SoaPen Before Shark Tank
Kids often don’t enjoy washing their hands, or they like to do a quick cold rinse-and-run technique. Sometimes they may just forget to do so if they’re playing or are engaged in an activity they enjoy. Not to mention, they don’t always have enough time to thoroughly wash their hands during the school day. This is a common problem that many parents have noticed. In fact, a study found that about 43% of kids don’t wash their hands appropriately. While hand sanitizers are certainly an option for these on-the-go circumstances, two entrepreneurs believed that a better solution could be created. Hence why founders, Amanat Anand and Shubham Issar, have created the SoaPen with the goal of encouraging healthy hand washing while keeping it fun for the kids.
SoaPen is an alternative soap product that encourages kids to want to wash their hands. The soap comes in the design of a pen and has a roll-on feature for easy use. When using this soap, kids can use the pen to draw whatever design they desire on their hands, before lathering their hands together and rinsing with some water. SoaPen is available in colors such as Green Fresh Pear, Blue Berry Blast, and Red Tangy Tangerine. These different colors can be found on Amazon and the SoaPen website for $17.99 for a one-time purchase, or for a subscription for $16.19. Furthermore, this soap has been made with ingredients such as Propanediol, Myristamidopropyl, PG-Dimonium Chloride Phosphate, Cocoamidopropyl Betaine, and of course water. SoaPen does not contain any added parabens or phthalates.
Prior to creating the SoaPen, Amanat Anand and Shubham Issar studied to get their Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees from the Parsons School of Design. After graduation, Amanat moved into working in production and logistics with a New York City design company called Ash NYC. She remained in this position for about nine months. Shubham, on the other hand, went on to become a fabricator for Stand & Build, where he resided for about ten months. In 2015, the Anand and Issar founded SoaPen Inc, with the help of a few advisors who provided them with some guidance in getting their corporation started. By 2019, they were ready to launch the business.
The idea for the SoaPen was established after Anand and Issar realized how many diseases were being spread just from the lack of hand washing itself. At the time, they were taking part in the UNICEF Wearables for Good Challenge. During their time of research, the women discovered that nearly 1.5 million kids under the age of five years old were becoming ill from these diseases. Some of those kids have even passed away due to the circumstances of these horrible diseases. When further research was conducted, the founders discovered how much just washing kids’ hands could help reduce the chances of these infectious diseases being spread about. This encouraged them to create the SoaPen.
In September of 2017, Anand and Issar launched a month-long Kickstarter campaign; they had set a goal to raise at least $25,000. In October of 2017, the campaign had concluded, and the founders had successfully surpassed their goal by about $3,000. They had gained 227 backers and raised $28,460. Following this success, Anand and Issar were featured on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list that year as well. Then, in 2019, Issar had been featured with the 2019 Women In The World Summit for the SoaPen. Based on their accomplishments thus far, it seems as though Anand and Issar have done well for the SoaPen business; however, they are interested in a shark mentoring them through their next steps.
SoaPen on Shark Tank
Amanat Anand and Shubham Issar made their debut on Shark Tank during season 13 episode 4. They are seeking a deal for $100,000 in exchange for a 10% equity in their $1 million product, SoaPen. The founders started their pitch off strong with an introduction of themselves, as well as a little bit of background information. They then share the SoaPen samples with the sharks while they explain the idea behind the product. Anand and Issar reveal that they have done $85,000 in lifetime sales since their launch in 2019. At the time of filming, the founders hadn’t invested any money into their marketing; however, an article in Real Simple Magazine featured them in October of 2019, which provided them with 5,000 SoaPen units being sold within just three weeks. Their profit margins are 40%. The SoaPen’s cost $4.30 to make and they are then sold for $14.99.
Once the pitch concludes, the sharks begin speaking up. Lori Greiner likes the scents of the soap, and she thinks the concept is great. Robert Herjavec agrees and questions why this product hadn’t been made sooner. Kevin O’Leary asks Anand and Issar about their return on investment. They then share that they have done ad runs through Amazon; however, they haven’t made a return on investment thus far. This is when Kevin O’Leary chimes into a state that he doesn’t believe they know enough about sales and marketing. He advises them to lower their customer acquisition costs and start a better marketing tactic. Nonetheless, he won’t be investing. Unfortunately, Mark Cuban agrees with Kevin, and he backs out for the same reason.
The last two sharks to back out of the deal were Lori Greiner and Robert Herjavec. Lori mentions that she is pleased with how the founders have done thus far, but she isn’t willing to invest because the business is too new. Robert likes the idea of the SoaPen as well, but he doesn’t feel that it’s the right investment for him. This leaves the guest shark, Nirav Tolia. At first, Nirav tells the founders that he is going out due to the business being too new. Though, as Anand and Issar begin leaving the Shark Tank, he stops them and offers them $100,000 in exchange for a 10% equity in SoaPen. He wants and additional $1 royalty until $200,000 in recouped. He also adds that his wife could help the founders get the business going because she has experience with working with soap brands. Ultimately, Anand and Issar accepted Nirav’s deal.
SoaPen Now in 2023 – The After Shark Tank
As of January 2023, it has not been revealed as to whether, guest shark, Nirav Tolia has closed his deal with SoaPen; however, the business is still going strong. In February of 2022, SoaPen received an investment of $150,000 from an investor known as MassChallenge. After Amanat Anand and Shubham Issar appeared on Shark Tank, their business did have an increase in sales, though it’s predicted that they may get to experience the shark tank effect at some point. After the show aired, it was seen that all the SoaPen soaps were entirely sold out on the company’s website. Not only are the soaps back in stock, but the founders have been able to improve their production rates as well. In addition to that, the company has launched a new $25 bundle which includes a SoaPen and a potty-training book. Although there isn’t too much to update as of 2023, Anand and Issar seem to still be working with Nirav Tolia and his wife. That being said, there may be some new updates coming soon.