Moki Doorstep Before Shark Tank
If you’re the type of person who loves outdoor activities, there’s a good chance you’ve loaded bikes or skis or kayaks onto your vehicle’s roof-rack. And if you’ve ever struggled to lift your outdoor gear to the height of that rack, Zach and Alyssa Brown have a product for you.
The couple, from Newington, Connecticut, created a “step” you can hook onto the striker of your vehicle (just inside the front door) that will lift you to the height you need to load your equipment. Because the couple is very active, they saw a need for a product that would help vertically-challenged people – like his 5-feet-tall wife – easily reach the roof-rack. Zach is a firefighter, so he knew that the striker could support a lot of weight, and that knowledge helped inspire him to develop the product. The Moki Doorstep – named for the Moki Steps carved into foothills by the Pueblos of the American Southwest – is made of aircraft-grade aluminum that can easily support up to 400 pounds. With $30,000 funding from Zach’s uncle, and a Kickstarter that brought in about $110,000 with 2,000 backers, the Browns were ready to ask the Sharks for $150,000 in exchange for 5% of the company. They appeared on Episode nine of Season 10 in late 2018.
Moki Doorstep on Shark Tank
Shark Tank Season 10 Episode 9
As soon as the Browns demonstrated how easy it was to attach and use the Moki Doorstep, the Sharks were wowed and Robert asked, “Who comes up with these things?” It seemed like such a simple solution to a common problem no one had thought to address before now. But the Sharks still had questions and concerns. Kevin thought the retail price of $44.95 was quite high, and that it could likely be knocked off and sold at a much cheaper price, like $19.99. It was true that they didn’t yet have a patent, but the uncle who had invested the $30,000 had applied for one, and the Browns had promised the uncle $1 for every Moki Doorstep sold. Would it be a risk to partner with the Browns before the patent was approved? Possibly.
Kevin also thought that a $3 million valuation was too high, but Zach countered by telling him that a CFO of a large auto parts company advised him to value the company no lower than $3 million. The cost to produce each step was only $10.50, so the margin was quite high given the $45 retail price. Zach also let the Sharks know that a rack company had proposed a 7-year licensing deal that would guarantee $3 million and 12.5% in royalties. That deal, however, was only for North America; the Browns wanted the Moki Doorstep to be a global phenomenon.
Suddenly, Daymond made an offer: $450,000 for 20% of the company. He felt his relationship with Cox Automotive would be beneficial to the company. Right away, Alyssa stated that they didn’t want to give up that much control. Zach agreed, saying that it would make more sense to sell the company outright. The Sharks asked if they were willing to sell Moki Doorstep, and Zach said he would for the right price. Mark wanted to know what price they were asking, and Zach said since the company was valued at $3 million, he would accept an offer of $3 million. Then Daymond shocked everyone by saying he would buy the company for $3 million if the licensing deal was in place. The Browns looked stunned, as though they were totally unprepared for what Daymond had offered. But less than thirty seconds later, Zach agreed to the deal and the Browns became instant millionaires.
Moki Doorstep After Shark Tank
It’s rare that a company is sold on Shark Tank, but it turned out to be a good outcome for the Browns. They wanted to go back to their lives and their day jobs, and Alyssa had just given birth to her second child. Millions of dollars would certainly be helpful for a budding family. However, some have speculated that they probably could have negotiated a better deal. Daymond was very eager to offer much more capital than they had asked for, which indicates that he saw the company as having a higher value than $3 million. The Browns could have upped their ask to over $4 million, and even if Daymond had countered, they would have likely ended up with more than they got. But it’s hard to argue that earning $3 million in a matter of seconds is something to sneer at.
Since making the deal, Zach and Alyssa remained involved in product development with the manufacturer, Rightline Gear, and were helping Daymond and his team launch the product. Moki Doorstep is now sold online at both the company website and Amazon, and in retail stores like Dick’s Sporting Goods and REI. Because patents can take up to five years to be finalized, knockoffs have begun to flood the marketplace. The Browns note that it’s frustrating to see these copycat products eat into Moki Doorstep’s profits, and since they say the knockoffs are made from inferior materials, they’re likely to pose some safety concerns.
But a search for alternatives to Moki Doorstep shows that some of these products are indeed well-made, can support the same amount of weight as the Moki, and cost less than $30. The reviews for these alternatives are also very favorable.
It will be worth watching to see if Moki Doorstep needs to adjust its price in the future. Kevin did predict that the knockoffs would retail around $20, and he was correct. Perhaps the product’s association to Shark Tank justifies the $44.95 price tag in the minds of some consumers. But for those who want the Moki brand but think the price is too steep, there’s always the option of buying it used on eBay. If Moki is as well-made as the Browns say it is, consumers should feel confident purchasing a pre-owned version.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is strictly informational; INSIGNIA SEO is not affiliated with Moki Doorstep, SharkTank, or any of its subsidiaries.