CuddleTunes Update | Season 4

Mike Robinson created a stuffed animal that could play recorded messages from loved ones. Will it earn him a deal on Shark Tank Season 4? Find out in our CuddleTunes update!

Shark Tank CuddleTunes Update

CuddleTunes Update

  • Entrepreneur: Mike Robinson
  • Business: Internet-enabled stuffed animal audio player
  • Ask: $400,000 for 20% equity
  • Result: No deal
  • Shark: None

A former CEO, Mike Robinson delivered a confident pitch while introducing his product and business, CuddleTunes. The product was a stuffed animal that a customer could plug into their computer and download customized greetings from loved ones. Mike believed children and parents alike would love the ability to deliver heartfelt messages through a beloved stuffed animal.

Unfortunately, Mike hit the rocks immediately after the initial pitch when he made a throwaway comment about investing $1 million in development of CuddleTunes “allowing for three years effort.” Right away, Barbara Corcoran asked if that meant Mike had paid himself during that period. Mike confirmed he awarded himself a salary, and the sharks were instantly turned off.

Kevin O’Leary, on the other hand, was more preoccupied with the $2 million valuation, and asked if CuddleTunes had sales. Shockingly, Mike refused to answer, and said he’d like to circle back to that question. This made everyone uncomfortable immediately, and the sharks grew pessimistic.

Mike tried to save things by stating he was able to drive 9% conversions and gross $90,000 during the last promo they ran, but Mark Cuban was unimpressed. Kevin corrected Mike, stating that the 9% conversion was not indicative of how CuddleTunes would perform at full price. Mark agreed that these figures were largely irrelevant.

Slowly, the sharks began uncovering that Mike’s sales greatly hinged on CuddleTunes being offered on then popular platforms Livingsocial and Groupon, which offered it at a generous 50% discount and cutting into Mike’s margins. Kevin, after diving further into the numbers, shared that, as is, CuddleTunes was not sustainable.

Barbara chimed in here to share a story about her and her nine siblings sitting with her father each evening to hear him play the guitar. She said that her father one day decided to record his music so his children could enjoy it even while he was absent but, in her opinion, it was bizarre and took the heart out of the moment. For this reason, she felt CuddleTunes was destined to fail and she was out.

Next out were Robert Herjavec and Mark, who both failed to understand what made the product unique. Daymond John went out next, not having any desire to invest. This left only Kevin, but he was not eager to invest either. Since virtually all of Mike’s sales hinged on promos through other sites, Kevin said there was no proof that CuddleTunes could be sustainable.

With that, Kevin went out, and the pitch concluded. Mike may have left the tank empty handed, but did he succeed in spite of the sharks’ concerns? Keep reading our CuddleTunes update to find out!

Shortly after the episode aired, Mike enjoyed a robust 3000% hike in sales, but the effect was not permanent. As new technology emerged, the need for CuddleTunes seemed to diminish and disappear. By 2016, CuddleTunes was out of business, therefore this will be our final CuddleTunes update.

Would you like to learn about the other companies featured on Season 4 Episode 14? Follow the links below!

For even more on companies and products, be sure to stop by our Season 4 Products Page!

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Andrew Smith is the founder and owner of Shark Tank Recap. He is a longtime Shark Tank fan that has been watching it for years and has seen every episode multiple times. His friends know him as the Shark Tank expert, because he can answer any question about the show! His favorite Shark Tank products are Bertello's pizza oven and Bug Bite Thing!