Brian and Julie Whiteman, who already had a successful commercial print company, wanted to provide a subscription service for their picture books. Customers would be able to upload up to 100 photos each month via their mobile devices, and their memories would be saved in a personalised photo book. The Whitemans were able to sell the picture books at a low cost because they were printed in-house, but they were spending up to $4 in postage to send volumes that were 5 7 inches long.
Brian was up late one-night crunching figures and trying to find out how to make their bespoke picture book subscription business work. Brian vented his fury on a prototype by slapping it with a pen and shattering the book’s spine. He had an insight while looking at the torn book. He was so ecstatic that he jolted Julie awake and began laughing at his discoveries.
Brian had figured out a way to mail their picture books at a reasonable price. Cutting a slot in the spine of the book made it flexible enough to fit into smaller packaging, allowing them to distribute more books to their clients in less time. Their membership service started to take off as a result of the procedure and the name, and their subscriber base grew to 8,000 individuals.
GrooveBook Makes An Appearance On Shark Tank
Season 5 Episode 13 Of Shark Tank
Brian And Julie Approached The Shark Tank With A $150,000 Offer In Return For A 20% Stake In The Firm.
Nearly everyone has a smartphone in this digital age, and most smartphones can capture better images than any camera most people have ever used. From food to infants and dogs, we photograph everything. These images accumulate and are buried in the depths of our phones’ photo archives, only to be replaced by the most recent photos of our lives and forgotten in time. Julie noted that GrooveBook was a cost-effective way for individuals to store and relive their favourite experiences.
GrooveBook converts your digital images into a classic photo book that you can look at at any time. Photos are perforated and dated with the location so they may be easily removed and shared with friends and family. Subscribers get a new GrooveBook with a distinctive cover design every month. Duplicate images may also be bought to share with family and friends.
The Shark Tank panel’s experienced business experts were initially pleased by the price point and the Whiteman’s ability to sell their GrooveBook for under $3 per book, as predicted. They were able to lower manufacturing and shipping expenses to $2.30 per book by using their own printing studio and the groove design Brian devised that night.
Robert was sceptical of the economic strategy utilised to advertise and sell GrooveBook, fearing that the print shop and GrooveBook manufacturing were inextricably linked. Investing in one of their projects required the investor to have complete trust in the success of both. GrooveBook’s cost and pricing were maintained low because of an earlier investment in professional printing equipment, according to the pair. In all sectors of their business, they believed they could continue to serve all of their consumers.
Julie’s account of how Brian came up with the groove notion while beating up a prototype late one night was entertaining to the Sharks. The groove was described by Mark as a “value proposition.” GrooveBook would have a one-of-a-kind position in the market if the patent was approved.
GrooveBook’s value, according to Mark, was primarily in acting as a go-between for users and established photo-compilation sites like Shutterfly. A licence agreement would make GrooveBook a one-time supplier for other photo-related businesses, resulting in significantly greater profit for Brian and Julie. Mark then offers the couple $150,000 for the company’s licencing rights. Their subscription service would continue, and Mark would have access to one-time applications. Both Robert and Daymond were still uneasy about how closely the two parts of the firm were linked, so they pulled out.
Kevin then made an offer to acquire the whole firm for $750,000. Brian and Julie had placed high importance on their business. This idea appeared to make the pair uneasy. This was their company, and they intended to keep operating it and making money from it. Brian was irritated when he stated that the firm was worth $6 million in total, which was the fee they would have to pay to sell out. The judges were stunned. Kevin, who would normally be done at this point, attempted to get things back on track. He claimed that he was only testing the waters to see whether the couple was interested in selling out or keeping ownership of the company.
The Whitemans didn’t come to the Tank with the intention of being bought out by the Sharks, and they didn’t want to relinquish their licencing rights either. Lori offered $375,000 for 50% of the firm, which was half of what Kevin had offered. Robert changed his mind and agreed to Lori’s offer in part. While Mark and Kevin met in the corridor, Lori placed pressure on Brian and Julie. While the two judges who had initially suggested a bargain were out of the room, Brian was not going to strike a deal.
Kevin and Mark returned with a revised proposition from Mark. The Sharks decided on a licence contract since Brian and Julie were so enthusiastic about their GrooveBook membership business. They gave the Whitemans $150,000 upfront and a 20% cut of the licencing proceeds. Robert put a wrench in the works by making a good argument just as they were closing in on the agreement. Customers would acquire the same product with a single purchase instead of having to pay for an ongoing service if GrooveBook was licenced out, which may have a significant impact on subscriber numbers over time.
Brian and Julie had to make a choice. A partial licence contract and a 50 per cent equity share investment were on the table. Before Brain grabbed Julie in his arms and exited the stage, the pair settled on the licencing contract and spent some time rejoicing with their new partners. Kevin said, “They’re still in love.”
After Shark Tank, GrooveBook
After Brian and Julie went on Shark Tank and landed a deal, GrooveBook exploded in popularity. Without adding the licence transaction, subscription numbers surged to $85,000 virtually overnight, earning over $500,000 in yearly income.
Kevin visited the facilities to partake in the success of one of his most successful projects, and he even highlighted GrooveBook on Jimmy Kimmel Live while highlighting the life-changing impact Shark Tank has had on businesses and individuals like Brian and Julie.
The pair returned to Shark Tank a year later, boasting of up to 500,000 members and an annual income of about $4 million. They had no clue what was in store for them. Brian had once discovered a minor flaw in GrooveBook’s design and persevered until he found a remedy. In the early phases of the process, his inventiveness and the couple’s hard work were about to pay off in ways they had never dared to think about.
Brian and Julie entered the beautiful Shutterfly headquarters, where a Shutterfly executive offered Brian and Julie $14.5 million for GrooveBook. The couple accepted the offer almost immediately, and the conference room exploded with joy at the prospect of obtaining the show’s biggest purchase ever.
GrooveBook has received positive feedback from online users who provide reviews and comments on online dating sites, with an average of 3.9 stars and over 8,000 ratings in the Google Play store. However, it’s impossible to satisfy everyone all of the time, particularly for a service that costs just $3 per month. The personalised picture book firm had to deal with some bad feedback from a vocal minority who complained about payment troubles and photo quality concerns on social media.
As the team addressed a national television audience on Good Morning America, Kevin, Mark, and Whitemans still believe in GrooveBook, and the firm is still growing.
After turning a tiny family company concept into a multi-million dollar operation in less than two years, Brian and Julie love touring the globe.
Royal Pitch is not linked with GrooveBook, Shark Tank, or any of their subsidiaries, and the information presented in this article is only for educational purposes.
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