Daniel Wood and David Martschinske rode into the tank on their self-balancing unicycle. Will they also ride away with a deal on
Shark Tank SBU Update
- Entrepreneurs: Daniel Wood and David Martschinske
- Business: Self-balancing unicycle
- Ask: $300,000 for 10% equity
- Result: $300,000 for 33% equity
- Sharks: Robert Herjavec and Kevin O’Leary
When Daniel and David literally rode into the tank on their product, the SBU, everyone was clambering to try the self-balancing unicycle for themselves. Robert Herjavec hopped on and enjoyed it, with Kevin O’Leary soon to follow.
As the sharks enjoyed themselves, Daniel and David shared that the product retailed for $1,800, and cost $350 to make. However, very few had actually been sold, as they were only available on the SBU website, and produced in very small quantities preceding the product launch.
To make matters worse, Kevin shared his knowledge that the Segway, an iconic mode of transport that preceded SBU, was banned from public sidewalks, and it was one of the reasons the company and the product ultimately failed.
These factors caused trepidation in the tank, but Lori Greiner would be the first to go out simply because she didn’t feel passionate about the product. Daymond John went out next, based on the information that Kevin shared about the Segway.
Kevin was also skeptical, but mostly regarding the $3 million valuation. Daniel and David referred to the massive buzz surrounding the release and said that they personally inspected the manufacturing facilities overseas and had reason to believe they should hit $1 million in sales within the first year.
Mark Cuban disagreed, and said that he doesn’t trust overseas manufacturing, and that one defect could spell disaster. For this reason, he was out.
Robert was next to waffle, stating that he wasn’t really sure about the mass transport market and it was perturbing to hear of Segway’s failure. Daniel countered that SBU was different and used proprietary, patented technology that they were also licensing to e-bike manufacturers, among others.
The sharks perked up upon hearing about the licensing. Even Daymond, who had already gone out of the tank, said that they should have mentioned that crucial detail earlier. Daniel went on to share that they already closed one licensing deal with the technology that had earned SBU $25,000 royalties within the past 3 months.
Robert, now very interested in the tech and the licensing deals, offered $300,000 for 33% equity. Kevin, who always perks up at the mention of licensing deals, asked to join and Robert allowed him to enter the deal. After taking some time to consider the deal, they eventually accepted Robert and Kevin’s deal. How did things go after the tank? Keep reading our SBU update to find out!
As it would turn out, Daniel and David withdrew from the deal before it closed. Despite this, the exposure from the show helped them catapult sales, and two new versions of the SBU went to market. The self-balancing unicycle would also be featured on MythBusters and Tosh.0, gaining even more notoriety. While the product sold on Amazon, and the company website for a time, it was sadly discontinued as of 2015. With that said, this will be our final SBU update.
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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!