Savy Before Shark Tank
Designed with Millenials in mind, Savy offers individuals a way to shop at expensive retail outlets, without emptying their wallets. For retailers, it also helps them to convert “window shoppers” into paying customers. An e-commerce platform, it allows users to name a price that they’re willing to pay for an item. If accepted by one of the businesses (most products are sold by more than one retailer), they are then sent a notification email.
The brainchild of Disha Shidham, Savy initially began as a high school startup called TacBoard. An aggregate shopping site, she had come up with the idea when she was just sixteen years old. Deciding to develop the concept, she eventually turned it into a full-fledged business in the Spring of 2014 at her Quarter Zero Catapult Incubator Program.
Over time, TacBoard eventually evolved into Savy. In fact, she had initially wanted to build an entirely separate shopping site—it wasn’t until she talked to a number of businesses and customers that she realized it would be difficult to build enough traction. With the insights from her previous project, she eventually managed to shape the platform into what it is today—Savy.
Several years later, an opportunity came knocking in the form of an email from one of the producers on Shark Tank. Interested in her work, they had asked whether or not she would be interested in pitching her product on the show. Though initially skeptical, she eventually took the opportunity after confirming that the email was indeed real. Submitting her application, she waited for the follow-up call.
Many weeks later, she received the news that she was waiting for—she had made it onto the show. Featured in the ninth season, her segment aired in the U.S. on January 21, 2018.
Savy On Shark Tank
Entering the tank, Disha introduces herself to the sharks with a smile, before letting them know that she is seeking a $100,000 in exchange for 10% equity in her company, Savy.
Beginning her pitch, she states that shopping can be quite a challenge when you’re on a budget. Gesturing towards the logo, she explains that Savy helps with this issue, as it allows individuals to set their own prices. Stumbling a bit, she pauses briefly before continuing with the sharks’ encouragement. Finishing her words, she states that Savy is designed to help with the online shopping experience.
Elaborating further, she explains that the platform allows customers to set their own prices for the items that they love. Proceeding to give an example, she lets them know that she tends to save links to products, in order to check back the price at a later date. Continuing, however, she states that it can be frustrating sometimes as the items tend to sell out. Thinking that there had to be a better way, she eventually created Savy.
Walking them through the platform, she directs their attention to the screen, which has a red dress available for $100. Noting that it’s quite expensive, she states that the business tends to lose the sale if the price is too high for the customer. Highlighting the usefulness of Savy, she goes on to point out that shoppers are able to negotiate their own price, using the platform—given that the retailer is partnered with the site. Continuing, she explains that shoppers will receive an email, should the offer be accepted. Not only do they get a sweet deal, but Savy also gets to help businesses in return, she says.
Just as she finishes her pitch, Robert inquires about her age, to which he’s told that she had just turned twenty. With that, the attention goes to Kevin, who wonders whether or not the businesses are able to drop their prices ahead of the bid or if they’re entirely anonymous. Not entirely getting the question, the founder simply states that the businesses receive the prices entered while the customers receive notification emails.
Rephrasing Kevin’s question, Lori asks whether or not retailers are able to reach out and accept a specified price, to which she’s told yes. Curious to learn more, Kevin subsequently inquires about Savy’s user base. Giving him her attention, she lets him know that she has partnered up with 1,000 stores so far. From there, she reveals that the platform has a little over 2,000 registered users, with further prompting.
Not particularly impressed, Mark asks how she’s adding to her consumers and stores. Laughing nervously, she states that most come in from social media such as Instagram and Facebook. Elaborating, she lets them know that she’s created an army of Instagram bots—something that she’s noticeably proud of. Acknowledging that, Mark eventually asks about her background.
Talking more about herself, Disha admits that she’d caught the entrepreneurial bug between her junior and senior year at high school. Continuing, she reveals that she’d gone to a program at MIT called the Launch Summer Program, during which she had decided to create her first startup called TacBoard.
Revealing more, she explains that it served as an aggravated shopping site, one that pulled different retailers together on one platform. Asked whether or not it is still operating, she shakes her head before revealing that it had not been built to scale—as it had been coded by a couple of high school students. Realizing it was not the right product, she eventually let go of the entire team, she explains.
