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The Freeloader Child Seat Backpack Update: Shark Tank Season 5, Episode 3

Andrew is a self-educated business owner and entrepreneur with plenty of free advice (which is worth exactly what you pay for it!).

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Did the Deal Go Through?

No.

Erick Jansen and Nathan Jones made a deal on the show with Robert Herjavec for $200,000 for 33% of their company. Apparently, the pair felt this amount was too much equity for their company. Of course, they got that "Shark Tank bump" and immediately got a boost in recognition from the appearance on the show, but the deal with Robert was never consummated.


How Did the Business Do After the Show?

While some of the design was proprietary, there seem to have been quite a few knock-offs over the years. It is unlikely that The Freeloader has anything approaching a monopoly or "a moat", as Warren Buffett might call it, but on the other hand, it seems like the business is thriving. Their website appears to be alive and healthy. As you can see below, they are alive and well on Amazon as well.

What Do I Think?

As an owner of multiple businesses, I completely understand how difficult it can be to give up equity. After all, this is your baby, and you've put all of your energy into this new entity (in the case of new businesses, as The Freeloader was at the time of the pitch). I think the idea is terrific, and while the inventors took steps to protect their intellectual property, it didn't exactly stop their competition from creating similar products (seen below on Amazon). Asking for $200,000 for 15% implied a very rich valuation, and while the idea was great, ideas without amazing execution aren't worth nearly as much as the originator tends to think. Robert's counter to be a one-third partner (asking for 33%) was, in my view, entirely appropriate, and while the duo viewed this as too much upon reflection, I'd have to ask what Robert would bring to the table as a partner. My personal conclusion would be: quite a lot.

The Freeloader Knock Off, but High Quality

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