Rumpl Blankets Before Shark Tank
Wylie was camping with his friends on one of the coldest nights of the year. They had been skiing, and when they returned to their car, they found it was frozen. They were stuck in the cold and unable to even turn on the vehicle to use the heat to warm them up. They ended up huddling together in their camping blankets and sleeping bags.
Eventually, their conversation revealed how comfortable the sleeping bags were compared to their home blankets. This conversation inspired Wylie. He had a new appreciation for blankets. He saw how innovative the fabric was for his camping gear and tried to apply it to everyday blankets.
Wylie started his business in 2014; that first year, he made almost half a million dollars. The company scaled up over the years until Rumpl Blankets made over $6.5 million a year. The business was not only profitable – they were climate certified. They have recycled over 40 million plastic bottles so far in their business journey. Would this impress the Sharks enough to make a deal?
Rumpl Blankets on Shark Tank
Wylie walked out onto the Shark Tank alone. He said he was there to introduce this company, Rumpl, but first, he wanted to ask the Sharks a question. He got right to the point. “how do you sleep at night?” he asked. The Sharks shifted around in their seats, a little uncomfortable, before laughing. Wylie continued, saying that it was probably under a warm cozy blanket. He noted that blankets were the best but haven’t been innovated in decades, even though they’ve kept people warm for centuries.
He elaborated that they have watched a textile revolution in athletic apparel and outdoor gear while blanket technology has remained static. He wanted to see if bedtime blankets could look like those he used while camping. His company, Rumpl, made versatile and cozy blankets from the same revolutionary materials as outdoor gear.
The blankets were made to travel with you and return to your bed. Wylie demonstrated the Rumpl’s adaptability as a blanket by showing off what it was capable of repelling. He dumped a cup of pet hair, debris, and an entire bottle of wine over the blanket on display, and the blanket’s technology repulsed all.
Kevin told him not to waste wine, but Wylie redeemed himself by assuring Kevin it was a cheap bottle. He stated that Rumpl Blankets will protect the planet. He boasted that each blanket was made from 60 recycled plastic bottles, which could have otherwise ended up in a landfill.
The Sharks were starting to look interested, but Wylie might have ruined his chances at getting a deal with his following sentence. He said he was looking for $600,000 in exchange for 4% equity in Rumpl Blankets. Mark Cuban looked amused. Wylie ended his presentation by letting the Sharks know that they each had samples in front of them.
Mark was the first to excitedly unravel his. As his fellow Sharks also unwrapped theirs, Mark asked Wylie where they sold, and Wylie told him they sold online through their website and on Amazon. Rumpl Blankets were also in every REI.
Blake, the guest Shark of the show, said he was already a customer. He’d purchased a Rumpl Blanket from REI, a well-known store for outdoor hobbyists. Daymond asked if Blake was a fan, and Blake said that he loved the blanket but was not such a fan of the valuation.
Daymond said the blanket was very warm, which was impressive, considering it was thin. Kevin mocked Daymond, saying he looked like a grandmother, but Daymond was unphased. Kevin asked what the filling was, and Wylie let him know that the ones the Sharks were holding were filled with hollow synthetic fiber.
Wylie said he was on a ski trip with his friends on one of the coldest weekends, and their car froze from the cold and couldn’t start up. The friends were stuck in a freezing, remote area. As they huddled in their sleeping bags, they started talking about how cozy the materials were compared to their home blankets. It inspired Wylie to make his own blanket out of sleeping bag materials.
Mark wanted to know how much the Rumpl Blankets cost. They retailed for $100, wholesaled for about $50, and cost $25 to make, landed. Lori told Wylie it was a good margin. Rumpl Blankets began in 2013, and in their first full year in business, they did $450K in sales and scaled up to millions.
Blake said he respected where the business was so far; the valuation was too high to have many competitors. There were also zero barriers to entry for future competitors. That made Blake scared as a potential investor. Kevin wanted to know how much profit they made from the $8 million sales they’d made last year. Their valuation was $15,000,000. Wylie admitted they would only keep around $450,000, about 6%. Even worse, that was pre-tax.
Mark Cuban wanted to know how much the company Rumpl Blankets had raised. Wylie excitedly said that he wanted to talk to them about this issue. He said they had 2 seed rounds of about a million dollars each. In 2018, they did a proper A round of over $3.5 million. It seemed like they should be in good shape.
