Pili Hunters Before Shark Tank
The pili nut comes from the pili fruit and it’s not only delicious, it’s also the nut with the lowest carbohydrate content and highest fat content in the world. Jason Thomas ran into them while he was kite surfing in the Philippines and he was blown away by their taste. He could not get enough of them.
Unfortunately, Jason was from the United States and when he looked for them he found that they were literally unknown in the country. Jason wanted to introduce the country to the pili fruit but at the time he did not have any money. Jason decided to buy what he could, which was about 10 lbs and sell it in the United States.
Although his first sale was such a small amount, Jason was not discouraged and he went on to start Pili Hunters which was a company that sold pili fruit products. The business sold the pili nut itself, pili nut butter, and pili nut chocolate. Starting the business was not easy for Jason but he did it with the little that he had turning it into a successful medium-scale operation.
Jason soon wanted to expand but he did not have the capital to do so. He thought that a shark could help with it and so he went to the Shark Tank to see if he could get one. He was on the 6th episode of the 11th season. Daniel Lubetzky was a guest shark on this episode.
Pili Hunters on Shark Tank
When Jason Thomas went to the Shark Tank, he sought $325,000 for 10% of his company giving it a valuation of $3,200,000. He started his pitch by showing the sharks the pili fruit and then showing them the products that he made from it. He had samples available and he gave the sharks some to taste. The sharks liked the taste of his products.
Robert then asked Jason if he would gain a lot of calories by eating the fruit. Jason said that he wouldn’t and that when they started the business it was introduced to the keto community because there weren’t many fats so they wouldn’t be hungry for a while. Robert then asked Daniel Lubetzky if he had any product that used pili nuts. Daniel said that he didn’t but he knew about the pili nuts and there was a lot of buzz about them.
Daniel then said that he was the one who created the pili nut buzz. Kevin then asked him if there was anybody else who was importing the nuts. Jason said that people who were making knock-offs of his product were also importing the nuts. Daniel then said that they weren’t making knock-offs if they were just importing Pili Nuts like him.
Daniel then told Jason that he had a problem because he had branded himself with the name of the nut and it would be hard to own that. Mark Cuban then asked Jason to tell him about how he had started the business and how it had progressed. Jason said that he started selling them at a food store that was near the Shark Tank studio. The buyer was willing to try them because they had heard of them.
The start of the business was extremely casual because Jason did not even have a place where he could package them. Jason did not even have any money but he found a way to start the business. Mark Cuban commended him for his innovative skills. Jason then said that he was motivated to start it because a major motivation for him was to help people and his effort had created hundreds to thousands of jobs.
Kevin then asked if they were hand-cut with a machete and Jason said that he did. Daniel then asked Jason to give the sharks some of his numbers. Jason said that the small bags were made for between $1.40 and $1.80. Their retail sales price was $5.99 in Los Angeles. Mark Cuban then asked them if they were packaged already and Jason said that they were packaged in the Philippines.
Jason then said that what he needed help with was processing. Kevin had been reviewing his numbers and had to ask if he was making around $4 per bag or if there was a distributor in the middle. Jason said that 40% of his sales were direct. Kevin then asked him what his total sales were. Jason said that his total sales were $2,500,000 which the sharks thought was very good.
Jason then said that the sales had been realized over a 4.5-year period. He said that sales in the first two years were so little that they should be ignored but in the third year, sales went from $70,000 to $700,000. He was asked what his sales in that year were and he said that they were about $1,000,000.
Mark Cuban then told him how impressed he was because he had started the business with about $100 and taken it to $1,000,000. Daniel said that when he started out he used to wake up at 4 AM in the morning and sleep at 11 PM and so he fought as hard as Jason and knew that such effort was not easy.
Daniel said that he was concerned about the scalability of the business because people had to break the nut into pieces. Jason said that he was certain that production could be increased to ten times more. He didn’t think that they could sell $100,000,000 but they could sell $1,000,000.
Daniel then asked him how many items he had. Jason said that he had about 14 skews. The sharks thought that those were too many skews. Mark Cuban then asked him how much money he had tied up in inventory. Jason said that he had about $400,000 tied up in inventory.
Mark thought that they were going into a desperate state where they were just adding products because they didn’t know what to do. He said that having $400,000 in inventory meant that he was not in a good position. Daniel agreed with Mark’s sentiments and told Jason that he was spreading himself too thin. Daniel also had some problems with the supply and so he left.
Robert also left. He said that he had a problem with Jason being unable to focus on a single product. Lori said that she liked how low the carbohydrate content in a single product was. However, she was concerned about him being unable to focus on a single thing. She did not think that the business was meant for her so she left.
Kevin said that he thought that the company was overvalued. He also thought that Jason should not have limited himself to $10,000,000 in sales. He also wasn’t sure how his money would grow. He also didn’t have any knowledge about the pili nut until the pitch was given and so he was out.
Mark Cuban then left. He said that he didn’t have anyone who he could insert into the business to make it grow so he was out. Jason said that he thought that the sharks had made a mistake and he would keep fighting.
Pili Hunters Now in 2024 – The After Shark Tank Update
Although it did not get a deal from the sharks, Pili Hunters has continued to sell on its website and other retail stores. The sharks had complained about the number of products it had and the business trying to appeal to too many people. It looks like the complaint was heard and it now only has 12 products. On Amazon, it has listed many of its products and most have been rated with ratings higher than 4 out of 5 stars.
On Instagram, Pili Hunters has garnered 22,000 followers, On Instagram, it has got over 6,400 followers. Jason also supports the United States Military by giving them a discount of up to 15%. Teachers and University Staff are also eligible for this offer.
Pili Hunters’ annual revenue currently stands at $4,000,000 and although it did not get a deal from the sharks, it has proved to be very lucrative for the individual. Jason continues to travel the world as he sells his Pili Nuts.