Before Shark Tank – The Beginnings
Nikki Pope appeared on the Shark Tank in season 2, with a money-saving idea to help parents entertain their children. Nikki Pope lives in Los Angeles, California and her company is called Toygaroo. Nikki Popo states that she has a large family, thirteen nieces and nephews in total, and that they absolutely love playing with toys, just like any other kid.
She calls her nieces and nephews “playtime professionals”, however, the problem is that the children really quickly get bored of the toys that they own. Nikki Pope states that this was the inspiration for her and her husband to create Toygaroo. According to Nikki Pope, Toygaroo offers a cost-effective way to not only for parents to declutter their homes, but also to keep their children entertained by always having new toys at their disposal.
Nikki Pope states that her husband and she do not have any children yet, but they definitely would like to have some. If the Sharks would like the idea behind Toygaroo, Nikki Pope and her husband would have the financial stability to be able to start their own family. Her dream for her company is that every family who have children that like to play with toys, will use Toygaroo. She really hopes that the Sharks will make her dream come true.
Toygaroo on Shark Tank
“Nikki Pope walks confidently and stands in front of the Sharks”
Nikki Pope starts her presentation by introducing herself to the Sharks, stating that her company is called Toygaroo, and that she is looking for an investment of one hundred thousand dollars, in exchange for a ten percent stake in her company.
Nikki Pope continues her presentation by stating that Toygaroo solves the problem that millions of families face every single day. She continues by stating that she has eleven brothers and sisters, and she is lucky enough to have thirteen outstanding nieces and nephews, who are all under the age of eight years.
According to Nikki Pope, her siblings are purchasing toy after toy for their kids, which clutters their playrooms, living rooms and bedrooms with toys that were purchased, played with for a couple of weeks and are then left completely untouched. Nikki Pope claims that Toygaroo solves that problem and does much more.
Nikki Pope states that Toygaroo is basically the Netflix for toys. Consumers can go to the Toygaroo website, pick a plan that is right for them, and fill their wish lists with toys that they would like to receive, after which Nikki Pope sends those toys right to their door. Once children get tired of playing with those toys, the parents can throw them back into the box, use the Toygaroo return label that is provided to them, and send the box back to Toygaroo.
“Barbara Corcoran asks Nikki Pope if she can see what the quality of the toys are like”
Nikki Pope answers the question by saying absolutely, takes several toys from the table and brings them over to Barbara Corcoran and the other Sharks.
“Mark Cuban asks Nikki Pope how many toys she has in her catalogue”
Nikki Pope answers the question by saying that she has over three hundred different types of toys in her catalogue.
“Daymond John asks Nikki Pope how the toys are being processed, especially because kids are not the cleanest, making the toys dirty with their drool or bedbugs”
Nikki Pope answers the question by saying that cleanliness is very important at Toygaroo, which is why the toys always get sanitized when they return. Once the toys are sanitized, they get shrink-wrapped, ready to be shipped out to the next family that wants that toy.
“Kevin O’Leary asks Nikki Pope if they shrink-wrap the toys all the time”
Nikki Pope answers the question by saying that they shrink-wrap the toys every single time.
“Kevin O’Leary asks Nikki Pope who else is doing what Toygaroo is doing”
Nikki Pope answers the question by saying that there is not another company that is doing what Toygaroo is doing, which means that there is currently no competition.
“Robert Herjavec asks Nikki Pope what happens when a toy gets damaged”
Nikki Pope answers the question that in six months of running Toygaroo, they haven’t replaced a single toy completely yet. If a child does damage a toy, they sell the toy to the family at a discounted price.
“Kevin O’Leary asks Nikki Pope to walk him through her business model, and to tell him how she makes money by renting toys”
Nikki Pope answers the question by saying that families have to pay a monthly membership fee, with membership plans starting at thirty five dollars a month and go all the way up to eighty nine dollars a month, depending on how often a family wants to receive toys.
