Brake Free Technologies Before Shark Tank
Motorcycles were supposed to be solely a means of transport. They get you from one point to another in a very short span of time thanks to their flexibility which allows them to cut through traffic saving so much time. However, motorcycles have developed into a fun activity and for many, nothing beats driving through their city or countryside with the wind in their hair. Motorcycle clubs have developed in many parts of the world.
Unfortunately, motorcycles have been known for the risk that comes with riding one and accidents are common thanks to them not being seen by vehicles. Getting hit by a turning vehicle is a very common risk for a motorcycle rider and a lifelong injury or even death can occur. This makes motorcycle riding an undesirable hobby for many.
Henry Li and Alex Arkhangelskiy were motorcycle enthusiasts and they were concerned about motorcycle safety. They knew one of the leading causes of motorcycle accidents was motorcycles not being seen and they knew that there was a way to improve rider visibility. That was why they came together and developed Brake Free Technologies.
Brake Free Technologies was a light that could be attached to the back of a helmet. The device could also be connected to the motorcycle’s braking system so that it responded to the transmission changes as the motorcycle’s lights do. Brake Free Technologies was still in its infancy stage when its founders decided to seek help from investors to help it grow. They were on the 8th episode of the 12th season of Shark Tank seeking an investor whose interest in the business would match theirs.
Brake Free Technologies on Shark Tank
Henry Li and Alex Arkhangelskiy went to the Shark Tank seeking $200,000 for their company Brake Free Technologies. Their presentation started with them talking about the enjoyment people got riding motorcycles. They then talked about the importance of safety and the measures that had already been taken by manufacturers and riders. They then showed the sharks why the safety measures already taken were not enough.
Henry and Alex then showed the sharks their brake-free devices and how they increased the visibility of the rider making it less likely for them to get hit by a vehicle that was behind them. They also showed the sharks how easy it was to attach to a helmet and then invited the sharks to try the one that they had presented. Kevin asked if the Brake Free Technology had a sensor to tell when it was full and he was told that it had such a sensor.
Mark Cuban asked them if they had taken out the same sensors that there were on a phone and plugged them into a device Henry said that was what they did. Mark Cuban then asked if it was doing the same automatic slow down and acceleration as the brake light on the motorbike and Henry said that it did. Barbara asked them if they had a patent for the device and Alex said that they had a utility patent for the device.
Barbara asked them how much the technology sold for and Alex said that the technology sold for $169. Barbara said that it was a lot of money but Mark Cuban said that it was not that bad. Henry said that it was not much money for someone who valued their safety and riders normally paid over $100 for their equipment. Mark Cuban then asked them where they were selling it, how many they had sold, and what was it costing them to make one of the devices.
Henry said that their cost was $42 per unit. Alex then said that they had made sales of $240,000 on Indiegogo so it was better if their sales were considered pre-orders at that point. Mark Cuban asked if they had shipped any yet but they were extremely close to shipping. Kevin then asked if they needed the $200,000 to build inventory and Alex confirmed that it was what they wanted the money for.
Kevin then asked them if they were confident with the design as it was to the extent that they would go out and build more. Kevin then asked them if they talked to customers because he saw a risk there. Kevin then said that the product was not for him. He would not argue with them about valuation although he loved to do it. He then left.
Barbara said that she should be the most interested of the sharks about the product because she had a younger brother who was crippled when he was run over by a truck from behind. The accident happened because the trucker did not see his brake lights. She said that she should be the one who was eager to invest in the product but she was not hearing anything clear and that would give her confidence that they could sell the device.
She lacked trust in that aspect of the business and to her, it was more important than the device so she left. Henry said that he thought that he and Alex were great salesmen and that was the reason why they were on the Shark Tank. Lori then said that she thought that the product was a genius-level device that was also fantastically done.
Lori then said that when products have liability issues that go with them it is much more challenging but she thought that it was necessary and needed. She said that not everything in Brake Free Technologies was worked out yet and because there was still liability potential she felt that she should not be involved with the business. For that reason, she was out.
Robert said that he thought that the product was brilliant and a great idea. However, a product’s greatness is not a guarantee that it will get to market. Henry said that he thought that they had all the money that they needed to get to the market. The only money that they needed from the sharks was money to scale. Henry said they needed to get to those economies of scale and that was where the sharks could help.
Robert said that they would also need the expertise to go to the market and Henry said that the expertise would be great. Robert then said that he was in the business, his friends were also in the business, and they knew the market. One of his friends owned Air Canada and they had connected with Ducati. Henry then said that they would love to be in dealerships.
Robert said that he thought that they would have to go there but it would not happen on that day. Robert then offered them $200,000 for 20%. He thought that they would be on the back of every motorcycle because there was a passion for riding motorcycles and this gave them that safety. Alex thought that it was a good offer and Henry agreed with Robert and said that the lighting technology matched its safety with style.
Kevin then asked them what they thought of the offer. Alex and Henry turned to Mark. Mark said that although Robert was more ingrained in motorcycle culture, he owned a company, Shortstop Guardian Bikes, which sold bike safety devices online and was very successful and was changing the industry.
Robert said that he had given them a fair deal and it was what he did. If Mark gave them a deal he was happy to drop out but they had not yet been given an offer in contrast to his fair offer. Alex and Henry discussed and Alex asked the sharks if they were willing to collaborate. Robert said that he was happy to accept the offer.
Henry and Alex accepted the offer. As they left, Alex said that the partnership was the dream and that Mark and Robert were the 2 people that they wanted and he couldn’t ask for more.
Brake Free Technologies Now in 2023 – The After Shark Tank Update
Brake Free Technologies partnered with Mark and Robert and has gone on to launch its website where it sells its product. They are now shipping the product across the United States and Canada. When it started, Brake Free Technologies had the philosophy of ensuring that its product would be easy to use and easy to install while still improving biker visibility exponentially. They succeeded with this when they started and there has not been much change in the design since then which does show that they found a winning formula.
Brake Free Technologies has amassed a significant following on Facebook and Instagram. It has over 5,500 followers on Instagram and over 6,600 followers on Facebook. Alex has said that digital marketing has been a major source of their success with E-mail marketing being a source for many of their customers.
Brake Free Technologies is located in Denver Colorado and it looks to have gone from being a small independent project to a successful business.