SworkIt Before Shark Tank
SworkIt is a free fitness application for your smart device created by friends turned entrepreneurs, Ben Young and Greg Coleman. SworkIt, short for Simply Work It is an app that is built to give users four different types of workout – strength training, cardio, yoga and stretching. This means you can devise any sort of workout to exercise any or all parts of your body from your fingertips on your smart device. The free version of the app allows you to choose a set amount of time you can afford to dedicate to work out and all the user has to do is follow the instructions the app is giving you. Before you know it, the workout is complete and recorded on the app. There is also a premium or paid version of the app in which users of the app can save various customized workouts, adjust the exercise or resting periods and there is even an additional ‘ask the trainer’ section. Further to that, the premium version of the SworkIt app is free from advertisements which may also be appealing to users.
If you go on to the application store on your smart phone or tablet, there are quite literally hundreds of different workout apps. So what makes SworkIt so different you may ask? According to the American College of Sport’s Medicine, good workout regimes should include a mix of cardio, strength and resistance training as well as flexibility training. As SworkIt follows these guidelines, it has been hailed one of the best workout apps on the market. Further to that, the app does not require for you to be part of a gym or to pay any high membership fees to attend classes. Each workout can be done from your own home – all that is required is motivation from the user of the app.
Since SworkIt has launched, it has gained a following of more than ten million users all over the world. This means it has been propelled into the top five rankings of all the fitness apps out there on the market.
Although Ben and Greg had been reaping the rewards of their app being a massive success, they decided that additional help and expertise was needed to take the app to the next level. Will the sharks bite and invest in SworkIt?
SworkIt On Shark Tank
Ben and Greg enter the shark tank, introduce themselves and SworkIt to the sharks and explain that they are in the shark tank today seeking $1.5 million in exchange for an eight per cent equity stake in their company. Ben explains to the sharks that the duo is sick and tired of all the excuses that people across the United States and all over the world use to avoid working out. Greg says that there are no excuses with SworkIt as you can work out when it suits you, you don’t have to pay any high gym membership fees and further to that the app demonstrates what to do in simple steps. Sounds easy right?
Greg demonstrates the app and the four key areas of it to the sharks so they can see just how easily the app generates a work-out tailored to you. Ben claims that SworkIt is like the Spotify only instead of songs you have various workout routines. If you cannot perform a certain exercise for some reason, you can skip it and the app will give you an alternative exercise to do.
Barbara opens the questioning when the duo finishes their pitch asking if music can be put to the workouts generated by the app to which Ben replies that there is a Spotify integration with the app – an appealing feature for many users who like to listen to some music as they train.
Lori is interested to hear how long the duo has been in business. Ben explains that SworkIt was launched a year ago but they have been in the health and fitness industry for the past five years during which they gained a lot of experience. Robert is interested to hear more about how the pair started off on the SworkIt journey. Ben explains that five years ago, they developed their first product, a fitness tracker, called Nexercise. Robert wants to know if they made money from the first product and Greg explains that since their company launched, they have made just under $2 million.
The duo then go on to explain that the app is free and the revenue they have generated from SworkIt as a product is from the advertisements used in the free version of the app and the premium upgrades which cost $3.99.
Kevin is interested to hear if there is an annual charge or a subscription type charge but Ben explains that that is something that will be introduced soon. A subscription of $9.99 per month will be charged allowing users to access much more content and equipment. Ben explains that himself and Greg are the category leader in the fitness app market.
Mr. Wonderful, ever keen to talk about the financial side of things want to know about previous investors in the company and the company’s valuation. The questions do not phase the duo and they continue to impress the sharks with their technical knowledge of where they need to bring their product. Lori wants to know what exactly the pair need the money for and what they are going to do with it if she were to invest. Ben explains that they want to double the number of people in their engineering team so they can further develop the speed at which the make advances to the SworkIt app. Ben then goes on to explain that they are already ready to roll out the next branch of this app – SworkIt Kids.
Kevin claims that he finds Ben and Greg very credible but it comes as no surprise that he is struggling with the valuation of the company and finds it too much of a risk. Kevin asks the pair if they are willing to ‘put some debt on the ballot sheet’ as he claims they can definitely handle it while not having to give up as much equity. Kevin makes an offer to a speechless Greg and Ben. He will give them the $1.5 million in debt and in return he wants an equity of 2.75% on closing.
Mark quickly decides to make an offer to the duo claiming that Kevin is annoying him. Mark decides to offer the $1.5 million for a ten per cent share in the company as well as $1.5 million worth of advertisement inventory giving him a platform to advertise his various products on the free version of the SworkIt app.
Lori steps up next and informs Ben and Greg that thus far she has been on the fence as she watched the other sharks. An impatient Mark starts to get worried that Lori will make a better counter offer. Lori deliberates before confirming that the valuation is just too high for her and for that reason, she declares herself out.
Robert informs both Ben and Greg that he loved them and the idea. He also claims that he was going to offer the $1.5 million required for a sixteen per cent equity share in the company but he acknowledges that Mark has a good offer on the table for the duo. He wishes the pair the very best of luck before declaring himself out.
Barbara claims that currently she exercises three times a week and she has the luxury of a personal trainer. She also acknowledges that her problem is that she knows she should be doing it five times a week and she sees SworkIt like the answer to her problems. After some deliberation Barbara decides to spend the $3.99 on purchasing the premium app instead of investing in another way and she also declares herself out.
So that leaves two offers on the table from both Mark and Mr. Wonderful. Mark is very eager to invest in this product and is quick to ask Ben and Greg if he has a deal. After a moment of silence, Ben announces that they have a deal.
SworkIt Now in 2018- The After Shark Tank Update
Like many products that appear on the Shark Tank, SworkIt experienced a lot of media coverage after the episode aired with the app becoming even more popular than it already was. After leaving the shark tank delighted to have made a deal with shark Mark Cuban, Ben and Greg met with Mark to go through the finer details of the investment and close the deal. Unfortunately for all parties involved, the deal did not close due to differences in what Mark wanted and what Ben and Greg wanted for the product. However, even though the deal not closing was a blow for both Ben and Greg, they have since been regrouping and enjoying the publicity the app received from appearing on the show. Further to that, with all the media coverage SworkIt has received, the app has been the subject of interest from other potential investors.
Although the deal did not work out for the duo, the trip to the shark tank was not a waste of time and Ben and Greg are sure to find another investor soon that will help them bring SworkIt to where they want it to be. We wish them both the very best of luck!
great article katie