StepNPull was founded by an entrepreneur trio, Ron Ely, Mike Sewell, and Kelly Coddington, in 2007. The group met while they were working at a company within the telecommunications industry. Mike was the first one of the trio to come up with the idea for StepNPull and the idea came to him when he was working as a facilities director. During his time as a facilities director, he often noticed that other employees were using paper towels to open doors around the building. Many employees did this to avoid having to touch the door due to bacteria; however, some employees would be seen just dropping the paper towels on the floor afterwards.
As Mike observed this recurring situation, he became determined to create a contraption that people could use to open doors without touching the door or using paper towels. With that, he knew the best design would be some sort of step that could be operated by one’s foot. While Mike was brainstorming further, he had gotten Kelly to design their very first prototype and he had Ron incorporate his construction skills in order to get a solid idea of where the step should be attached to the door. Shortly after, the trio had officially created the step, which Ron pitched the name to be StepNPull.
After launching the StepNPull business, the trio started off by taking orders over the phone, and then packaging and shipping them from their garage. As time went on, the business started to pick up and they ended up selling their product to larger companies. It was around this time that the pandemic had hit, which was great for their sales. Many companies began ordering the StepNPull for their buildings in order to further prevent employees and customers from passing around germs. Companies such as Facebook, Google, Boeing, Walmart, and even Coca-Cola were eager to purchase the devices themselves.
Following this increase in sales, StepNPull continued to reach further success. Within just a month, the company gained international and national media coverage, which in turn gave them an increase in orders. The company ended up partnering with other distributions in Australia, South Africa, Slovenia, and even The United Kingdom. This expansion led them to have to hire more employees, distributors, and manufacturers. Given all of the recent expansions, the founders of StepNPull wanted to take their chances on Shark Tank to hopefully land a deal with a shark to help with their expansions.
StepNPull on Shark Tank
The founders of StepNPull, Ron Ely, Mike Sewell, and Kelly Coddington, appeared on Shark Tank hoping to get a deal of $300,000 for a 3% equity in StepNPull. Mike begins pitching their product to the sharks, while his co-founders demonstrate the use of the StepNPull with a prop bathroom setup. As the demonstration proceeds, Mike explains how the step was made with the intention of avoiding handling passing germs that live on the handles of bathroom doors.
Without wasting any time, Mike proceeds to bring up the sales of the company. Each StepNPull costs about $8 to make and they sell for $29.95 each. He explains that, prior to the pandemic, StepNPull saw a total of $35,000 in sales, while sales sky-rocketed to $1.7 million after the pandemic. After that point, their overall sales continued to increase drastically, leading them to reach $7 million by the middle of 2020. Mike continues to add in that 35% is from online sales; 75% is from direct sales, and 25% is from distribution.
Mark Cuban is the first shark to go out. He says that the StepNPull business is doing great and he does not think the entrepreneurs need any help. Robert Herjavec follows Mark out by explaining that the business is a good idea, but he thinks they’ve always hit their peak in sales; he doesn’t want to invest in a company that may not go further. Fortunately, Kevin O’Leary was interested enough to make an offer. He offers Mike $300,000 for a 10% equity in StepNPull. However, that’s when Daymond John chimes in to offer Mike $300,000 for an equity of 12%. Daymond continues to add that he will help entrepreneurs partner with International Door Association.
With two offers on the table and two sharks already dropped out, Lori Greiner was the final shark to make her interest known. She tells Mike that she could help him by creating infomercials to further sell StepNPull. With that, she offers him $300,000 for a 5% equity, along with a $0.50 royalty until Mike pays the $500,000. After which point the royal would drop to $0.20. Mike continues to hold off temporarily to give Daymond and Kevin the opportunity to adjust their offers.
Daymond speaks up to alter his offer to $300,000 for an equity of 8%, which Mike tries to counter for a 6% equity. At this time, Lori drops out. Mike then alters his counter-offer to a 7% equity; however, Daymond rejects it, saying it cannot go under the 8%. Kevin chimes it to offer a 6% equity rather than 10%. Mike accepts Kevin’s offer of $300,000 for a 6% equity in StepNPull.
StepNPull Now in 2023 – The After Shark Tank Update
StepNPull made a successful appearance on Shark Tank and landed a deal with Kevin O’Leary for $300,000 for a 6% equity in the company. Following their appearance on Shark Tank, Ron Ely, Mike Sewell, and Kelly Coddington continue running the StepNPull business, although it is unclear if the deal with Kevin has been closed. Nonetheless, the company has expanded greatly and continues to do so.
Shortly after the airing of the Shark Tank episode, StepNPull made an announcement that their products have been purchased for use in Snapchats offices. In addition to that, companies such as NASA, Nike, Walmart, Ford, and Ikea have started purchasing the StepNPull as well. Along with many other companies. StepNPull has reached an impressive annual revenue of $1 million in 2023.
As of 2023, StepNPull has sold over 450,000 units and has gained more than 5,000 new businesses as happy customers. Speaking of happy customers, the company has received many incredibly appreciative positive ratings over on Amazon, which is just one place where this step can be purchased. Other stores include Home Depot, Lowes, Menards, and other Acme stores across over 50 countries.