The 180Cup Before Shark Tank
Prior to 180Cup’s appearance on Shark Tank, the 180Cup was struggling to gain traction. The 180Cup aimed to serve as a replacement for the Red Solo Cup, and the founder of it, Solomon Fallas, resorted to unconventional methods to get his product into stores. However, his methods did prove efficient, and by himself, Solomon Fallas was able to launch the 180Cup.
The 180Cup on Shark Tank
The original Red Solo cup is a classic party favorite, and this man is here on Shark Tank to try to bring a 21st century spin onto it. Solomon Fallas is seeking a $300,000 investment in exchange for a 15% stake in his company.
The Red Solo cup is used over 2 billion times each year in the United States alone. However, the 180Cup serves also as a shot glass when flipped upside down, as it has a little indent that matches the FDA’s recommendation for a shot of alcohol. However, the indent at the bottom of the cup can also serve as a measuring cup, or as a container for condiments.
The Sharks immediately ask about the sales of the 180Cup. Solomon says that in just under 6 months, he has sold over 5 million 180Cups, which has generated $385,000 in sales. These were sold to local various Mom & Pop type shops, typically which are around college campuses. Lori asks if he has attended trade shows to sell his product and get the name out, and Solomon replies that he took a unique approach to selling the product. Through Craigslist and various social media websites, he offered collegiate students a chance to make some money through the students connecting 180Cup with local various liquor shops. Depending on the size of the order, they would pay the collegiate students some percentage of the order. In the first month alone, 180Cup went to more than 120 stores and received more than a 92% re-order rate. In just six months, 180Cup has been built up from nothing.
180Cup comes in a 24 pack, and cost the same as a standard red Solo cup. Solomon came up with the idea when he went to a college party with a fraternity, seeing how many people were holding the red Solo cups. He said he was shocked at how many people were using them, but how limited their function truly was.
Daymond immediately launches an offer of $300,000 for 20% equity, and demands an answer immediately. The other Sharks want to know more about the product before they can even make an offer. Kevin says that Solomon does not know if there is a better offer, and Solomon insists to talk with the other sharks before accepting a potential offer. Mark uses the analogy of picking up a 100 dollar bill off the ground immediately, or if he would decide to look down the street to see if there is any more money. Solomon denies the offer, and wants to know more from the other sharks. Daymond immediately withdraws.
John Paul DeJoria is a special guest Shark on this episode of Shark Tank, and he asks about the patent of the cup. Solomon says that there is a utility and design patent, and the patent is not pending. Lori says that it is smart that the main demographic is college students, but there is a lot of utility to be found in the cup that can also allow it to be advertised for day-to-day life without use of alcohol. The Sharks ask how much money Solomon has invested, who replies that he has withdrawn all of his savings to invest a total of $175,000 of his own money into 180Cup. Mark wants to know more about the collegiate network, and Solomon explains that they are at 120 stores at over 30 colleges, which covers 1% of the market and hits about 600,000 students in college. Mark says that it’s smart that you could attach logos onto the cup, which Solomon brings out another product similar to the 180Cup.
The product Solomon brings out is actually an exact copy of the 180Cup, but are instead completely clear plastic. This allows for companies or organizations to attach their logos in plain sight for great advertising use, and Daymond says he had already thought of that 10 minutes ago when he made the initial offer and demanded Solomon take it or he would remove it from the table.
Lori says that she does not think much about the cleanliness of it – taking a shot from a cup, putting it down on the table, picking it back up and taking another shot after it was in contact with the dirty table. Then Lori says she is not into the business of advertising something where people might potentially be doing shots or drinking a lot of alcohol from, and says it isn’t up her street, and folds out of the deal.
Mark believes the advertising through the collegiate program is brilliant, but does not think that it seems like a worthy venture of investing, and exits the deal as well. John Paul thinks that Solomon is thinking outside of the box, but the venture does not strike him as a passionate project, and stirs nothing in him, so he is out.
Kevin next steps up, saying that he thinks the ketchup and mustard thing is a load of crap, and the real investment would be in advertising the shot aspect of it. He thinks that the 180Cup would be popular with bars, but does not find it worth investing in, and is out as well.
Daymond says that when he made the offer to Solomon, Solomon ignored the offer, and his feelings were hurt by the rejection. Solomon says that the deal was a little too early and he had to treat himself right since he owed it to himself, but Daymond says that he has become almost worthless (meaning, too much value) to Solomon since all the other sharks are out. Daymond demands that another offer be made, and the value for him increased from the original $300,000 investment for a 20% stake. Solomon counters with $300,000 for 23%, but Daymond wants 30% instead. Solomon says he cannot settle with 30% as he has too much invested, and Daymond returns with 25%. Solomon accepts the deal at $300,000 for 25%, saying that the 2% will not make or break him.
180Cup Now In 2023 Update
Daymond ended up taking back his original offer. However, that didn’t stop him from getting involved; he eventually made them a new offer, which they accepted, though details have not been disclosed. Since then, sales have continued to go up. If anything, being on the show helped as well as it gave the company a considerable amount of exposure, which boosted their overall sales.
They eventually got the product into several major retailers including Walmart. By 2016, they had done nearly $5 million in sales across 15,000 retail outlets. Daymond also worked out a licensing deal, which would allow them to make a reusable, dishwasher-safe version of the cup. However, the licensing company ultimately went bankrupt before it could happen. As a result, they weren’t able to move forward with the manufacturing process.
Soloman considered manufacturing the cups themselves, but the shark was against the idea. He eventually agreed with Daymond but by then, it had already affected their business relationship. According to Solomon, “[they] just clashed”, which “really slowed down [their] potential and progress.”
Wanting to work things out, the pair sat down to discuss the state of the company. Soloman revealed that he has expanded the line to include shot glasses and disposable flasks. He also stated that he’s working on getting the licensing rights back for the dishwasher-safe version of the product. Daymond agreed to help.
He also introduced Solomon to Little Jon, whom he had hoped would become their brand ambassador. However, Solomon didn’t like the idea and turned it down. This came as a shock to Daymond, who at that point, realized they didn’t “see eye to eye.” It also made him realize that the partnership likely won’t work out in the long term.
In the end, the two ended up parting ways. In exchange for giving back his original investment, Daymond promised that he’d get the licensing contract back for them. He also stated that while the deal fell through, he’s still excited to see Solomon succeed as 180Cup “is an amazing product.”
As of 2023, 180Cups is no longer in business; their website is offline and their social media accounts have been abandoned. As it is, they ended up shutting down in December 2016, just a few months after they were featured on Beyond the Tank. While nothing was ever disclosed, we’re guessing that they weren’t able to make things work after Daymond left.
The last that we checked, Solomon was working as an account executive for Collective Soles, a business that specializes and socks and hosieries.