Monti Kids Before Shark Tank
The ages 0-3 are very crucial years for the development of a child. Unfortunately, most children under 3 are not even in school yet and many parents don’t know how to teach them more. Zara Kassam knew this and wanted to improve the learning experience for children. Zara had studied psychology at Harvard University and graduated at the top of her class.
Zara went on to do her master’s degree at Harvard and then worked as a Montessori teacher. Zara had worked teaching preschool and had her first child during that time, she saw the need to develop toys that would foster learning in children aged 0-3 years. She then developed Monti Toys which was a set of toys that were to be used to foster learning in children aged 0-3 years.
The Monti Toys taught many things such as permanence in the Montessori style of learning. Zara’s toys were popular but she was spending too much monthly. She needed assistance in managing her finances and wanted more money to sustain growth. This is what motivated her to go onto Shark Tank. She was on the 12th episode of the 10th season.
Monti Kids on Shark Tank
Zara Kassam went onto Shark Tank seeking $200,000 for 2.5% of her company. This gave Monti Kids a valuation of $8,000,000. She started her presentation by showing the sharks the benefits of using Monti Kids and telling them about her payment model. She then gave the sharks samples of her toys to review.
Kevin had a box with some balls and he asked Zara what he was supposed to learn with his toy. Zara said that he was supposed to learn object permanence and little babies from around 5 months old needed it. When babies reach 7-8 months old they know that when the ball is put in the box it is gone but it can be looked for. At a younger age, they don’t know that they should look for the ball.
Kevin then asked Zara if she was interviewing 2-months-old babies and asking them what they like. Zara said that the Montessori methods of learning had been around for 100 years and that is what the toys were based on. The Montessori method of learning has been adopted in 20,000 schools in the world. Mark Cuban then asked if the business was just selling do-it-yourself Montessori.
Zara said that it was and it was for ages 0-3 because 0-3 Montessori was not accessible. Lori then asked Zara to tell her about herself because she seemed to know a lot. Zara said that she went to Harvard University and started psychology and she graduated top of her class.
She then became an internationally certified Montessori-trained teacher. Zara then taught at a Montessori preschool and she absolutely loved it. She then had her first child. Her child was to start learning from age 3 but she knew that the ages 0-3 are the most crucial for childhood learning and foundation.
Robert then asked Zara what they cost. Zara said that for $297 a customer would get a single level of the product which was supposed to last for 2-3 months. The product had 8 levels so the total cost would be $2376.
Kevin asked if the product was sent back after the period was over and he was told that a person would not do that because the product would continue to be used after that period was over. Kevin asked her what her cost of manufacturing was and he was told that it cost $120 to make.
Robert then asked Zara if she had any sales because she was asking for $200,000 for 2.5% of her company. Zara said that she had been in business for 14 months and they were growing at the rate of 20% per month. Kevin then asked if they had raised any money and Zara said that they had raised $2,800,000 to date.
Zara then said that there was a huge need in the market for her product. Parents were constantly looking for resources that could develop their children but there was a gap in the market. Lori then asked why someone would buy from Zara because everything she had already existed.
Zara said that her toys were better categorized. Lori then said that she felt that most people would have a difficult time paying around $1200 a year for toys for their children. Zara said that she was happy to bring her price down as she grew.
Daymond said that he did not know why people would put so much investment into childhood learning when most of the sharks grew up with very little. Zara said that people gave their parents what they had. Daymond said that it was very hard to invest in the business with its $8,000,000 valuation. Zara tried to convince Kevin that it was a major opportunity but Daymond left.
Kevin asked Zara how much money she had in the bank at the moment and she said that she had $200,000 in the bank at the moment and new commitments were coming in. Robert then asked her what her burn rate was. Zara said that they were spending about $90,000 a month. Lori then left because she felt that Zara was asking for too much.
Kevin then asked Zara what her monthly losses were and Zara said that they were losing about $20,000 a month. Kevin then asked her what she lost in aggregate. She said it was because they had moved into a new office and had hired a few more people.
Mark Cuban then left. He said that she did not make the best business decisions. Robert then said that he did agree that she was spending a lot but he still offered her $200,000 for 10% because she needed someone like him who could make hard decisions. Kevin then offered $200,000 for 2.5% of the company. He also wanted a royalty of $10 per unit sold until the $200,000 was paid back and it would then drop to $2.50 until $600,000 is paid back.
Zara then asked Robert if he could accept $200,0000 for 5% ordinary shares and 5% advisory shares. Robert accepted. She then asked Kevin if he could drop his royalty for more equity but Kevin declined. Zara then accepted Robert’s offer but he withdrew. He said she was treating money like it was a hypothetical Harvard project.
Robert said that he didn’t understand why she talked to Kevin after he agreed to her offer. Zara then accepted Kevin’s offer. She thought she would be very successful even though Kevin had added a royalty fee to his offer.
Monti Kids Now in 2024 – The After Shark Tank Update
Since its time on Shark Tank, Monti Kids has continued to sell its product on its website but the toys are also available on Amazon. Monti Kids has expanded its line of products and now also includes other products such as the toilet learning kit, the music learning kit, and the Montessori Cooking together kit. Monti Kids is also now selling its own line of furniture known as Monti Furniture. Monti Kids also offers classes for parents
Monti Kids has very active social media pages. On Tik Tok, it has over 139,000 followers, on Facebook it has over 34,000 followers. On Pinterest, Monti Kids has over 13,800 followers, and on Instagram, it has over 419,000 followers.
Monti Kids has had several rounds of investment since its time on Shark Tank and it has raised $4,600,000 to date. The company has an annual revenue of $2,600,000. Monti Kids is located in California, United States, and Zara continues to spread Montessori learning while making a profit.