When people take photos on their phones, those pictures rarely get printed. That’s why Brian and Julie Whiteman have come up with a solution to help. Their monthly service transforms customer photos into photo books with ease. Will they earn a deal on
Shark Tank GrooveBook Update
Entrepreneurs: Brian and Julie Whiteman
Business: Smartphone photo album
Ask: $150,000 in exchange for 20%
Result: $150,000 in exchange for 80%, and rights to license
Sharks: Mark Cuban, Kevin O’Leary
Brian and Julie brought their GrooveBook subscription service to the tank. Their customers can order a small photo book containing up to 100 of their favorite smartphone photos for just $2.99 per month. The photo albums are manufactured right in the Whiteman’s shop, where they provide other printing services as well.
It cost the company $2.30 to make each book, generating a profit margin of just $0.70. The couple’s business had 18,000 paid subscribers in the past 8 months, but they were not making money because their profits were eaten up by a $21,000 overhead. For their business to be profitable, they would need 30,000 additional customers.
When asked how they could offer their photo books so inexpensively, Julie explained that they printed the books in-house, and put a groove in the end of the book that allowed it to flex. That flexibility cut their would-be shipping costs down to $0.82, and the couple quickly patented the design.
The company was well-received by the sharks overall. Robert Herjavec and Daymond John worried that if the couples’ main print shop business closed down, printing the photo book elsewhere would be prohibitively expensive. Robert and Daymond were out.
The remaining sharks came up with some creative investment proposals. Mark Cuban offered to license the business to other online photo printing platforms for $150,000, and told the couple they could keep 100% of their book printing business.
Kevin O’Leary offered to buy 100% of the company from the Whitemans for $750,000. Brian countered, saying he would sell the business to Kevin for $6 million, drawing groans from the whole panel. Kevin and Mark stepped away to come up with a joint offer.
While they were away, Lori Greiner offered $375,000 in exchange for 50%, and Robert joined in her offer. When Mark and Kevin returned, they offered $150,000 in exchange for 80% to license GrooveBook as a service to other companies.
Brian and Julie accepted Mark and Kevin’s offer. It allowed them to remain hands-on in their company, which meant a lot to the two. So what happened next for their company? Keep reading our GrooveBook update to find out!
We have some mixed news to share. The company got the “Shark Tank bump”, and quickly went from 18,000 to 500,000 subscribers after the episode. Within the year, Shutterfly bought the company for $14.5 million, however they announced that they would discontinue all GrooveBook services effective April 8, 2022. This will be our final GrooveBook update.
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Jennifer is an avid Shark Tank fan that has been watching the show for years. She serves as Senior Editor at Shark Tank Recap and ensures that all our information is accurate and that our posts are up to date. Her favorite Shark Tank products are Le-Glue and Ring!