CertifiKid Before Shark Tank
Going on vacations with your family is expensive as it’s difficult to find deals for family outings. Jamie Ratner was an avid fan of saving money and pouncing on deals to save as much money as possible when buying products or services. After becoming a mother, Ratner scoured the internet for deals that involved family-friendly activities, products, and services, but she had a tough time finding them. That is when she came up with the idea of CertifiKid, a service dedicated to offering deals and saving money for families with children.
Jamie Ratner founded CertifiKid in 2010 to help parents save on trips, adventures, services, and various other items for their children. Ratner started CertifiKid with only $5,000. Her passion for finding deals and her love for her family inspired her to start CertifiKid. The company began small, only offering services in Washington, DC, but over time, it expanded to new locations and has plans to have deals across the entire country. CertifiKid slowly gained traction, and Ratner quit her job to pursue the business full-time. She worked on the company with her husband, Brian, to make the family-owned business a success.
Ratner believed the company was doing well and, despite its slow growth, would soon become a popular service for deals. However, she also believed it would be a missed opportunity not to appear on Shark Tank, and a shark’s help could send their company a long way. So after consulting with her family, the Ratners went on Shark Tank to pitch CertifiKid, hoping to speed up the company’s growth and expand to new locations with the help of a shark.
CertifiKid on Shark Tank
Jamie and Brian Ratner were on season 10 of Shark Tank to pitch their company, CertifiKid. They were seeking $600,000 for 8% of the company. The couple pitched their company to the sharks. They demonstrated the concept to the sharks before listing their current locations: Washington DC, Baltimore, Chicago, LA, Philadelphia, and Atlanta. They stated that the company earns a percentage per voucher sold.
Ratner told the sharks CertifiKid’s story: she was a blogger and had written numerous blogs on deals and how to save money as a family. Her passion for finding deals and saving money inspired her to start CertifiKid, which she shared in her blog. Brian claimed the company projected more than $5 million in gross revenue and $700,000 net income in 2018. He claimed the company had generated more than $30 million in lifetime sales.
Ratner said the company had recently started accepting paid advertisements, opening a new source of revenue for the business. CertifiKid sends daily emails containing deals and offers to over a million subscribers. The company was profitable only three months after it was founded. Brian said the safe move for the company would be not to take on an investor, but he didn’t want to regret the opportunity to make a deal on the show, so he went on Shark Tank. The couple claimed the $600,000 they were seeking would be used for customer acquisition and increasing their sales team.
Mark Cuban commended the company’s achievements and said it was no small feat netting $700,000 in a year. But he believed customers would be seeking new things which would be difficult to provide, so he was out.
Daymond John offered the couple $600,000 for 17.5% of the company.
Barbara Corcoran believed the company was missing out by not developing into a franchise. She offered $600,000 for 25% of the company with a contingency to turn the business into a franchise.
Kevin O’Leary believed in the company and saw potential in the data aspect of the business. He saw an opportunity to create lists of birthday dates that would help customize newsletters and could be sold to advertisers. He offered the couple $600,000 for 20% of the business contingent on a 3x return when exiting the company.
Lori Greiner loved the couple and their idea but believed they shouldn’t add a partner to the company and give away equity. For that reason, she was out.
The couple countered Kevin’s offer with $600,000 for 15% of the company. Kevin agreed to meet them in the middle at 17.5%, but the couple wanted him to drop the contingency. Kevin made another counter-offered, dropping his contingency to 1x upon exiting the company but keeping his original offer of $600,000 for 20% of the company.
Brian wasn’t ready to give up 20%, so he continued negotiations. Kevin eventually agreed to completely drop the contingency, but he kept his original deal at $600,000 for 20%.
Brian continued his persuasion attempts to get Kevin to drop to 17.5% without a contingency, but Kevin wouldn’t relent until they eventually settled on $600,000 for 19% of the company with no contingency. Kevin applauded Brian’s negotiation technique, and they soon had a deal.
Jamie and Brian Ratner walked out of the Shark Tank after having struck a deal with Kevin. The couple believed having Kevin as a business partner would help shape their business and boost their company moving forward.
CertifiKid Now in 2023 – The After Shark Tank Update
The deal the company made with Kevin O’Leary successfully closed. CertifiKid made $1.2 million in sales within just two months of the episode airing; this number exceeded the previous year’s annual sales of $1 million. Due to the massive spike in sales the company saw, CertifiKid expanded and added a few more cities to its roster. The company was quickly growing with the help of Kevin O’Leary as a business partner. In early 2020, the company had locations across the entire country.
Unfortunately, when the Covid-19 Pandemic hit, CertifiKid received a major blow. Deals quickly dropped from the site, and there were almost no activities or offers on the company’s website. Covid-19 restrictions forced the company to shut down all outdoor deals and services, halting the company’s business.
Brian received a Paycheck Protection Program loan to help the business recover. Meanwhile, Jamie sought deals for indoor activities that complied with Covid-19 regulations, allowing CertifiKid’s website to slowly rebuild its listings. The company didn’t stop there; CertifiKid bought digital marketing company Macaroni Kid, a company that sends weekly emails about the hottest family activities and events.
In 2021, The company got back on its feet and was still expanding its list of deals, activities, and locations. Jamie continued working hard to find companies and businesses willing to offer vouchers through CertifiKid. By 2023, Brian stated that the company had completely recovered and was operational. CertifiKid was back to providing deals across the country and supporting the community. CertifiKid reported $5 million in annual sales in July of 2023. The company continues to grow despite the pandemic.
With Jamie’s passion and Brian’s expertise, the company is expected to continue expanding and developing with time. CertifiKid’s deal with Kevin proved successful and helped the company get through the difficult Covid-19 Pandemic. You can find out more information and updates on CertifiKid’s website here.