Anyone who drives a car has experienced this before: you have your phone in your pocket, you sit down in the vehicle, and all of a sudden you hear a thud and something has fallen. Uh oh, your phone fell out of your pocket, and it made its way to the area right between the seat and the center console. It’s lodged in the worst possible way. You can’t fit your hand in deep enough to grab the phone.
You get out of the car, and now you are on your hands and knees, blindly moving your hand around the floor of your vehicle, trying to see where the phone went. Unfortunately, you keep your phone in a black case, so it just blends in with the fabric of the seat and the floor. You move the seat forward, you move it backward, anything to get that phone dislodged. Finally, you manage to position the seat in such a way that you can retrieve the phone. Upon pulling the phone out, you realize that maybe months ago, you must’ve dropped a piece of a candy bar down there, because a bunch of semi-melted chocolate now covers the screen of your phone.
Ok, perhaps you haven’t experienced that exact scenario, but everyone knows how annoying it is to drop something into the abyss to the side of your seat. It’s also a safety hazard since it could happen while you are driving, and you might find yourself trying to fish out whatever it is you dropped while driving 65 on the highway.
Marc Newburger and Jeffrey Simon, two longtime friends, saw this problem as an opportunity. It became especially apparent when Marc describes dropping his phone beneath the seat, going to grab it, jerking the steering wheel, and nearly killing a pedestrian on the side of the road. He narrowly avoided a pole as well; the whole situation could’ve been far worse.
The two gentlemen realized, amazingly, that even though there are billions of cars on the road, no one had yet invented a product that could help block things from falling into that abyss. They got their hands on a book about inventing and patenting, and they got to work.
What they created was inspired by a combination of dress socks and sponge-like material. They realized the critical factor was that they needed something that could loop around the seat belt buckle so it could move as the chair moved. It took three years and almost $1 million to get Drop Stop on the market.
Drop Stop on Shark Tank
Shark Tank Season 4 Episode 20
It is immediately apparent that Jeffrey and Marc know what they are doing when making a pitch. Each of them came from a similar background, aspiring directors, so they understood the performative aspect of making a sale quite well. They combine charisma and humor in a way that leaves the Sharks impressed and smiling.
During the pitch, you can see the Sharks nodding in approval when the two men describe the plight of the abyss between the seats. Mark raises his hand when the two men ask if anyone has ever found that 2-year-old french fry underneath their seat.
The two men are seeking a $300,000 investment, and in return, the Shark(s) who decide to invest will receive 15% equity in the company. They explain that they have received a patent on the product and that it can fit into any car on the market. The durable device is also guaranteed to last the entire lifetime of the vehicle and then some.
After the pitch comes the questioning from the Sharks, the duo has strong evidence backing their product and can answer questions confidently because before they ever even set foot in the Tank, they had already sold 260,000 units. This is met with some approval from the Sharks, but Kevin presses them a bit, asking how much that turns into revenue and profit. The two entrepreneurs explain that, so far, they have grossed $1.3 million in sales. They go on to tell that they expect to bring in $500,000 that year, generating a $260,000 profit.
When questioned on how the Drop Stop is distributed, the men explain that most of the sales are through their website. In an effort most likely aimed at Lori, who is the QVC expert, the two explain that they have appeared forty-two times on the network. When pressed on more specific numbers, the Marc and Jeffrey explain that they produce the product for $4 and sell it to retailers for $10. They are hoping that the investment can give them a stronger hold in the retail market and hopefully lead to them generating more profit.
Robert and Daymond are the first Sharks to drop out. They aren’t dismissive but explain that they don’t believe in the product so much and so they won’t be the right Sharks for the job.
Cuban is thrilled with the product overall and tells Marc and Jeffrey that he is going to start using the product as soon as the next time he gets into his vehicle. However, he concedes that since Lori is the QVC connoisseur, he is not as qualified to bring as much value to their product.
Kevin makes an offer, but it would result in him getting money directly from each unit rather than taking equity in the company. The duo is not very interested in his offer, and that’s when Lori jumps in. She explains that she knows exactly what will need to be done and that she can make them both rich. She offers $300k for 20% equity in the company. Kevin tries to fight back, but, in the end, the duo accepts Lori’s deal. Everyone involved seems thrilled to be moving forward together.
Life After Shark Tank
Drop Stop is alive and thriving as a business; just take a look at their website. Almost immediately after their episode aired, the Drop Stop did about $500,000 in sales.
Sales have continued to rise each year steadily, the product has grossed well over $24 million at this point. Lori has been an incredible help for the pair. She has been able to assist them in getting the product in stores such as Walmart and Target.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is strictly informational; INSIGNIA SEO is not affiliated with Drop Stop, Shark Tank, or any of its subsidiaries.