Traveling with babies and toddlers can be a pain. There’s so much to lug around, that you might start to feel like a pack mule. Fran Maier and Joe Maier, a mother/son team, sought to fix this problem with a baby gear rental service. Will the sharks decide to carry this deal after the Season 11 pitch? Read our
Shark Tank BabyQuip Update
- Entrepreneur: Fran Maier & Joe Maier
- Business: Vacation baby gear rental
- Ask: $500,000 for 5%
- Result: No Deal
- Shark: None
Of all the extravagant pitches that the sharks see in every episode, it’s rare that they see a live barn animal. BabyQuip brings in a live “pack mule” to illustrate what traveling parents and grandparents feel like when traveling with babies.
Their baby gear rental service, BabyQuip, will make this process easier. Parents can call ahead and order strollers, car seats, and even consumables to be ready when they arrive at their destination. It beats traveling with cumbersome equipment and a bag full of heavy baby food jars. New airport baggage standards sometimes make travel impossible, especially when you need a lot of gear at your destination.
BabyQuip offers parents affordable prices and convenience on their vacation, or when sending their kids to grandma’s house. Plus, their ‘quality providers’ are often parents in their network who have spare baby gear.
Since starting in 2016, BabyQuip has done about $3.7 million in sales, but it’s not profitable yet. They need a shark’s help to get to that point, as well as to help them scale. The sharks get a little more invested when they find out that Fran Maier is the founder of Match.com and has had previous success with service businesses.
Robert Herjavec is the first shark to drop out. He thinks that the corporate support needed for a company like BabyQuip is a nightmare, and he doesn’t want to deal with it. Lori Greiner just doesn’t understand what they’re offering, so she drops out as well.
Mark Cuban has a little more to say on the issue. They’re going to need lots of capital, and previous services have shown that this business model is a money sink. He’s out for those reasons. Guest shark Katrina Lake quickly follows, stating that she just doesn’t think the market is big enough.
This leaves the entrepreneurs with Kevin O’Leary. He makes the entrepreneurs the only offer they’ll get: $500,000 for a 20% equity. The Maiers try to counter with a convertible note deal, but Kevin declines. However, it’s too much for the entrepreneurs. If they take Kevin’s deal, their own stake in the company would decrease too much, so they decline Kevin’s offer.
What happened after they left the tank? Find out in our
As it turns out, turning down a deal from the sharks was the best thing the entrepreneurs could have done for their company. BabyQuip didn’t see much decline from the pandemic. Instead, they used it to their advantage. In our BabyQuip update research, we found that they acquired Tot Squad right before the lockdowns started.
Tot Squad works with Uber to provide sanitized car seats. This purchase really took BabyQuip’s sales to the top. Now, they make about $9 million annually through its website. It’s unclear whether they would have made this deal if they’d taken an investment from a shark.
You can find the other company updates from Season 11 Episode 14 here:
Don’t forget to take a look at our Season 11 products page! We’ve got more company updates from