TactiBite Fish Call Before Shark Tank
Anyone who has ever known a fan of fishing will know that it’s one of those sports that people get really passionate about. Jeff Danos of Mandeville, Louisiana was no exception, and he had son Jack casting a fishing pole almost before he could walk. The pair frequently went out on fishing trips, but sometimes Jeff’s boast that he was the ‘Fish-Master’ was proven to be nothing but a fisherman’s tall tale when they failed to catch hardly anything.
Jeff was a long time entrepreneur with a history in accounting and a line of successful businesses behind him, but Jack was proving to be quite the young genius himself. By the age of twelve Jack was designing websites for fun, and when he received a 3D printer for a gift he and his dad began working on something to help restore Jeff’s ‘Fish-Master’ status. Eventually the pair developed the TactiBite Fish Call, an innovative invention that would attract fish using far more technologically advanced methods than a worm on the end of a hook.
After perfecting their prototype design the pair went to crowd-funding site Kickstarter, where they opted for an all-or-nothing goal of $10,000 with a 60 day campaign. The Kickstarter crowd took the bait and 800 investors flooded to boost the fishermen’s finances. When the campaign was over advanced sales orders of over $112,000 had been achieved, and the Danos’ were able to find a manufacturer for their original product. They managed to build up a sizeable inventory over the next few months but were still looking for ways to help their business grow, and to that end they successfully applied to appear on The Shark Tank. Their big chance to catch the largest, and most fearsome aquatic creatures of all came in September 2016, but could they reel in a shark or two as a partner? Read on to find out.
TactiBite Fish Call On Shark Tank
Jack and Jeff Danos were more than prepared to meet the sharks. After announcing that they were looking for an investment of $150,000 in exchange for 10% of the TactiBite business they launched into a well-rehearsed and entertaining pitch. After revealing that Jeff wasn’t quite the ‘Fish-Master’ that he claimed to be, Jack explained that the Fish Call used sounds and vibrations to attract predator and game fish. It was as simple as turning the device on, throwing it into the water, and waiting for the fish to come along to see what all the noise was about. Jack finished the pitch with the assertion that it was compact, affordable, and they knew it worked, but were the Sharks going to fall for it Hook, line and sinker too?
Samples of the Fish Call were cast into the sharks, who quickly discovered that there were a number of different sounds the product made. There was the ‘Scared Shrimp’, a name that amused Lori Greiner, and also the ‘Rattle Battle’, a noise that worked particularly well on freshwater fish. Kevin asked how the Fish Call was used and Jack explained that a weight attached to the bottom of the device would sink, while the Fish Call itself would just float on the surface, it all seemed simple enough.
The sharks were not swimming away, in fact the Fish Call seemed to be working just fine on them. Robert Herjacvec asked the big question, ‘Have you sold any?’, to which he received an enthusiastic ‘Yes’ from Jack and ‘We’re glad you asked this question’ from Jeff, and it’s no wonder as the angling entrepreneurs had an impressive amount of recent sales. Jack revealed that in just the last five months $330,000 worth of Fish Calls had been sold. The sharks were impressed and Lori asked what the product cost to make. Jack explained that the Fish Call sold for $99.99 online, and when asked what the total cost of the product was he revealed that the landed cost, essentially all the costs that accumulated before the product was in the buyers possession, came to just $16. The sharks loved such a healthy profit margin, Lori even exclaimed ‘Oh my gosh’ in surprise, and so far they seemed to be ready to take a bite of this innovative new product.
Robert asked if Jack was still in school, to which he explained that he was still just 17, and home schooled. The sharks were surprised that such a young entrepreneur had been so composed and confident in the tank, and Robert even claimed he believed that Jack was ‘about 32’. Dad Jeff explained that Jack had been exposed to business all his life, which explained his confidence in front of the business moguls
It turned out that Jeff wasn’t the only ‘Fish-Master’ in the tank that day. Robert revealed that Daymond John was himself a keen fisherman, and the FUBU boss admitted that he did somehow find the time to go fishing at least six times a month. He quizzed Jack about how the Fish Call actually worked and there was some technical talk about the way that fish heard sounds, and how the TactiBite Fish Call had been developed to appeal to certain types of fish depending on which sound was selected. Jack’s knowledge of fish was clearly comprehensive and it was clear that the sharks were beginning to take the bait.
Daymond asked how much inventory was currently held and Jeff revealed that they currently had $500,000 worth of the product in stock. Once again the sharks were impressed and Jeff explained that having such a healthy profit margin had enabled them to build up such a large reserve of stock. Daymond asked why they had come to the shark tank as things were going so well for them, and Jeff explained that they needed a business expert to help them get into large retail stores, and to help their product ‘Explode’ onto the market.
