16-year-old Jason Li has a service that pays people for their old electronics, and then recycles them for a great cause. Will his company earn a deal on
Shark Tank iReTron Update
- Entrepreneurs: Jason Li
- Business: Online electronic recycling service
- Ask: $100,000 in exchange for 20% equity
- Result: $100,000 in exchange for 20% equity
- Sharks: Barbara Corcoran and Mark Cuban
Jason calls his type of business “re-commerce.” He has an online service that pays top dollar for obsolete, broken, or just unwanted electronics, such as calculators, mobile phones, MP3 players and more. Jason claims his company, iReTron is the greenest of its kind.
He told the sharks that he gets a lot of phones, often with nothing wrong with them. He takes those phones and sells them at a steep discount to people who need a smartphone, but can’t afford or simply don’t care about having the latest technology. Users looking to sell their old electronics go online to Jason’s website to get an instant quote. Then they ship their items to Jason at no charge. Once he receives the items, the sellers are paid within 48 hours.
Jason told the sharks that he had a guaranteed purchaser for all of his recyclables, in fact, they buy them up as fast as Jason gets them in. Selling the item to the recycler, he said, was much easier than getting the unwanted recyclables from customers because he didn’t know how to market his service. In the 12 months prior, iReTron made $40,000. Of that, the company netted $10,000, giving them a 25% profit margin.
Robert Herjavec admired Jason’s vision, but said that he didn’t see how the company could grow very much, so he was out. Mark Cuban argued that Jason wasn’t ready for an investment, so he was out. Kevin O’Leary felt that Jason’s business model was not proprietary and was easily replicable for far less than the investment he was asking for, so he too went out.
Barbara Corcoran was up next, and she had an offer of $100,000 in exchange for 20% equity. However, the offer came with a couple of contingencies. First, the money would be available on an as-needed basis, not a lump sum, because he was only 16. Second, and more interestingly, Barbara said that she wanted in on 20% of any business Jason started within the next five years.
Lori Greiner said Barbara’s offer was better than anything she would come up with, so she was out. Jason asked Mark to join in on Barbara’s offer. Mark agreed to split the deal with Barbara, and Jason accepted the deal. What happened next for Jason’s company? Keep reading our iReTron update to find out!
Our research revealed some dissapointing news. It turns out that the deal with Mark and Barbara never finalized. Online sources report the business shut down in 2019. According to Jason’s LinkedIn page, he left his job as a manager for a virtual healthcare company in September 2022, and is now a surfer. This will be our final iReTron 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!