Those Girls founders Lauren Davie and Elena Andoniou ended up handing over more equity than they planned to
Businesses that produce iced tea and women’s hosiery snapped up the final two deals to be offered in the Shark Tank, with the season one of Channel Ten’s reality show for entrepreneurs coming to an end on Sunday night.
Throughout season one, sharks Naomi Simson, Steve Baxter, Janine Allis, John McGrath and Andrew Banks have offered almost $7 million to entrepreneurs from all walks of life—from South Australian entrepreneur Scott Boocock who scored a $380,000 deal from Simson for his washing pegs with hooks to Leah James and Rebecca Glover, a pair of Brisbane entrepreneurs who secured an $80,000 deal from Baxter and McGrath for their childcare service for children with special needs.
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But while the sharks offered a total of 30 deals during season one, five entrepreneurs turned down an offer, including Expocentric founder Stan Kruss who said no to a $2 million offer from Baxter.
Channel Ten has confirmed Shark Tank will return for a second season in 2016 although the network has yet to reveal if the same sharks will participate again next year.
According to Channel Ten, 8.5 million viewers watched season one, with an average weekly capital-city audience of 793,000 viewers. The series also attracted 2.4 million views on Channel Ten’s digital platform, tenplay.
On Sunday night’s episode, RedBalloon founding director Naomi Simson invested $100,000 in exchange for 20% of Sonsee Woman hosiery, a business that is pitched at plus-size women.
IT entrepreneur Steve Baxter also walked out of the tank with a deal, investing $75,000 in Those Girls, a business that produces a range of iced tea-based drinks, in exchange for 40% equity.
Steve Baxter learns the ropes of his new investment.
Like other Shark Tank entrepreneurs before them, Those Girls founders Lauren Davie and Elena Andoniou ended up handing over more equity than they planned to—they entered the tank with a pitch for 15% of their business for $70,000—but they told SmartCompany this morning “it’s never really been about the money”.
“We don’t like to look at it like that,” Davie and Andoniou said in a joint interview.
“It’s more of a journey for us and we will achieve more with a shark on our side.”
While the pair originally planned to use cash from Baxter’s investment to bottle their range of teas, which are currently sold at markets and festivals, post-Shark Tank, they have decided to “change direction”.
“We’ve decided to focus on what we are good at rather than pursuing bottling, which has such small margins,” Davie says.
“We are going to stick with our current model and make it scalable across Australia.”
Originally from Melbourne, Those Girls hope to be selling their products in Sydney by the end of the year and have developed a winter range of warm drinks, which means their drinks are suitable for the colder months too.
Those Girls also hope to forge partnerships with other home-grown businesses, starting with a Smart Cup they have developed with Frank Green.
“We want to partner up with others that share a great vision,” the pair says.
“We want to share the love among entrepreneurs in Australia.”
Davie and Andoniou have been working closely with Baxter and have been lucky enough to spend some time with Boost Juice founder and fellow shark Janine Allis. But when asked what skills Baxter brings to the table, the entrepreneurs say it is not so much a skill but a quality they appreciate most about their new investor.
“He is amazing at being honest,” Andoniou says.
“It is really priceless to have an outside honest opinion.”
Davie and Andoniou are long-term friends and the idea for their business grew out of their own love for tea. They tried out their brews on family and friends and say they were “overwhelmed” with the demand they encountered at markets.
Their advice to other entrepreneurs considering applying for the next season of Shark Tank is to work hard and “know your figures”.
“It can be scary to know your figures but unless you fully understand them, you can’t understand what you are capable of or the potential you have,” Davie says.
“Understand your figures but don’t be scared of them.”