“Daymond John and Kevin O’Leary state that thirty five dollars a month is a lot of money”
“Kevin O’Leary asks Nikki Pope how many families signed up for a Toygaroo membership”
Nikki Pope answers the question by saying that they did a soft-launch with five hundred participants, which basically was like a test to see how many families were interested. All of the participants were paying forty two dollars a month for a box of toys that is worth over two hundred dollars. This means that a membership to Toygaroo costs those families five hundred dollars a year, which is great, because the average family spends anywhere between twelve and fourteen hundred dollars a year on toys.
“Mark Cuban asks Nikki Pope how much it costs her to ship a single toy box”
Nikki Pope answers the question by saying that a toy box has toys in it worth two hundred dollars, and it costs her anywhere between fifty to ninety dollars. This means that she made enough money to break-even, only after two and a half months of being in business.
“Kevin O’Leary asks Nikki Pope how she is going to scale up Toygaroo”
Nikki Pope answers the question by saying that all she needs is more marketing and more exposure, because in the small amount of time that she had her five hundred customers by word of mouth, she got a waiting list of over a thousand people, waiting to participate.
“Robert Herjavec asks Nikki Pope if the business is sucking up a lot of cash, after it starts to grow tremendously like she mentioned before”
“Kevin O’Leary asks Nikki Pope for every million dollars in sales, how much money would have to invest to purchase that inventory”
Nikki Pope answers Kevin O’Leary’s question by saying sixty four thousand dollars, which is the cost for the toys. That is going to cover a whole year of toys.
Kevin O’Leary starts getting angry for some reason and states that he has heard enough. He continues by saying that there is a problem, which is that Nikki Pope doesn’t yet have a million dollar company, but she is asking him to pay her as if it is a million dollar company.
Kevin O’Leary states that he wants to be an investor in Toygaroo, because he believes the concept is interesting and the company has a lot of potential. He continues by stating that it is a leap of faith, because he has to believe that Nikki Pope is going to grow Toygaroo.
“Kevin O’Leary asks Nikki Pope if she has any partners in Toygaroo”
Nikki Pope answers the question by saying that her husband is a partner, she has a web designer and two online marketers that are partnering up with her as well.
“Kevin O’Leary asks Nikki Pope how much she owns of Toygaroo”
Nikki Pope answers the question by saying that she owns ten percent of Toygaroo.
“Kevin O’Leary asks Nikki Pope who owns the rest of Toygaroo”
Nikki Pope answers the question by saying that every partner owns ten percent, except for her husband, who owns fifty percent of Toygaroo.
“Robert Herjavec asks Nikki Pope how come her husband owns a larger chunk”
Nikki Pope answers the question by saying that it is what they decided when they started up.
“Barbara Corcoran asks Nikki Pope how happily she is married”
Nikki Pope answers the question by saying that she is incredibly happily married.
“Kevin O’Leary asks Nikki Pope why she gave away such a large portion of her company, even though she was the one who came up with the idea”
Nikki pope answers the question by saying that her husband has worked with her on Toygaroo every single day, and that he has put a lot of his time and effort into the company.
“Kevin O’Leary and Barbara Corcoran ask Nikki Pope why they didn’t just equally divide the percentages, instead of giving away parts of her own to the other partners”
Nikki Pope answers the question by saying that she doesn’t really know why.
Daymond John states that he has a bad history with partners that didn’t own a majority share in their own company. He continues by stating that it is very risky to invest in a company and a person that doesn’t hold the majority share, and for that reason, he is out.
Kevin O’Leary states that he wished that Nikki Pope owned more of Toygaroo, but nevertheless, he is going to make her an offer. Kevin O’Leary makes an offer of a hundred thousand dollars, in exchange for a thirty five percent stake in Toygaroo.
Kevin O’Leary tells Nikki Pope that it is very rare for him not to ask for the controlling share of the company, especially because he is a control freak. He doesn’t want the controlling share because he trusts Nikki Pope, and tells her that he will be able to make her rich.