As she continues to talk, a statement about a Michigan University scholarship catches Mark’s attention. Asked what had happened to the scholarship, she explains that she had deferred her admission as she’d thought that Tacboard was the answer. With further prompting, she reveals that she has recently moved to Wilmington, North Carolina, in order to lead a program for gang leaders, which noticeably confuses the sharks.
As they look on, she explains that it served as a six-week entrepreneurial boot camp, one that tested “whether or not they were disciplined and motivated enough to start a brewery of their own.” Confirming that it was held by a community organization, Disha reveals that she had wanted to take the opportunity to learn how to lead. Going back to the topic of education, Mark subsequently asks whether or not she plans on going back to school, to which she says no. To everyone’s surprise, her answer causes him to immediately back out of a deal.
Justifying his reason, Mark tells her that there is “a whole world” out there that she knows nothing about. While she reassures her that she plans on going back to college—just “not right now”, he remains critical about her decision. Just as he finishes talking, Kevin chimes in by saying that education is not a pre-requisite for all entrepreneurs, which Robert agrees to. Continuing as she looks on, he admits that it can, however, be an eclectic journey. Noting that she’s too green, he eventually becomes the second shark to drop out.
Just as she acknowledges his answer, Robert chimes in with a story of his own. Agreeing with Mark on the topic of school, he tells her that she has to be “fanatically obsessive about what she’s doing” should she choose not to go to college. While she insists that she is, however, Robert feels differently. On that note, he too also drops out.
With that, the attention goes to Lori, who prompts her to explain more about Savy. Asked how long it has been going on for, she states that it has been online for about a year. From there, she reveals that the platform has not yet sold anything, which makes the sharks weary. Continuing, she claims that she’s gotten a few verbal commitments from some big retailers which will “potentially give her $1 million in revenue by 2018.”
Calling her out on the fact that she hasn’t sold anything, Lori proceeds to ask her about her valuation ($100,000 for 10% equity). Defending the numbers, Disha tells her that she believes Savy is worth that much due to the verbal commitments. To her dismay, however, Lori quickly tells her that “verbal commitments are nothing to investors.”
Reiterating what Lori had just said about verbal commitments, Daymond reminds her that it means nothing until she gets a paper contract. Agreeing, Lori soon drops out on the note that her project is not yet “fleshed out”. Almost immediately afterward, Daymond points out that there are many similar services out there on the market, which allow consumers to track pricing. Just as he’s about to continue, she once again reiterates the fact that there is an 87% chance that consumers are willing to make a purchase if their price point is met.
Making his own point, Daymond subsequently states that she has yet to make any sales, which causes her to go on the defensive. Despite her best efforts, he—the last shark eventually goes out. With a few final comments from the panel, Disha exits the tank.
Savy After Shark Tank 2018 Recent Updates
Many months have passed since Disha pitched Savy to the sharks on Shark Tank. Despite the fact that she wasn’t able to land a deal, how is the company doing nowadays?
Since their appearance on the show, Savy has partnered up with a few businesses, who have stated that their data is “incredibly useful in pricing for sales.” Not only that, but they’ve also launched a paid tier, which is currently in beta with a couple of large clients. In addition to having significantly boosted buyer and Add to Cart conversions, it has also provided a 20% increase in revenue for products in their tests. As far as concrete numbers go, however, nothing has been revealed as of yet.
For those who’d like to try out their services, they currently also have a “Shark Tank Special”, which allow users to take advantage of their Savy Sales for free for 30 days, as well as to be included in their private beta. Available for both shoppers and businesses, you can check out the promotional offer here.
Thanks to the “Shark Tank Effect”, Savy has grown noticeably over the past several months. While relatively new, they’ve managed to amass a few thousand followers across Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. You can also visit their official website at staysavy.com.
Will Disha Shidham be returning to Shark Tank for an update anytime soon? Considering the judges’ reaction to her pitch, this seems unlikely. If anything, Savy will have to see a tremendous amount of growth, before it receives more media attention.