Brian Altomare has a door-to-door luggage shipping service. Will it earn him a deal on
Shark Tank LugLess Update
- Entrepreneur: Brian Altomare
- Business: Luggage shipping service
- Ask: $100,000 for 10% equity
- Result: No deal
- Shark: None
It all sounded too good to be true when Brian shared how his company, LugLess, would pick up luggage from your door, and deliver it to your hotel, or other destination, at a reduced cost and with more reliability.
Robert Herjavec would be the first to ask if LugLess was literally just doing what FedEx did already, but for luggage exclusively. Brian denied that they were like FedEx, as his company was more proprietary. He explained that they offered more service flexibility.
Robert was stunned. He challenged Brian to repeat that FedEx, a company worth $40 billion, didn’t offer “proprietary service.” Brian amended his answer, acknowledging that FedEx was indeed proprietary, but that LugLess offered greater service flexibility.
Kevin O’Leary asked how it was possible for Brian to undercut the major players, and Brian said they engaged in bulk buying, thus enjoying “deep discounts.” Mark Cuban wanted more and asked Brian to walk them through the process.
Brian pitched a hypothetical scenario in which Mark needed to travel to New York for the Knicks-Mavericks game. Unfortunately, Mark’s private jet was in the shop in this scenario, and he was forced to fly commercial. Mark insisted it would never happen, but everyone got a laugh nonetheless.
Instead of trusting the airline to handle the bag and then wait around for it to appear on the baggage carousel, all Mark had to do was sign up for a LugLess account. He would then wait for a packet to arrive with his luggage tags, which he would secure to the bag. Mark said this was a red flag, and asked how long that packet would take to arrive. Brian said it was overnighted. Those in need for more immediate service would pay a premium to use a drop-off location, or receive a private pick-up from a courier.
Robert said that his company has a corporate FedEx account for convenience and discounted rates. He asked if Brian was gearing his services toward corporations or to individuals. Brian said that it was mostly for individual consumers, but he felt his rates could be competitive with FedEx even for corporations.
Daymond John was baffled, highlighting that every aspect of the service would accrue costs. How in the heck would he still be cheaper than FedEx?
Brian clarified that some of those services, like the private courier, were premium add-ons that accrued an extra fee for the consumer. However, the standard shipping option remained competitive or cheaper than FedEx, according to Brian.
Robert asked about sales. Brian said that they had $215,000 in sales over a ten month period. Of the $215,000, $70,000 was net profit.
Kevin asked if Brian considered partnering with airlines. Brian said they had not yet considered that, as they were leading with “travel-related companies.” Kevin was confused and wondered what’s more “travel-related” than an airline. Lori Greiner chimed in with “Travelocity” as Brian rattled off his plan to partner with hotel chains, travel agents, and concierge services.
Lori asked how much LugLess charged for each piece. Brian explained they charged a $39 flat fee for a carry-on sized luggage, $59 for standard, $99 for oversized, $149 for a surfboard, and $89 for golf clubs. Mark asked if Brian was the only one doing this business, and Brian said they were not the only ones, but they were the best and the fastest growing.
Kevin asked how he’s supposed to value the company. He wondered if he was supposed to ask for 60% equity for this $100,000. Brian explained that it was because of pending partnerships that could lead to big revenue increases in the future. A letter of interest from SecureWrap indicated they may be featured in fifty-three airports in the near future.
Robert continued wondering why someone wouldn’t just go through FedEx. Brian said LugLess offered better service, but Robert seemed confused still. Mark also felt that setting up kiosks in airports, which is what SecureWrap would ask LugLess to do, would require more staffing expenses and more logistical headaches.
Brian argued that most of the kiosks could be set up with just a mounted tablet, but Mark reminded him that then a courier needed to take the bag somewhere.
Robert finally had enough. Still confused as to how it was a better alternative to FedEx, he said he just didn’t understand and said he was out.
Kevin, on the other hand, said he thought it sounded a lot like a cell phone carrier in the way that one company coupled with another at the expense of razor thin margins. Unfortunately, those already thin margins got crushed over time, and that’s exactly what Kevin was predicting for Brian. For this reason, he was out. Kevin also reiterated that he, if it were his company, would push for a deal with a commercial airline.
Daymond asked about the $1 million valuation. Brian explained that he felt the system’s infrastructure was worth $200,000 to $250,000 alone, and that additional value was provided by the pending partnerships. Daymond asked if Brian had a contract in place for the SecureWrap partnership, and Brian said that he did not. He only had that letter of interest. Because there was no firm commitment and because he felt the valuation was crazy, Daymond was out next.
Lori told Brian she loved his entrepreneurial spirit and passion, and that LugLess was a good idea. However, the problem was that he had put himself up against many big competitors. For that reason, Lori was out.
This left only Mark. He began by saying he normally liked “software plays” like LugLess, but he agreed with Lori in that the huge problem was that Brian had put them up against bigger, badder companies with a much bigger marketing budget. In his opinion, LugLess needed a better angle to differentiate itself. For these reasons, Mark was out and the pitch concluded.
Did Brian prove them wrong and enjoy soaring profits, or did LugLess get canceled after a short run? Keep reading our LugLess update to find out!
Research for our LugLess update revealed good news. He refocused his company on the traveler who is looking to pay a premium for white glove service, which seemed to help business. In 2014, Brian sold his company to Luggage Forward for an undisclosed amount, remaining on board as an employee. As of 2023, LugLess remains in business. Annual revenue is undisclosed, but is estimated to be in the low millions.
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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!