Rusty Allen created a filtered water bottle. Will his invention earn a deal on
Shark Tank Gobie H2O Update
- Entrepreneur: Rusty Allen
- Business: Unique bottle with state-of-the-art filter
- Ask: $300,000 for 10% equity
- Result: $300,000 for 40% equity contingent on being able to sell in big-box retailers
- Shark: Daymond John
Rusty, an industrial design entrepreneur, started his pitch strongly by stating the water bottle and filter made by his company, Gobie H2O, was the most advanced one on the market. In his pitch, he contaminated water with potting soil, and ran it through the filter. Results revealed that it was completely filtered, and safe for human consumption.
Kevin O’Leary asked if Rusty intended to sell his product to the public or use it in “specialty” or “niche” markets. Rusty said his main focus was to compete against single-use plastic bottles in America. Kevin said he didn’t think the public wanted to pay for the extra cost of the filter, especially since it needed to be replaced every three months.
Mark Cuban agreed, while Robert Herjavec said he was fairly certain there were already competitors on the market doing the exact same thing. Lori Greiner spoke up, stating she also saw competitors using the kind of filtration Gobie H2O was using. However, she felt the water bottle itself, which featured a soft, compressible exterior with a hard shell within, was unique and interesting.
Rusty expanded on the design, stating that Gobie H2O called it “Fresh Flow technology”, and it used the best features of soft and hard bottles to accomplish its task of providing superior filtration. Robert needed clarification though. Robert asked if his filter was the only one on the market capable of doing this. Rusty responded that no one else filtered in the same way Gobie H2O does.
Daymond John said that he never expected to say it, but he found the water bottle “sexy.” He asked how much it was selling for, and Rusty said it was $30 retail against a $10 cost. Mark asked if the filter, which needed replacement every one hundred gallons, was patented. Rusty said it was a carbon block, so it was just “free market technology.”
Rusty shared that he had sold 10,000 bottles and 15,000 filters. This translated to $285,000 in revenue. over a seventeen month period. Rusty felt it prudent to share that this was only the blue bottle SKU, and the other colors were simply props because they were yet to go to market.
In fact, Rusty said the lack of color diversity on his product line was the reason Bed Bath & Beyond, Target, and JC Penny refused to pick up Gobie H2O and test it. Lori refused to believe that, stating they wouldn’t hesitate to try it out, regardless of the color selection, if they expected it to sell. Lori said the real reason was because they, like her, knew there were better-priced competitors. For this reason, Lori was out.
Kevin decided to go after Rusty for a different reason– the valuation. He said Rusty needed to defend his $3 million valuation, since the sales didn’t support it whatsoever. Rusty tried painting a picture of a broad market, saying the wealthiest man in Beverly Hills and poorest man in Kenya both needed water.
Kevin then rebuked Rusty. He told Rusty that he should’ve said that he had a plan to sell $3 million within a twelve month period, netting $500,000 to $600,000 profit in the process. Because Rusty’s pitch didn’t hook him, Kevin was out.
Mark took the next stab at calling out what Rusty’s problem was. He said that Rusty had a cool-looking bottle but, instead of focusing on that as the selling point, he chose to highlight the filtration aspect. Rusty protested, stating that the filtration element was an important selling feature, but Mark disagreed and went out, saying Rusty was “selling the wrong item.”
Robert felt the presentation was “convoluted”, and he didn’t think Rusty understood the business he was trying to compete in. By Robert’s measure, Rusty was destined to be “crushed” and, for that reason, Robert was out.
This left only Daymond. He said he had been silently rooting for Rusty all along, but the other sharks had raised some valid concerns. To help him make up his mind, Daymond asked Rusty what his plan for the investment was, to which Rusty answered he would finance more inventory, and cover some operating costs. Daymond asked if Rusty had racked up any debt, to which Rusty said there was none.
Daymond then said Rusty should take a swig of his water, because he was going to make an offer. Robert wondered if Daymond was kidding, but he was dead serious and offered $300,000 in exchange for 40% equity. Daymond’s offer included a contingency that it would only hold if Gobie H2O was picked up by big-box retailers.
Rusty tried countering with 20%, but Daymond refused, so Rusty asked if he could call and consult an advisor. Daymond allowed him to step into the hallway, giving the other sharks the opportunity to try to dissuade Daymond from investing in Gobie H2O.
Rusty returned after his call, and asked Daymond if he could convince other sharks, namely Lori and Mark, to come back in. Daymond refused, stating that he knew the risks involved with his investment, and so he wanted the “big reward” all to himself.
After confirming all other sharks were out for good, Rusty accepted Daymond’s deal. What happened next? Keep reading our Gobie H20 update to find out!
While the bottles were sold for many years, the company seems to have gone out of business in 2021. Rusty has since moved on to another endeavor. According to his LinkedIn page, he is now affiliated with Happi Canine, a company that sells CBD supplements for dogs. This will be our final Gobie H20 update.
Would you like to learn about the other companies featured on Season 4 Episode 21? Follow the links below!
For even more on companies and products, be sure to stop by our Season 4 Products Page!
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!