Eco Nuts Soap on the Shark Tank
Mona Weiss and Scott Shields was the last contestants of episode #406 to enter the Shark Tank. Two deals had already been completed earlier with the Sharks which statistically already put Mona and Scott at a major disadvantage if you keep track of those kinds of things.
They were looking for $175k for a 15% stake in EcoNuts business. The presentation was going very good
explaining all the benefits of their organic products. Mona puts in just 1 soap nut into a jar of water and within seconds of shaking it turns into soap water. She then explains that you can use these up to 10 times before you need to replace the nuts. It was a very cool demonstration how fast and easy they produce a natural soap.
The presentation was strong until Scott answered a question from Daymond John that I'm willing to bet he would like to take back. He basically stated that the "Soap Berry Market" is approx. a million market in the U.S. and that Eco Nuts controls 90% of that market. Mona instantly realises the mistake and tries to explain what Scott is talking about. The Sharks do the simple math which means that Eco Nuts has at least $900k in sales, right? We'll not exactly. Last years sales were $100k and this year they are on track to do $250k in sales.(pre Shark Tank Effect) Impressive sales growth on it's own merit but I honestly think Shields thought he was being asked a different question then that was asked. But the damage was already done. To the Sharks, as with any Angel Investor, the numbers are what they are most interested in. The numbers just didn't add up which turned off most of Sharks right away. Mona quickly (and wisely) gets the subject changed back to the Eco-Nuts product and hands out a sample to all the Sharks. She then points out they have a proprietary patent to clean and sterilize the nuts thereby separating themselves from any past of future competitor. Mark Cuban cant help but say "stuff on nut's, imagine that" "Everybody needs their nuts sterilized" LOL- only Mark Cuban would say that on T.V.
So how does Mona Weiss and Scott Shields justify over a million dollars for their start up company? They have doubled and tripled sales every year in business as they continue to grow a loyal customer base. The first year they made $10k and put it all back into the Eco Nuts Brand. The next year they did $40k, then $100k. This year they are projected to hit $250k which easily you can get to a million dollar valuation. Barbara asks how do you get your customers? Weiss says she is a "Social Media Ninja" She then tells Corcoran that "we have more fans on Facebook then you do Barbara". Oops- Barbara says she is insulted and she is out without batting an eye. Mona says "Oh don't be out yet". The look on Mona's face was priceless. I was expecting Barbara to invest in Eco Nuts and made mine shrivel right up when she said that. But Barbara is a nice Shark and was only kidding. But that was only a warm up for what was coming.
Robert seems to be the only Shark in the Shark Tank willing to let the numbers slide and make them an offer for 50% of the company.
Mona responds "you'd better be working 16 hours a day In our Business like we do". Robert is shocked and says "excuse me"? Had Mona only known what happened earlier with the Cousins Maine Lobster deal she might not of seemingly offended Robert that he might actually have to "work". Probably not exactly the best thing to say to a Billionaire Shark that already has a full time job but it kind of said a lot about Robert in how he chose to handle it.
It's Mark Cubans turn and he thinks the marketing is not very impressive. Mona tries to defend the Eco Nuts product but Mark sees nothing that is standing apart from other brands to make it unique as it is. He's Out. Now it's Barbara's turn and she is more interested in them getting married. She agrees that the message is not coming Thur in the packaging. She's out. Kevin O'Leary is the last Shark standing and acts like he is about ready to make an offer. Just not the kind of offer they were looking for. Mr Wonderful offers to marry them right there on the Shark Tank. I don't think Mona was ready to get married to Scott right then unless of course Mr. Wonderful would of made them an offer they couldn't refuse. He Didn't.
No doubt the entire 'Soap Berry Market" and more importantly EcoNutsSoap got a big boost in consumer awareness tonight. This is a relatively untapped market that both Mona Weiss and Scott Shields are destined to become major players in.
Find Eco Nuts Online Eco Nuts Organic Laundry Soap
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What is a Soap Nut? "Sapindus Emarginatu"
The EcoNutsSoap story got me wondering just exactly what is a soap nut and where do they come from. Interestingly there is up to 12 different species in the Lychee family that produce soap nuts. Even more interesting is the fact that they include both evergreen and deciduous species of shrubs and trees. The Sapindous also known as soap berries or soapnuts is because of the fruit pulp that makes the natural soap. The generic name is derived from the Latin words saponis, meaning "soap", and indicus, meaning "of India. As the berries start to mature they become what is known as "Drupes" (the actual soap nut berries). Native Asians have been using these natural soap nuts for thousands of years and thanks to companies like Eco Nuts Soap, they are just starting to be used on a larger scale as a natural Eco friendly alternative.