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Geek Chic Furniture Update | Season 4

Robert Gifford creates furniture with hidden design features. Will his products earn him a deal on Shark Tank Season 4? Find out in our Geek Chic update!

Shark Tank Geek Chic Update

Geek Chic Update

  • Entrepreneur: Robert Gifford
  • Business: Furniture with hidden design features
  • Ask: $100,000 for 5% equity
  • Result: $300,000 for 25% equity
  • Shark: Robert Herjavec

Self-proclaimed geek Robert entered the tank to introduce his line of unique hardwood furniture, each with hidden design features intended for storing games, holding drinks, and more. His company, Geek Chic, was in fact born out of his necessity for tidying up his comic books, board games, and other geek-specific hobby items.

Lori Greiner started by asking if the table Robert revealed during his pitch was the only product Geek Chic sold. Robert said his company sold nineteen unique pieces of furniture. Daymond John asked if he made chairs, and he confirmed that Geek Chic made chairs as well.

Lori asked how much a Geek Chic table cost, and Robert shared that it would retail for $3,500. Robert Herjavec found this reasonable, while Mark Cuban wanted to know about sales. Robert G. said that they had sold $2 million in the previous year.

This was unexpected, and enticing for the sharks. Lori asked how much profit Robert netted on the $2 million, but learned that he finished the year in the red at negative $100,000. Despite this, Robert G. stood by his $2 million. Kevin asked what Robert’s projected cash flow would be for the current year. Robert said he should net between $400,000 and $500,000.

Robert H. asked what the plan for the investment was, and Robert G. said he planned to buy a truck in order to expand his shipping operations. In addition, he sought to increase production efficiency by purchasing specialty machinery to help manufacture his products.

Mark asked about the average order amount and margins. Robert G. reported that customers, on average, ordered $4,000 and $4,500 at approximately 50% margin. Kevin commented that America had been decimated by the Chinese furniture market, and wondered how Robert remained “alive” in the furniture business.

Robert G. said that he remained in business because he wasn’t competing directly with Chinese furniture manufacturers. His products used North American hardwood and featured design elements that the Chinese manufacturers could not authentically replicate.

Lori applauded Robert’s achievement and enthusiasm, but confessed that she had seen similar products and, because of this, she was out.

Robert H. asked if Robert G. was looking to sell furniture to the masses or just a select niche market. He wondered if Robert G. might be satisfied capping out at $10 million instead of scaling to a much grander scale. Robert G. said he was not interested in keeping Geek Chic niche, and felt he had something unique with universal appeal.

Mark interjected here to disagree, saying he did not see anything other than just a table in Geek Chic’s product. He said he had to be relentless and driven to work with each company he invests in, and Geek Chic just wasn’t a good fit. For this reason, he was out.

Robert H. too felt there was a disconnect. He said he had a different vision for Geek Chic than Robert G. had. He liked the design, but also didn’t want to be in the furniture business. For this reason, Robert H. was out.

Kevin decided to share a story about biology class at this juncture. He recounted a time he was counting fruit flies on a petri dish when he found a clear, white fruit fly instead of the typical black ones. He notified the teacher, who taught him this unique find was “an anomaly.”

According to Kevin, Robert G. was an anomaly. Although he was in a tough business that should’ve wiped him out, he survived. Kevin advised that Robert G. not raise money nor give up equity. Instead, he should just be a happy fruit fly and, with that, Kevin was out.

This left only Daymond in the tank. He too said he had a different vision for Geek Chic. Daymond also confessed he wasn’t sure if he could “ride with” the geek angle of the company. However, he couldn’t help but love the product and Robert G.’s management of the company.

For this reason, Daymond offered $200,000 for 25% equity. Robert G. said his original offer of 5% equity had already factored in the value of having a shark, and therefore he felt 25% equity was too much. He countered with $500,000 for 15% equity.

Robert H. clarified that Robert G., in his counter, had essentially raised the valuation from $2 million to $3.3 million. Robert G. confirmed, and claimed he still felt this was a low-ball valuation compared to what he truly believed his company to be worth.

Daymond accused Robert G. of showing a “character flaw” with this absurd counter offer. Meanwhile, Robert H. just wanted to know if Robert G. was actually considering Daymond’s offer. Robert G. said he was not considering it, and felt his counter was more in line with what he wanted.

Daymond said that he had to stay firm at $200,000 for 25% equity, as he needed to be compensated appropriately for his time. Robert G. said 25% equity was still too much to give up. However, Robert H. out of nowhere chimed in and told Robert G., “I’ll give you more cash.”

Although he was out, Robert H. came back in and offered $300,000 for 25% equity. He said, although his vision for Geek Chic differed from Robert G.’s vision, he felt the product was beautiful and rare.

Daymond accused Robert H. of “jumping in on [his] geek.” Meanwhile, Kevin recapped the two offers on the table, asking Robert G., who he endearingly nicknamed “Peewee the Fruit Fly,” what he planned to do.

Robert G. asked if Daymond would match Robert H.’s offer, but Daymond stayed firm at $200,000. Thus, Robert G. thanked Daymond for the offer, but felt that his refusal to go up in cash combined with his admission that he might not “get” the geek angle meant he was not the right partner for him.

He then turned to Robert H. and said he thought Robert H. was out for good. Robert H. said that anything can happen on Shark Tank. With that, Robert G. accepted Robert H.’s deal for $300,000 in exchange for 25% equity, and the two Roberts joined forces at last! What happened next? Keep reading our Geek Chic update to find out!

As it would turn out, the deal with Robert H. never closed, and growth was too slow to provide Robert G. the cash flow to sustain operations. Eventually, in 2017, Geek Chic went out of business. This will be our final Geek Chic update!

Would you like to learn about the other companies featured on Season 4 Episode 25? 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!