-growing categories in the U.S. and that they believe there’s a niche to be filled with gourmet specialty pickles.

The pair had launched in 2011 and had quick success. In fact, orders were coming in faster than they could fulfill them. They need to partner with a shark who can provide the funding necessary to improve their production process..

Lynnae then passed around their two pickle flavors: Mrs. Pickles (the original with a crunchy-sweet-n-sour taste) and Hot Mama (the original with a kick of jalapeno).

The sharks asked about the numbers. What were their sales, and how much did it cost? Lynnae and Aly had sold $144,000 worth of pickles within the last 12 months, which amounted to 36,000 jars of pickles. Each jar retailed at $6.99, the wholesale price was around $4.00, and cost $1.93 to make. The entrepreneurs admitted there are stores that want the product but they don’t have the money to fulfill the orders.

Barbara asked where the pickles were being sold. The women said that the brand was being sold in 26 states, in over 200 locations. They were using the largest specialty food distributor in the U.S. to get the pickles on shelves. Barbara seemed impressed.

Mark seemed to struggle with the reason why he should invest. He wanted to know what was the real difference between their pickles and others. Barbara felt like the two women were what made the difference. She asked what they do to market the product.

Lynnae and Aly mention an annual pickle hunt in their city that received press both locally and nationally. They planned to do this every year.

Kevin and Barbara had some concerns. Kevin wondered how he would make money from this and Barbara asked how they could scale it. The women said they had a meeting scheduled with Target the following month, and that Target had reached out to them because they had just recently started to stock food in their stores and were looking to fill the specialty foods niche.

Kevin was still doubtful that they would be able to pull it off with a big retailer, but Lynnae told him they’re already selling in Target.

Robert wasn’t convinced he’d heard the answer as to why their pickles were different than other jarred sweet pickles. Lynnae explained that their pickles were for a customer who was looking for gourmet pickles and admitted a jar of regular sweet pickles retails for half of their price. When Kevin learned of the price gap, he said he couldn’t see why Target would want to stock their brand if it costs twice the amount as regular sweet pickles. Lynnae tried to explain that their pickles were in a specialty niche and it’s specialty foods that are growing by more than 22%.

Lori interjected. She felt there was already enough competition, and she didn’t like sweet pickles. It wouldn’t be right to invest in a product she didn’t like. She dropped out.

Mark spoke up next. He greatly admired the two women and said they are creative and have hustle. But he thought that the brand was doing well now because they were too small to be noticed by bigger players. However, once they started growing, the bigger companies would notice and could more easily roll out a similar product at a lower price point. He didn’t see the potential for their brand, so he dropped out.

Lynnae listened to Mark’s advice, but she had something to say in answer to it. She knew that no food can be considered proprietary because someone could come in and create a similar product. However, their plan was to explode into the marketplace early, and get as much distribution as they could to establish themselves as a leader in the gourmet pickle category. And they did have interest from several large stores, she said.

Kevin wasn’t convinced. He outright told them they’re not worth $600,000, and that they won’t succeed in selling their product long-term at Target. He also decided he didn’t want pickles in his portfolio. He dropped out.

Aly tried to drive home the reason behind the brand. The two of them had a passion for bringing Lynnae’s great-grandmother’s recipe to the public, and based on how much the business had grown during the past two years, she felt their potential was unlimited.

With two sharks remaining, Robert spoke next. Although he felt they had done a great job so far, he questioned the idea of charging $7 for a jar of pickles. Also, since he was Croatian, and Croatians don’t like sweet pickles, he wouldn’t be the right investor to partner with. He was out.

It was Barbara’s turn to announce her verdict. She started by saying what they had sold in the first year was phenomenal. But she felt that they didn’t need any help. They were well on the road to success, and she didn’t want them to regret selling off a chunk of their business when there may be much greater potential in the future. She didn’t think they needed a partner, so she was the last shark to drop out.

Final Deal: None

Lynnae’s Gourmet Pickles After Shark Tank

Lynnae and Aly didn’t find a shark partner to help them sell their pickles, but the pair committed to press onward. They did get limited press after their Shark Tank appearance and continued to sell the brand in over 3,000 stores, even though a crowdfunding effort did not take off at all.