Mark asked the critical follow-up question. How much money did the business currently have in the bank? Wylie said they still had $3.5 million in liquid assets. The Sharks took a deep breath, and Mark wanted to understand why Wylie was sitting in front of them if he had that much money in the bank.
Wylie said he wanted help obtaining sports licensing agreements, which Mark said was a terrible excuse. At this point, the Sharks thought he showed up just to waste their time and get more exposure. Daymond continued, stating they could buy as many licenses as Wylie wanted with $3.5 million, and he would just need to pick up the phone or even hire people to go out and do licensing. Wylie insisted that he didn’t know how to do any of that and that his current team was focused on sales and did not want to pull them away.
Blake asked Mark if he thought Wylie was there simply for the exposure. Mark said he wasn’t buying the excuse that Rumpl Blankets couldn’t get sports licensing without the Sharks, and he went out for that reason. Kevin was up next, and Mr. Wonderful seemed angry that Wylie would come in and ask for free cash flow for blankets.
Wylie insisted he wasn’t looking for the cash as much as he wanted a partner and was willing to discuss a loan with a royalty. This caught Kevin’s ear, and he smiled and leaned forward, apologizing for being rude. He took it all back, and Wylie accepted his apology.
Wylie set forth his terms. He wanted a $600,000 loan with 10% interest paid back over 2 years. In exchange for that, he would give them a 5% royalty on all products in the sports licensing channel. Before Kevin could respond, Daymond cut in with an offer, which was essentially the same but wanted 5% of all sales for 2 years.
Daymond said he could help foster relationships with big players like Disney and Marvel. Blake offered to jump in on the deal to help with DTC or direct-to-consumer sales. They kept the terms similar – 2.5% royalty on all products for two years for each Shark, and they also wanted 4% equity.
Kevin offered $600,000 at 4% equity and $10 a blanket until they reached $1.8 million. Lori went out. Ultimately the remaining Sharks bickered back and forth with Wylie, but they were unable to come to an agreement. Wylie walked off the stage without a deal, leaving the Sharks to wonder if it was all for clout.
Rumpl Blankets Now in 2023 – The After Shark Tank Update
Rumpl Blankets did not come away from Shark Tank with a deal. The Sharks were very vocal about their belief that Wylie was just looking for publicity for his blanket business, and was not genuinely interested in obtaining investment. Social media posts from after the show indicate that the general public agreed. So how is Rumpl doing in 2023?
Rumpl Blankets may not have secured a deal on Shark Tank, but did they meet the goal they made? Wylie said he needed the Shark to secure licensing deals with sports teams. Looking at their website, you can tell they partially achieved their goal. There are two sections on the site for sports blankets, college teams, and NFL.
They have blankets dedicated to popular college teams such as the Oregon Ducks, the Oklahoma Sooners, and the Clemson Tigers. It looks like they only got the licensing rights to the National Football League, though whether that was an intentional choice or just what they could get is unclear.
Wylie has clearly been very busy since being on Shark Tank. There are loads of new products on the Rumpl Blankets website. They make portable dog beds that are both pet hair resistant and machine washable and are easy to take with you on a long trip. Another new product is the everywhere towel, which can easily roll up to fit in a bag or suitcase. The towel is quick drying because it is made from a polyester blend. The Rumpl Blankets website also features a stuffable pillowcase made from the same material as their favorite blankets, puffy ponchos, wearable blankets, and beer blankets, a beer koozie.
The Rumpl Blanket company has fun marketing campaigns. They collaborate with artists such as Norwegian painter Rachel Pohl, who uses vivid colors to create almost otherworldly landscapes. Her Spirit Island blanket is an excellent demonstration of her work. They also have a national parks collection, including blankets of Zion National Park, Grand Teton, and Yosemite. The National Park Foundation receives a percentage of the profits from each blanket. Each blanket is an excellent representation of the Parks, from the colorful illustration of the hot springs to the perfect graphic of the sandy Grand Canyon.
Their website also shows a rewards point program called the blanket, where customers can earn rewards from different activities. You can write a review for 50 points or follow social media for 25 points. You only need 150 points to cash out and get $15 off their products. They have a generous exclusive discount for military, first responders, and nurses. They also have an affiliate ambassador program where participants can earn a starting commission of 8% for each sale they generate, discounted or free products, and early access to new releases. A Shark Tank section on their website features some of the designs shown on the show.