Inirv Before Shark Tank
An innovative gadget, the Inirv React allows individuals to remotely control their stove via an app. A smarter way to cook, it utilizes specially-designed stove knobs, that can be used for both electric and gas systems. The perfect addition to any kitchen, it also improves safety by offering the ability to turn off the stove remotely before disaster strikes. Easy to use, its sensor hub connects to Wi-Fi, which enables convenient monitoring of the stove—from anywhere. Your own cooking assistant, it can even be used to set burner settings and cook times ahead of time!
Established in 2016, the Inirv company was co-founded by Ranjith Babu and Akshita Iyer. As it had happened, the latter had come up with the idea after going to the movies with her mother, just to remember that she might have left the stove on in the kitchen. Concerned, she quickly rushed home to find the place filled with smoke. Luckily, however, she had gotten there in time before a fire had started. Nonetheless, she was left with thousands in smoke damage—not to mention that it was quite traumatizing for her puppy, who was left home alone at the time.
In order to raise funds for the project, she launched a Kickstarter campaign on January 4, 2017. To their pleasant surprise, they reached their $40,000 goal within just a few day’s time. Moving ahead, they announced a stretch goal—$85,000, that would go towards integrating the product with Amazon Alexa. With the help of many amazing backers, they soon reached the second amount just a couple of weeks later. Over the next several months, the team introduced several additional features including Google Home Integration and Dynamic position-sensitive LEDs.
Fast forward to the end of the year, and it was announced that the company would be making an appearance on ABC’s Shark Tank. Featured in the ninth season, which premiered in 2017, their episode later aired on January 7, 2018.
Inirv on Shark Tank
Standing in front of the sharks, Ranjith and Akshita introduce themselves as the founders of Inirv. Continuing, they let them know that they are looking for an $800,000 investment in exchange for 8% of their company, which somewhat surprises the panel.
Going into their pitch, the founders spend the next several seconds highlighting the dangers of distracted cooking (e.g. phone calls, screaming kids, etc.). A common problem, as it happens to millions of people around the world, it can also lead to deadly kitchen fires, Ranjith explains. With that, Akshita explains that’s why they had created Inirv React—a device makes the kitchen safer and smarter.
Seconds later, they direct the sharks’ attention to the television. Narrating a clip that begins to play, Ranjith lets them know that their product is an innovative kitchen gadget that is capable of detecting hazards in the kitchen and automatically turning off the stove. Demonstrating the process in person, the founders subsequently turn towards the stove beside them, whose knobs they replace with the Inirv Smart Knobs. Noting that the sensor unit goes up on the ceiling, Akshita subsequently points out the fact that the units active automatically when the stove is turned on.
Elaborating further, Ranjith states that it will automatically turn off the burner if dangerous levels of gas or smoke are detected in the kitchen. Taking out his phone, he also lets them know that it can be used with their app, which allows individuals to monitor their stove at any time. Demonstrating, he presses a button on the screen, after which the knob turns off the stove. With that, they end their pitch by asking which of the sharks would like to work with them on the project.
Seconds later, Robert inquires as to where they’re at in the development stage. Giving him their attention, the founders let him know that they’ve had a functional prototype for several months. Since then, he explains, they’ve been making aesthetic refinements and technological improvements. As the sharks look on, Ranjith explains that they’d launched a Kickstarter in January, through which they successfully raised over $430,000, which seems to impress Daymond.
Asked how they’d come up with it, Akshita explains that her mother had come to live with her a while back after she’d became wheelchair bound temporarily due to a car accident. Continuing, she tells the sharks that she’d had left the stove on more than one occasion, which led her to grow concerned. From there, they eventually had a close call—she had forgotten to turn it off prior to leaving the house for a movie, she explains. Realizing the potential dangers, she eventually began to contemplate the idea of making stoves “smart.”
Just as she finishes her story, Lori asks for a better look at the smart knob. As Ranjith hands her the product, Robert inquires about the company’s name, to which he’s told that it comes from the medical term, “to innervate.” Taking the opportunity to tell them more about themselves, Akshita states that she was in the middle of applying to medical school when she’d come up with the idea. Elaborating further, she tells them that she’d dropped out of the application process to focus on Inirv.
