Larq Before Shark Tank
Larq is a company that manufactures insulated, stainless steel water bottles. But not just any regular water bottles; the Larq water bottles are self-cleaning. They use Ultraviolet light technology in order to purify the water within the bottle. The light is built inside of the lid, with a button on the outer top of the lid. Once the button is pressed, the light will come on, purifying the water. It’s been said that this kind of technology is very similar to the technology that hospitals use when sanitizing their rooms. Based on that information, as well as previous research that’s been conducted on said technology, this Ultraviolet light can kill 99.9% of any bacteria and germs that may be living within the bottle. The cleaning process takes no more than three minutes; however, the light has been set up to activate once every two hours. Furthermore, the UV light gets its power from a lithium-polymer battery. The battery is rechargeable and can last for up to a week.
Justin Wang is the mastermind behind the creation of the Larq self-cleaning water bottle. Justin graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with his bachelor’s degree in Economics and Political Economy. Before starting the Larq business, he worked as Vice President of FOREO for a year before being promoted to the President of the company. While still working with FOREO, he started a job at LELO, where he was working as a board member for two years. In 2017, Justin founded and launched his Larq business in the San Francisco Bay Area. He started this business with the determination to help people stay healthy and be able to have clean, pure water no matter where they are. Justin was inspired to create the Larq water bottle after realizing how many people are without access to clean water. Not to mention, many people prefer to drink water bottles from stores because they think it’s purer; however, those bottles have narrow openings. This makes it more difficult to properly clean the bottles, leading to a higher chance of mold or fungi growing inside the bottle.
Larq got started with a Kickstarter campaign in December of 2017, just months after launching, which procured the company $1,374,021. By July of 2018, Justin was officially ready to start fulfilling orders. He finished shipping out the first batch of orders by the end of 2018. Following this, Larq did more than $7 million worth of sales a year later. In October of 2020, Justin decided to try out a second Kickstarter campaign after he introduced the newest item, a purifying pitcher. This campaign gained the company another $771,197. By the time Justin concluded his IndieGoGo campaign, the Larq business had raised another $2,520,031. According to the founder, the business has raised money from venture capital as well; this was another $15 million. Justin donates a sum of every purchase of a Larq bottle to the Planet Network.
Aside from raising an impressive sum from crowdfunding campaigns, the Larq business has had many other successes already. From the increase in sales following their appearance at breakneck speeds and the amount of positivity coming from consumers, this business grew in popularity quick. In addition to that, the self-cleaning water bottle has been featured in well-known publications such as Goop, Time Magazine, and The Wall Street Journal. Time Magazine named the bottle in their “The 10 Smartest Sustainable Products of 2018” column. Then, in 2019, Larq was awarded with the Dezeen Award, a CES Honoree award, and the Red Dot Award. Shortly after receiving these rewards, there was talk of the business getting a $10 million lead from an investment company called DCM, and Seventure. Although Justin has clearly done an outstanding job with Larq, thus far, he needs a shark’s assistance with expanding the company internationally.
Larq on Shark Tank
Larq appears on Shark Tank on April 16, 2021, for the season 12-episode 21 show. The founder, Justin Wang, is seeking $500,000 in exchange for a 1% ownership of Larq. This equity ask immediately makes the sharks laugh. He then goes on to introduce himself to the sharks. Starting his pitch, Justin begins by explaining what Larq is and how it works. He gives each shark a sample water bottle; they examine the bottles and seem to like them. Robert Herjavec immediately chimed in to ask if Justin was really asking for a 1% ownership exchange. The founder confirms that he did indeed say that. Kevin O’Leary praises the founder and Daymond John shares that he’s already purchased a few of the Larq bottles. Given that, he must really like them.
Justin reveals that he already has ten patents for his products. This is great considering Larq is in competition with a few companies such as Aquino, Fred Water, CG Roxane, and Cheers Healthy Water. Nonetheless, the founder jumps right into sharing the data on his sales. For reference, Larq was launched in 2017. In 2018 and early 2019, Justin was busy with his campaigning. Despite that, his sales for 2019 were $5.5 million. In 2020, Larq did $9 million in sales, and Justin figured he would hit $14 million by the end of the year. Lastly, the founder reveals that the company is valued at $31 million, and he has about $6.5 million stocked away in a bank.
Kevin O’Leary was the first shark to speak once the discussion of sales concluded. He presents Justin with an offer of $500,000 in exchange for a 4% ownership in Larq. Lori Greiner followed quickly to offering the founder $500,000 in exchange for a 5% ownership. The third offer comes from Robert Herjavec, who wants a 2% share along with his deal of $500,000 and a 3% ownership. In response to the three sharks offers, the founder attempts to ask them to form a trio and offer $1.5 million in exchange for a split 4.5% ownership and a 1% share. This leads Robert to go out instantly; however, Lori and Kevin agree to team up. Together, they offer Justin $1 million in exchange for a 4% ownership in Larq. Justin accepts.
Larq Now in 2023 – The After Shark Tank Update
It’s safe to say that Larq ’s time on Shark Tank was a success. Especially considering Daymond John claimed Larq had the “valuation of the century” before Justin left the tank. The deal Justin Wang accepted from Lori Greiner and Kevin O’Leary didn’t close, and the Larq business is still doing great as of December 2023. Following Justin’s appearance on the show, he raised another $10 million, and the valuation of the company dropped down to $25 million rather than the $31 million at the time of filming. Additionally, Larq water bottles have since become one of the most popular and sustainable water bottles in the industry today. To prove this claim, we’ve seen many 5-star and even 7-star reviews for the Larq bottle and pitcher. Justin disclosed that they sold an estimated 35,000 water bottles within the first year after appearing on Shark Tank. This led him to predict he’d be selling around 100,000 bottles by the end of 2022; however, we don’t have confirmation of that happening yet. What we do know, however, is that Larq now has an annual revenue of $30 million as of 2023. That being said, Larq surely has nowhere to go but up, and it’s possible this could become a billion-dollar business in the future.