BabyQuip Before Shark Tank
BabyQuip was created by Fran Maier and, her son, Joe Maier. The duo founded the company in 2016 after they suddenly realized how difficult it really is for parents to travel with all the baby necessities. They thought about how many families must struggle to not only carry their own luggage and the baby through airports, hotels, etc. but to also have to transport bigger baby gear. This could be anything from a portable crib to a stroller and much more. Together, this mother and son duo became determined to find a way to make traveling with an infant easier on families. Thus creating BabyQuip.
BabyQuip is a rental service for all things related to baby gear; strollers, cribs, car seats, etc. Not only is this company a huge help for families, but it’s super simple and quick as well. So here’s how it works. When travelling, a family could have whatever means of baby gear needed to be ordered and have it delivered to their destination. When families arrive at their destination, they will be welcomed with the gear they’ve ordered. A lot of said baby gear comes from parents whom have extra. Even better, the gear arrives pre-cleaned and insured to ensure each baby remains safe and healthy.
In the beginning of launching their business, they actually had it named Babyierge; however, they switched it to BabyQuip to make searching for the service easier. Just shortly after their launch, BabyQuip was already beginning to become quite popular. The business was growing quickly and, before their Shark Tank appearance, the Maier’s made $3.7 million in overall sales. In addition to that, the founders actually started adding things like diapers and bottle formula to their services, though those will require a fee prior to delivery.
As marginally mentioned earlier on, the baby gear is received from other mothers – they’re referred to as ‘quality providers’. The mothers are essentially doing this as a side job, and they make up to $600 by helping these other families. At this time, the company has more than 500 quality providers helping out. That number has almost doubled since the prior year. With that being said, BabyQuip appears to be a successful company; however, the Maier’s are hoping that a shark will help them further expand and succeed in their business. But will the shark’s be interested in this idea?
BabyQuip on Shark Tank
Mother and son duo, Fran and Joe Maier, take the stage of Shark Tank with their BabyQuip business. Not only did they bring a pretty clever and creative idea to the sharks, but they also had an intriguing pitch planned. They’re hoping a shark will offer them $500,000 for a 5% equity in their business. So the entrepreneurs start their pitch; just a mother, her son, and a mule. That’s right, the Maier’s brought a mule to their pitch in order to demonstrate how families feel having to lug around all their luggage, baby gear, and their babies.
During their pitch, they explain the concept of their business, as well as told the sharks a little bit about their story. The sharks like that BabyQuip gives other mothers a chance to provide families with gear while also making some side cash. Once Fran mentions that she is in fact the founder of Match.com, the sharks become more intrigued. Although they do still have a few concerns, one big one being that they believe the Maier’s will need a big investment in order to further grow their company.
Robert Herjavec chimes in first. He tells Fran and Joe that, although he likes the idea, he doesn’t want to deal with the support that their business will need. He goes out on the deal and Lori Greiner follows him shortly after. Lori states that she isn’t quite sure what their business is offering, so she won’t invest. The next shark to speak up is Mark Cuban. While he agrees with Robert’s concerns, he also doesn’t want to deal with the amount of capital that BabyQuip would need. He goes on to tell the Maier’s that similar businesses to theirs have struggled in the past when it comes to money. Due to that, he drops out of the deal as well.
The only remaining sharks left are, guest shark, Katrina Lake and Kevin O’Leary. Katrina speaks up first to let the Maier’s know that she is out. She adds in that she thinks the market is too small for their idea. With that, Kevin O’Leary becomes their last chance at leaving with a deal. He decides to offer the entrepreneurs $500,000 for a 20% equity in BabyQuip. Considering this is the only offer they’ve received, they try to save it with a counter-offer; however, Kevin tells them no. After some negotiating, the Maier’s decide that a 20% equity is too high for them. They reject Kevin’s offer and leave the stage with no deal.
BabyQuip Now in 2023 – The After Shark Tank Update
Although Fran and Joe Maier declined Kevin’s offer and left with no deal, it seems as though that ended up being the first decision for them anyway. Following their time on Shark Tank, BabyQuip has actually grown greatly and continued succeeding. Shortly before the pandemic hit, BabyQuip partnered with Tot Squad, a company that provides pre-sanitized car seats through Uber. Fortunately enough for them, the pandemic didn’t end up hurting their business much. Of course, they did see their sales slow a little bit, but for the most part, they still did good enough to stay afloat.
Fran Maier previously stated that BabyQuip did in fact raise money after their appearance on the show. They received $850,000 from SeedInvest investors, as well as some money raised from investors within the BabyQuip business itself. From about 100 investors, at that. In addition to that, BabyQuip has expanded to well over 900 markets within Canada and the United States. With that, they’ve gained more than 1,000 new quality providers as well.
In late 2021, BabyQuip had the opportunity to becomes partners with a variety of companies such as Blueground, Hyatt, Guesty, AvantStay, and many more. With these new partners, they now offer a referral program. This new addition must have had a positive impact on many families, as the Maier’s suddenly got customers praising them for saving their vacations. During that time, BabyQuip had filled more than 100,000 orders.
As of 2023, BabyQuip has an annual revenue of around $23 million. They recently spent $3.4 million on funding towards their business, and they plan to continue expanding it much further. The founders also have the intention of including more new services soon. At this time, it’s being predicted that BabyQuip is on track to becoming an even more successful $100 million business in the coming years.