- Water-Repellent, Quick-To-Light Fire Starter
- $300,000 (With 10% Equity) Is The Asking Price
- Final Offer: $300,000 In Exchange For 30% Ownership
- Mark And Lori Were The Sharks That Took The Bait
Baptism In The Fire
Frank Weston and Konel Banner were lifelong outdoorsmen who, through a mixture of hard work, luck, and significant expertise dealing with fire, created a breakthrough product. They made a stunning entry at the end of Season 7, Episode 19 when they used their water-repellent, quick firestarter to set the shark tank on fire.
Their display, which was equal parts scientific fair, a magic act, and survivalist training camp, wowed the sharks and got them a once-in-a-lifetime deal (more on that later).
A Quick Recap Of InstaFire
Season/Episode: Episode 19 Of Season 7
This clever pair seems to be selling either high-octane birthday candles or leather gear at first sight. Frank and Konel march boldly into the tank’s double doors, Frank holding his miraculous fire-starter on a serving tray in front of them, and Konel clad head to toe in fringed leather, replete with suede gloves and a hat fit for Indiana Jones. The sharks exchange the obligatory “oohs” and “ahhs” before settling in for what is sure to be a thrilling pitch.
The two are from Riverdale, Utah, and their business is called InstaFire. They’re looking for $300,000 in exchange for a 10% interest in their company. They take care not to oversell or undersell their product’s importance. Frank adds, “We didn’t invent fire.” “It was refined by us.” Kornel uses this as an opportunity to show how the fire may be mastered.
Kornel takes a handful of the stuff in his gloved hand – an earthy, pebbly combination of granules that tastes like birdseed and kitten litter – and smokes it with a regular pocket lighter. “This can endure a 20-30 mile-per-hour wind,” he adds, dropping the powder into a bowl of water while the flame burns in his open hand. Rather than extinguishing with the anticipated hiss and smolder of a fire in water, it somehow continues to burn. Lori observes, her eyes widening with surprise. It’s fair to assume they’ve caught the sharks’ interest at this point. While Konel states that their firestarter is delicate enough to use in a grill (it won’t burn out the bottom of a charcoal grill, for example) and safe enough to extinguish on its own, the fire continues to burn.
Frank shows the convenience of utilizing InstaFire in both a campfire and a charcoal grill environment with the assistance of some portable props. They’ve also developed a cellulose bag for quick, ash-free charcoal grill extinguishing. Then it’s back to Connel with the question of the century: Have you ever worried about how you’d boil water or prepare meals in an emergency?
“Every single day,” Mark adds. (This is why so many people admire Mark.)
Mark is in luck, as it turns out since 1 cup of InstaFire can boil 4 cups of water in 10 minutes, according to Connel.
Lori is fascinated, but she insists on handling the stuff. Frank gives the sharks samples as Konel tells them about their product’s lovely beginnings. Kornel claims he got the idea for InstaFire from an elderly guy at a mountain man gathering – a word and concept that most Americans were unaware of prior to this episode (thanks, Shark Tank). Robert inquires about the product’s long-term goal – do they regard it as an emergency fuel? Is this a product for the outdoors? What is their ultimate goal here?
Frank has an answer: their notion started as an emergency fuel, but it grew organically as they realized the product’s adaptability and untapped economic potential.
Making A Calculation
Frank and Konel claim to have made $2.1 million in sales over the last seven years. Given the power of their goods, Kevin is astonished by this figure. He had hoped for something more. The pair goes into further detail. According to Kornel, they made $378,000 last year, but expect to make $850,000 this year. Mark, being the sensible businessman, inquires about their selling price and manufacturing costs.
- Production Cost: 18.5 Cents Per Unit (All-In, Includes Packaging And Labor)
- Price At Wholesale: $74
- Retail Price: $149
- 99 Percent Profit Margin
- Yes, It Is Patentable
The sharks are surprised that the duo’s sales aren’t higher given these figures. There must be a catch, according to Robert and Mark. Robert wonders aloud, “What am I missing?” “You guys are fantastic; you’ve been doing this for seven years, and it seems to be working…” Mark then offers a probable reason. “There has to be a rival.” However, the pair notes that they just began real marketing efforts a year and a half ago and that most of their major purchasers — Home Depot, Ace, Cabela’s, and others – have only been on board for the last three months.
Robert, skeptical of the company’s self-proclaimed $3 million value, asks the two for further information. They maintain their $850,000 forecast for the next year, claiming that they would only earn $238,000 profit on the total. Robert gently reminds the team that their value suggests they’ve already achieved executional perfection, while they’re still in growth mode. Their estimate is based on what InstaFire will be valued in the future, rather than what it is now worth.
Robert is eager to make a choice, despite his discomfort with the large amount the firm will have to handle and the very little margin for mistake. “Everything needs to go really well for me to be able to own 10% and make a profit.” The first to drop out is Robert.
Kevin is up next, with a $300,000 bid for a third of the business — a whopping 33.33 percent, or three times the initial asking price. Kevin claims he can provide marketing knowledge and, in particular, social media proficiency in return.
Daymond John, maybe the last person you’d think to be a doomsday prepper, expresses interest in the market. He’s offering $300,000 in exchange for 20% ownership and 33.33 percent internet. Daymond would therefore get a third of all internet purchases. Daymond claims that he can increase the company’s revenue from 5% to “millions and millions of dollars per year.”
Mark leans in close to Daymond and addresses Lori directly. “I believe we should team up on this and knock these folks out.” I’ll take care of the web things. We’ll both be in charge of retail.”
Kevin asks, “Together?”
“Not you,” Mark declares emphatically. (Kevin, get with the program.)
Lori and Mark agree to work together, with Lori in charge of retail and Mark in charge of internet sales. Mark and Lori want a 30% interest in the firm in return.
The InstaFire creators make a choice after reviewing all three proposals on the table and some amazing bargaining from Daymond and Kevin. Mark and Lori agree to a deal with Frank and Kornel.
Final Agreement: $300,000 For A 30% Share In InstaFire.
What Happened To Them
Thanks to Mark and Lori’s impressive investment talents, the flames of InstaFire are still blazing hot today. The device is available for purchase directly online, as well as through Walmart, Lowe’s, Academy Sports, Camping Survival, and a slew of other merchants.
Fire starts, charcoal starters, popular mechanical goods, and emergency prep supplies are all available from the firm.
Their website promotes the product’s eco-friendliness and environmental sustainability, even claiming that InstaFire’s residual ash is a natural fertilizer, which is a sign of the times – and effective branding.
Their Facebook Page Is Active And Growing, With Fresh Sales Postings And A Large Following.
It Seems Like InstaFire Isn’t Going Anywhere Anytime Soon.
Royal Pitch is not linked with InstaFire, Shark Tank, or any of its companies, and the information presented in this article is only for educational purposes.
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