InvisiPlug Before Shark Tank:
InvisiPlug was created by entrepreneurs Michael Barzman and Bryan O’Connell. Both men came up with this idea when they were struck with by unappealing regular power adapters look in people’s homes. After some consideration, the duo realized that they could come up with an idea to make an everyday essential blend in with any given interior. And so InvisiPlug was created! Now instead of the bright white power adapters sticking out and gathering unwanted attention, you have the choice of using InvisiPlug – a power adapter that blends in with the natural colors of the floors, walls, baseboards or furniture.
Michael Barzman and Bryan O’Connell created three wood grained colors to choose from ensuring InvisiPlug will find a place in any home. Customers can choose from Light Natural, Medium Cherry or Dark Oak depending on the color of their interiors. As well as being stylish, this is a highly functional product. The two entrepreneurs were adamant they wanted to create a good quality product and so they set out creating two different types of adapter – the standard InvisiPlug is basically the same as the ugly white adapters found in homes everywhere now. There is also an upgraded version of this InvisiPlug with a built-in USB port allowing you to charge devices by just connecting the USB directly into the InvisiPlug. Both Barzman and O’Connell knew they needed some extra business knowledge, expertise and of course added capital. They decided to enter the Shark Tank in the hope one of the sharks would be willing to provide just that. Furthermore, they wanted to build relationships with potential sellers of their product, another reason they wanted a shark on board.
InvisiPlug in the Shark Tank:
Michael Barzman and Bryan O’Connell enter the shark tank and open the pitch by introducing themselves and informing the sharks that they are seeking a $125,000 for a ten per cent equity share in their company; InvisiPlug. They go on to explain that their product is the very first line of surge protectors designed to seamlessly blend in to the hardwood floors in homes. Considering the product had just been launched prior to entering the shark tank, response has been overwhelming for the duo. Bryan asks the sharks which one of them would like to get into the power business before the pair hand out an InvisiPlug to each of the sharks, showcasing the product in the three available colors. Michael goes on to say that the duo has come to the shark tank today looking for a shark to invest, looking for some shark expertise and looking for the relationships the sharks have in the business world that can help get this product off its feet and surge onto the market.
Kevin O’Leary opens proceedings and begins discussing the product. When Michael and Bryan mention that the product is a niche product Mark Cuban is quick to disagree. He does not like the look of the product and believes if it was more of a high end product it would be much more successful. He swiftly declares himself out.
Barbara admits that she likes the price point of the product. Robert comments that he unfortunately does not see a market for such a product. He claims that most people who buy surge adapters put them in places where they cannot be seen such as behind a desk. Robert admits it blends in better but is not aesthetically pleasing before declaring himself out.
Kevin lets loose on the duo claiming their valuation is ‘beyond insane’ before asking them if they are nuts asking for such a high investment on a product that has made little to no money to date. The duo accepts Kevin’s comments and respect what he has to say. However, Kevin is a lost cause in terms of a potential investment and he declares himself out.
Barbara claims that she likes the product and says she would personally like to buy three dozen from Barzman and O’Connell as such products are common purchases of her husband. Unfortunately, Barbara too agrees with Kevin regarding the valuation of the product. She thinks it’s nuts. She wishes the duo luck before declaring herself out.
This just leaves one shark and one potential investor for Barzman and O’Connell; Lori. She asks the pair how much money they have out into InvisiPlug to date, to which they answer approximately $70,000. The duo go on to explain the real reason they are looking for the investment is an article featuring their product will soon be released in Oprah’s O Magazine. Once Lori hears that, she is instantly impressed. Lori agrees to offer the $125,000 for 10% of the company. She has a stipulation however. She wants a dollar per every unit sold until she makes back the money she initially invested and then she wants fifty cents for everything thereafter. Lori claims the premise for her making such an offer is for protection as the duo don’t have proven sales and it is a big gamble for all parties involved. The duo makes a counter offer to Lori of twenty-five cents per every unit sold which drops to 10 cents in perpetuity when Lori has made back what she has invested. Lori declares she is making one final offer – $125,000 for a ten per cent equity stake in the company. She still wants a dollar per unit sold until her investment has been made back but is willing to drop then to 25 cents in perpetuity. She admits she understands that it is a steep deal but this deal is what she needs to get her on board.
In a surprise turn of events Robert admits that the more Michael and Bryan have been talking, the more impressed he is and it’s looking like he is considering coming back in to make another offer. When Lori questions him he says he will make an offer. He offers a total of the $125,000 they asked for but for an increased equity share of InvisiPlug of twenty-five per cent. However, unlike Lori, he is not looking for any royalties. Michael and Bryan ask Robert if he is at all negotiable and might be willing to reduce the equity stake he is looking for down the twenty per cent. He agrees but only if they close the deal right there, right now. The other sharks look on both interest and amusement. Robert seems eager to close the deal for a twenty per cent equity share but the duo seem baffled as to what the right move for them and InvisiPlug is. They explain to Robert that they would like some time to step back and consider their options and he declares himself out for the second time.
Michael and Bryan recap on Lori’s offer and ask if there is any movement on the 25 cents perpetuity and question the possibility of it being lowered by just five cents more in an effort to show her belief in InvisiPlug as a product. Lori rejects the reduced perpetuity and reminds the pair that she did claim the offer she made was her final offer. They accept this and agree they would like to take it. Michael and Bryan leave the shark tank delighted that they have Lori on board as an investor. Back inside the shark tank, Lori’s fellow sharks commend her on doing such a good deal. A win-win situation for all involved in InvisiPlug!
InvisiPlug Now in 2023 – Update after Shark Tank
Despite not securing a deal in the tank, Invisiplug managed to secure retail deals with significant outlets such as Lowe’s and Home Depot. Their product also became available on Amazon and other online platforms. If anything, it was a major milestone for InvisiPlugi; it signified their resilience and ongoing relevance in an increasingly competitive market.
Then in 2016, they were acquired by Socket Shelf, who purchased the brand and its assets, merging it into their existing product portfolio. This move brought forth a new direction for InvisiPlug, and with the backing of a larger, more established company, it was able to further expand and refine its product range.
Despite the change in ownership, InvisiPlug continued to stay true to its original mission of providing aesthetically pleasing surge protectors that seamlessly blend into various home decors. For a period, the original models were still available for purchase online, while newer versions were introduced to cater to different customer preferences and varied interior designs.
As of 2023, however, it appears that InvisiPlug has been discontinued as the product is no longer available on their official website or major online retailers. While there is no official statement from the company regarding this development, it’s plausible that the company faced financial challenges that led to its discontinuation.