The Sharks were clearly impressed with both Jack and Jeff, and with the potential for the Tactibite Fish Call. The presentation had been flawless so far, and Kevin started the ball rolling with the pair’s first offer. He would offer the requested $150,000, but in exchange for a 20% stake in the business. Jack asked if he could explain how the valuation had been calculated, to which Kevin replied ‘That seems fair’. The young entrepreneur explained that projected sales for that year would likely see a profit of $300,000, and they had formulated the $1.5 million valuation based on five years worth of sales at that figure. Jack once again showed plenty of intelligence, composure and confidence when explaining the valuation, and Robert Herjavec then called him ‘The freakiest, smartest 17 year old in the World’, and Jack thanked him with a laugh.
Mark Cuban agreed the valuation was fair, but Daymond matched Kevin’s offer, namely $150,000 for 20% and explained that there would be considerable work on the part of a shark in order to achieve significant growth in sales, which was why he too was asking for a 20% stake. Announcing that ‘This was important’ and ‘I don’t do this very often’, Kevin then brought out an engraved name plate bearing the title ‘Mr Wonderful’, and announced that Mr Wonderful was now open for business. There didn’t seem to be a lot of point to the gesture, but perhaps he was reminding Jack and Jeff what a wonderful partner he would be. Mark Cuban however was not going to be making another competing offer, he announced that the only thing he fished for was money and deals, the TactiBite Fish Call wasn’t for him, and he was out.
Lori Greiner saw a promising future for the Fish Call, and felt it was particularly suited for promotion through Infomercials. She revealed that many of QVC’s biggest selling items had been fishing products, she was well aware of how passionate fishermen were about their sport and she thought an on-screen demonstration of the product would be an ideal way to help the business ‘Blow up’. Lori improved on Daymond and Kevin’s offers slightly, she proposed the $150,000 investment, but in exchange for a 15% stake.
Some of the sharks were now ready to be landed, but Jack politely inquired what was the problem with the original valuation. Jeff remarked that the majority of sharks had agreed the $1.5 million valuation was fair, and Kevin replied that he and his fellow sharks were expensive, due to their ability to promote a product and bring huge sales with their involvement in a business. Jack made a counter offer to Lori, and asked if she would consider a $200,000 investment in exchange for the 15% stake. Lori explained that with the amount of work involved she was going to stick with her original offer, and after all it was still the best offer available to the entrepreneurs, but not for much longer.
Robert Herjavec managed to speak out amongst a minor argument between Lori and Kevin about how much she knew about fishing to tell Jack and Jeff that he loved their story, he loved the product and felt the valuation was fair. As a result he would give them exactly what they had asked for, $150,000 in exchange for 10% of the business.
Lori immediately matched Robert’s offer, which technically wasn’t as good as the counter offer she had just refused. Along with Robert and Daymond she began a slightly frenzied battle to appeal to the entrepreneurs. Daymond announced he wouldn’t amend his own offer but emphasized his own passion for fishing. Jack asked if Robert and Lori would consider a partnership, but both of them wanted the TactiBite Fish Call for themselves. Robert made a tactical play, and reminded Jeff and Jack that he was the first to offer them exactly what they wanted, and that fact alone seemed to swing things in his favor. After a quick whispered consultation the entrepreneurs announced they would love to have Robert as a partner, and they reeled in the biggest fish they had ever caught.
TactiBite Fish Call Now in 2018 – The After Shark Tank Update
The performance of the TactiBite Fish Call pair in the tank won Jeff and Jack many new fans. Jack’s ability to deal with the hectic negotiations in the tank was particularly praised and he was featured in several media articles about young entrepreneurs in the weeks after the segment first aired. Jack revealed that in preparing for their time in the tank, he and Jeff had concentrated on actually getting an offer, so when three sharks began a battle to fight for the chance to join them it came as somewhat of a surprise, and consequently that was the only time when they weren’t fully prepared for their appearance.
Their segment was first aired in September 2016, and was re-aired in December that year, and the ten million combined viewers of both shows had netted the TactiBite Fish Call sales of $2 million by the time Christmas 2016 came around. The increased sales have not particularly diminished since then either. On the Company website, Thefishcall.com the company is now looking for a strategic partner to help them keep up with ‘skyrocketing’ sales that have left them struggling to keep up with shipping and inventory control. The website also notes they are seeking a sales associate to maximize their retail potential, and strangely there’s no mention of Robert Herjavec as a current partner on the website.
It’s true that many deals made in the Shark Tank often do not go through after further negotiations, and some of the issues that Tactibite are experiencing currently do suggest that Robert Herjavec may no longer be on board with the business. It’s clear that Jeff and Jack Danos are more than capable of steering the company to even greater success, and it’s also evident that sales of the Fish Call are almost more than they can handle at the moment. The Fish Call is not only available from the company website, at the new reduced price of $69.99, but it’s also available on Amazon where reviews are mixed. Some fishermen are still failing to become ‘Fish-Masters’ even with the help of the innovative high-tech bait, but others cannot sing the praises of the ingenious gadget enough. Only time will tell if the deal between Jeff and Jack Danos and Robert Herjavec was completed, but even without his help, the family business is virtually guaranteed to reel in significant profits in the coming years