From there, Ranjith also shares that he is a resident neurosurgeon. With further prompting, he reveals that he’d gone to college at Atlanta, where he’d gotten his bachelors and masters in four years. As the attention goes back towards the sharks, Mark makes a point by saying that the product is mechanical aka “there is no secret sauce.” Noting that it’s “not very protectable”, he states that it must lead to something else.
Before the founders can answer, however, Lori questions Mark’s statement. Asked whether or not the technology can be protected, the founders let them know that they’ve filed for several provisional patents. Commenting that they haven’t sold any aside from Kickstarter, Robert subsequently asks about their vision for going into the market. Replying to the question, Akshita reveals that they’re currently working on allowing users to pre-program their own recipes.
As she’s elaborating on the topic, Robert lets them know that they have to have a broader vision as he predicts the product will become obsolete in 36 months. Commenting that it’s their entryway into the kitchen, Akshita explains that the success that they’ve gotten so far is due to the fact that consumers are able to identify with the fact that they want a piece of mind in the kitchen. While that might be the case, however, Mark reminds her that the sales from Kickstarter are not indicative.
On the topic of the crowdfunding campaign, Daymond inquires about the product’s pricing. In response, Ranjith explains that the set, which consisted of four knobs and a sensor sold for $250. While he admits that it’s a nice product, Mark remarks that it’s involved in a hard sell market. For those reasons, he soon backs out. Nodding in acknowledge, the founders eventually let them know that they’re currently in negotiations with three of the country’s largest appliance manufacturers.
Despite that, however, Kevin doesn’t appear to be on board with the idea. Giving his opinion, he tells them that their product has many challenges ahead. Highlighting the fact that they’ve not yet been able to sell any units, he lets them know that their $10 million valuation is absurd. Commenting that he’d probably never see his $800,000 again if he were to invest, he becomes the second shark to back out.
Elaborating on the topic of the $800,000, Daymond states that they’d have to sell at least $200 million worth in order for them to break even, which is concerning. Noting that it’s likely that they’ll be able to achieve that in the next three years, he also backs out of a deal, leaving just two sharks.
After some more talking, Robert surprises everyone by offering them their first deal—$800,000 for 20% stake. While he thanks him for the offer, Ranjith expresses the fact that it would be hard for them to scale, if they were to offer too much equity. Commenting that he has a slightly different vision, he lets the two know that he is unable to offer any flexibility on the deal, much to their dismay.
Trying their luck at a counteroffer anyway, Ranjith asks whether or not he’d be willing to do $800,000 for 10% stake, in addition to 1.5% in advisory shares. While he admits that it’s interesting, the shark lets them know that he will not be moving from 20%. To make matters worse, he soon backs out after changing his mind.
With that, the attention goes to Lori, who exclaims that she “loves the concept.” Despite that, however, she states that $800,000 is a lot to invest, given the fact that they have not yet established a finished product. Acknowledging her answer, the founders go on to say their thanks before leaving the tank.
Inirv After Shark Tank – Recent Updates 2018
Many months have passed since Akshita and Ranjith pitched their product on Shark Tank. How is the company doing nowadays?
Since their appearance on the show, the company has moved forward with their project. Judging by some of the updates that have been posted on their Kickstarter page, it would appear that they’ve proceeded with the manufacturing stage. In fact, just a few days ago, they announced that they had acquired some new motor units. With that said, it seems that they are still a bit away from having a finished product.
While the item itself is not yet on the market, Inirv has opened up reservations on their website, through which individuals are able to reserve their unit, simply by providing their name and e-mail (no credit card required). If you’re interested, you can visit their official site here.
What Customers Think of the Inirv
Seeing as how Inirv React has not officially been released, its hard to say what customers think of the item at this point in time. With that said, the company itself has attracted a decent amount of attention over the past several months, thanks to the “Shark Tank Effect.” On Facebook alone, the company has already gained nearly 2,000 followers. Similarly, they also have a few hundred fans on Twitter and Instagram.
Will we be seeing Akshita and Ranjith back on Shark Tank anytime soon? Unfortunately, seeing as how they were unable to secure a deal, the chances are slim. If anything, we’ll have to wait a bit longer before seeing the product on the market.