In September, 2015, the company rebranded from Lynnae’s Gourmet Pickles to Mrs. Pickles, in honor of Lynnae’s Great Grandma Toots, and presumably because Lynnae left the company. Aly Culinnane took over as President.

Unfortunately, Mrs. Pickles is nowhere to be found these days – except for small accounts on both Instagram and Twitter that haven’t been updated since 2017. There are many “Mrs. Pickles” Pages on Facebook, but none of them have anything to do with the sweet pickles from Tacoma, Washington. The brand no longer has a company website.

A few years ago, you could purchase the pickles on Amazon, but they’re not available anymore. Perhaps the brand tried to get big too quickly. There are several other small gourmet pickle companies that sell online, but they typically partner with a site that sells a wide selection of specialty or regional foods.

It’s a little sad that the legacy of Great Grandma Toots’ pickles will now be confined to the family and won’t reach the broader marketplace. But maybe the next generation can give it another try.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is strictly informational; INSIGNIA SEO is not affiliated with Lynnae’s Gourmet Pickles, SharkTank, or any of its subsidiaries.

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Buttercloth: Shark Tank Updates in 2020 http://www.autjournal.com/blog/buttercloth-shark-tank-updates-in-2020/ Sat, 18 Jul 2020 16:17:59 +0000 http://www.autjournal.com/?p=22134 The Basics Company: Buttercloth Shirts Owner: Danh Tran and Gary Falkenberg Asking Price:?$250,000 for 10% equity Final Deal: $250,000 for 25% equity Shark Who Took The Bait: Robert Herjavec Season/Episode:?Season 10, Episode 4 Buttercloth Shirts Before Shark Tank Danh Tran was born in Vietnam but now lives in Long Beach California. Since he was a young boy, he had a passion for fashion design and has spent his life’s savings working toward that dream. He’s developed a line of dress shirts that are ultra-comfortable but still look sharp and presentable. He’ll ask the sharks for $250,000 in exchange for 10% of the company he calls Buttercloth Shirts. Buttercloth Shirts On Shark Tank Danh approached the stage with one of his…

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The Basics
    • Company: Buttercloth Shirts
    • Owner: Danh Tran and Gary Falkenberg
    • Asking Price:?$250,000 for 10% equity
    • Final Deal: $250,000 for 25% equity
    • Shark Who Took The Bait: Robert Herjavec
    • Season/Episode:?Season 10, Episode 4

Buttercloth Shirts Before Shark Tank

Danh Tran was born in Vietnam but now lives in Long Beach California. Since he was a young boy, he had a passion for fashion design and has spent his life’s savings working toward that dream.

He’s developed a line of dress shirts that are ultra-comfortable but still look sharp and presentable. He’ll ask the sharks for $250,000 in exchange for 10% of the company he calls Buttercloth Shirts.

Buttercloth Shirts On Shark Tank

Danh approached the stage with one of his advisers, Gary Falkenberg (who’s a friend of Buttercloth’s COO). They began their pitch with Danh telling the group that he always hated dress shirts because they’re usually stiff and scratchy. His Buttercloth shirts, in contrast, “Make you feel like you’re wearing your favorite t-shirt, but make you look like you’re fully employed.” The sharks liked that line.

Gary told the sharks that the shirts were made of 100%, sustainable, long-fiber cotton, but both Gary and Danh wanted to bring out their “scientist” to explain more. Their scientist turned out to be a former NBA player, Metta World Peace, wearing a white lab coat over a Buttercloth shirt. He talked about the fabric’s 6-way stretch and breathability, and then easily dunked a ball through a basketball net on stage. Metta then passed samples of the shirts to the sharks so they could touch and feel the fabric. All of the sharks said that they felt nice and soft.

Kevin remarked that the three of them were quite an eclectic group, and wanted to know how they got together. Metta, who has a college background in math, had been interested in marketing products and was so impressed with Buttercloth that he was motivated to get on board. Gary explained how he had met Danh through his friend, and then Danh told his story.