“Barbara Corcoran asks Nikki Pope if she has the right to sell thirty five percent”
Nikki Pope answers the question by saying that she has the right to do whatever she wants with her company.
Nikki Pope states that she had her eye on Kevin O’Leary the moment she came in through the doors of the studio.
Kevin O’Leary responds by saying that he had her eye on Nikki Pope as well.
Barbara Corcoran states that Nikki Pope is the first woman to come through those doors and be attracted to Kevin O’Leary.
“Several of the Sharks start laughing out loud”
“Kevin O’Leary asks Nikki Pope if she accepts his offer”
Robert Herjavec cuts in and states that he wants to make an offer as well.
“Robert Herjavec asks Mark Cuban if he would be interested in working together, offer more money and make a deal with Nikki Pope”
Mark Cuban answers the question by saying that he is absolutely interested.
Robert Herjavec states that the toy business could sell well over the internet, which is his expertise, but he needs the help of Mark Cuban in this.
Robert Herjavec and Mark Cuban offer a joint deal of two hundred thousand dollars, in exchange for a forty percent stake in Toygaroo.
Barbara Corcoran states that she was going to offer a lot less, which means that she doesn’t feel like joining in the bid war. Barbara Corcoran states that she is out.
Kevin O’Leary tells Nikki Pope that she should know that he is “Mr. Toy” because he has sold his company to a large toy store. He states that he also lived in Fisher Price for a year.
Robert Herjavec states that he believes that Nikki Pope needs more capital, and that she needs to be able to go faster, which is why she needs to market more on the internet.
Mark Cuban states that he has expertise in hyper growth, especially when it is online.
“Nikki Pope asks Kevin O’Leary what his relationship is like with Fisher Price and Mattel, because she knows that Kevin O’Leary worked with/for them in the past”
Kevin O’Leary answers the question by saying that Fisher Price and Mattel are never going to forget who he is, simply because he has done a great job for them.
“Nikki Pope asks Kevin O’Leary if he is willing to increase his number”
Kevin O’Leary answers the question by asking Nikki Pope if she would accept his offer, if he increases his offer to two hundred thousand dollars.
Nikki Pope answers the question by nodding her head up and down.
Kevin O’Leary states that he likes what Mark Cuban brings to the table, which is why he would like to split the offer with him.
Mark Cuban states that he has no problem with that, leaving Robert Herjavec behind.
Nikki Pope accepts Kevin O’Leary’s and Mark Cuban’s deal.
At the end interview, Nikki Pope states that it means so much to be in business with Mark Cuban and Kevin O’Leary. She cannot wait to see what is going to happen with Toygaroo.
Toygaroo Now in 2018 – After Shark Tank Update
Nikki Pope appeared on the Shark Tank, hoping to get an investment from one of the Sharks in order to be able to grow her “toy-renting service”. Before she appeared on the Shark Tank, she already did a soft launch, testing out if people actually were looking for a service like this. The test came out positive, which is why she wanted to scale up her company. She was especially eying Kevin O’Leary, because of his expertise in the toy industry.
After a small bidding war between Kevin O’Leary and Robert Herjavec/Mark Cuban, Kevin O’Leary decided to increase his offer and work together with Mark Cuban, which he accepted, leaving Robert Herjavec behind. Nikki Pope accepted the joint offer of two hundred thousand dollars, in exchange for a thirty five percent stake in Toygaroo.
Even though Nikki Pope received an investment from Mark Cuban and Kevin O’Leary, it doesn’t seem like the company is around anymore. A couple of years ago, there were signs of Toygaroo going bankrupt, especially after they posted a banner on their website, claiming they couldn’t take on any new members because of an “explosive growth”. After doing some research, I also found out that the Toygaroo website domain name and the brand name has been sold off, meaning that the company is no longer operating. It is a shame to see that companies still do not work out, even if they manage to get funded by the Sharks.