Danh had grown up in Vietnam, where his parents were tailors. As a 10-year-old boy, Danh began making his own clothes, but his mother warned him not to pursue a “poor career” in fashion. She preferred that he become a doctor or a lawyer. But Danh didn’t want to give up his dream of becoming an American fashion designer. He came to America and intended to apply to Otis College of Arts & Design, but the tuition was $120,000, which was too steep for him.

Instead, he started working for Mattel, where he designed clothes for Barbie dolls. After working there for five years and saving his money, he was able to attend fashion school and earn a BA in Fashion Design. That degree led to other jobs as a designer, including one as head designer at Affliction Clothing, where he worked for ten years.
Charles Barkley asked the first questions about the shirts: What was the retail cost and where was it being sold? Danh replied that the shirts retailed between $98 and $118, and all sales were made online. Mark asked what the shirts cost to make, and Danh told him around $20-$25.

Charles asked how many had already sold, and Danh told him they had earned $500,000 in sales over a period of seven months. The sharks thought that was impressive. But Charles had more questions. He wanted to know how the company was reaching the public. Gary spoke up and said they were on Facebook and Instagram. And that’s when Robert asked how much money they had spent running the company.

Danh admitted that he invested $240,000 of his own money, and had quit his job, sold his house, and cashed out his 401K. He was all in.

Kevin wondered what was the cost of customer acquisition. Gary revealed it was $40 per customer, and it was clear that Kevin and Robert thought that was too high. But Robert continued questioning Danh and asked him what they would do with the money they’re asking for. Gary said that two-thirds would be devoted to inventory and one-third for additional marketing.

Kevin then said they needed to hire a company to reduce their customer acquisition costs. After saying that, he dropped out. Mark was also focused on customer acquisition costs and wondered why they were budgeting more money for inventory than for marketing. He felt they definitely needed to focus on advertising rather than on the product at this point. He dropped out.

Lori had already started working in fashion, trying to develop a line of clothing that she could wear and market on the show. She didn’t think it was fair to get involved with another fashion company, so she dropped out. And Charles’ take was that the fashion business was too cutthroat, and he was not willing to put up any money. He was out, as well.

That left Robert as the last shark remaining. He admitted he knows a lot about the fashion space and that he knows people who could work with Danh to help him perform better online. Unfortunately, he wasn’t willing to invest for only 10%. He wanted 25%.

Danh tried to counter with 20%, but Robert wouldn’t budge. There was just too much of a risk and he had originally planned to ask for 35%. Danh thought for a moment, and then accepted Robert’s offer. Danh was so excited he jumped up and down several times with glee. That made the sharks smile.

Final Deal: $250,000 for 25% equity

Buttercloth Shirts After Shark Tank

After the episode aired, there was a sales surge for Buttercloth. Before appearing on the show, the company had sold $500,000 in seven months. After, it sold $500,000 in just two weeks!

A year after the appearance, the company had been transformed. They now had an office, a warehouse, and a team to handle design, marketing, customer service, logistics, and accounting. Their forecast was to sell 50,000 shirts in 2019 and double that in 2020.

As for product selection, they intended to add polos and sweaters in 2019, but a visit to the website shows they’re not featuring sweaters right now. In 2020 they plan to add henleys, tees, and jackets to their collections. They were also planning to introduce a shirt with a new fabric technology that would actively cool the body.

Buttercloth had also wanted to start distributing to brick and mortar retailers in 2020, but it’s likely the coronavirus pandemic has halted that effort. But Buttercloth is offering reversible face masks in four different designs that should be as comfortable and breathable as their shirts.

The Buttercloth Instagram account has close to 17,000 followers and there are 7,600 likes on Facebook. Plus, the reviews are predominantly on the positive side. So does a Buttercloth shirt really feel like you’re wrapped in a hammock in the Caribbean under a palm tree, but look like you’re giving a keynote at NASA? It might be worth it to find out.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is strictly informational; INSIGNIA SEO is not affiliated with Buttercloth, SharkTank, or any of its subsidiaries.

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