Verbalizeit Before Shark Tank
Kunal Sarda is the co-founder of Verbalizeit, and started the company while he was studying at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Kunal Sarda has lived in over twenty-five countries, and this lead for him to become passionate about breaking language barriers and allow people to communicate with each other, without having to spend a lot of time or money. Kunal Sarda also states that he loves traveling and that he fluently speaks four different languages.
Ryan Frankel is the other co-founder of Verbalizeit, and just like Kunal Sarda, he also studied at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Before starting with Verbalizeit, Ryan Frankel was a private equity investor for Goldman Sachs in New York. Ryan Frankel loves sports and was a pitcher and shortstop in his College’s baseball team. He also states that he is also an endurance enthusiasts and loves competing in the Ironman triathlon and marathons.
Kunal Sarda and Ryan Frankel state that they need an investment from the Sharks, in order to be able to expand their small start-up company called Verbalizeit and help more people and businesses breaking the language barrier.
Verbalizeit During Shark Tank
“Ryan Frankel, Kunal Sarda and a translator walk confidently towards the Sharks and stand in front of them”
Ryan Frankel starts the presentation and introduces himself in a foreign language, to which the translator asks the Sharks if they understood what Ryan Frankel just said, and tells them that he said that his name is Ryan Frankel.
“Mark Cuban stars laughing”
Kunal Sarda continues the presentation in a different foreign language, to which the translator states that Ryan Frankel and Kunal Sarda are the co-founders of Verbalizeit.
Ryan Frankel states in a foreign language the amount of money they are looking for as an investment, after which the translator states that they are seeking two hundred and fifty thousand dollars, in exchange for a fifteen percent stake in their company.
Kunal Sarda states that Erica is a translator, and her job is to help people around the world to talk to each other. Ryan Frankel states that Verbalizeit allows people to put a translator like Erica in their back pocket.
Ryan Frankel continues the presentation by explaining to the Sharks how Verbalizeit works. He states that you first have to register an account at the Verbalizeit website, or download the app and register through it. Within fifteen seconds, you are able to press a button on your phone, and you are instantly connected to one of the Verbalizeit live translators around the world. You can tell that translator what you need, put your phone on translator and the Verbalizeit translators communicate on your behave.
Kunal Sarda states that every year, millions of international travelers run into situations where they cannot communicate, because of the language barrier.
Ryan Frankel continues by stating that they want to work together with the Sharks, and put Verbalizeit into the hands of individuals and businesses around the world.
“Ryan Frankel asks the Sharks if they are ready to make a deal”
“Robert Herjavec asks the backgrounds of Ryan Frankel and Kunal Sarda”
Ryan Frankel states that he met Kunal Sarda in business school at Wharton.
“The Sharks seem impressed by Ryan Frankel’s answer”
“Robert Herjavec asks Ryan Frankel to explain to him how Verbalizeit works”
Ryan Frankel answers the question by saying that people can call a live representative through a 1-800 number, which is being routed directly from their virtual call center to one of their thousands of translators around the world.
“Kevin O’Leary asks Ryan Frankel if he can get in touch with a translator even if he is in Egypt, Russia, Cyprus or Greece, and if they have enough people sourced to handle that capacity”
Kunal Sarda answers the question by saying that they have created a global community of multilingual individuals, who are monetizing on their spare time during the day.
“Kevin O’Leary states that Verbalizeit is a very interesting idea, but he still doesn’t really understand the business model”
Kunal Sarda states that they already have two thousand translators around the world and that they are live in five different languages. He also states that they can connect anyone within fifteen seconds of calling, and they will be able to get help from a translator.
“Robert Herjavec asks how they could get somebody connected to a translator that quickly, twenty four hours a day, seven days a week”
Ryan Frankel answers the question by saying that they have created a powerful community, from people around the world, who also happen to speak a second language and want to be able to make money in their spare time. Ryan Frankel continues by saying that having so many motivated people in the community who want to make money, is the reason why Verbalizeit is able to connect a person with a translator very quickly.
“Robert Herjavec asks if it costs money to download the Verbalizeit app”
Ryan Frankel answers the question by saying that the app is free, and anyone can download it by going to the App Stores. You can also try out one free call, after which you can decide if you want to continue using Verbalizeit. Ryan Frankel also states that, depending on how many minutes a customer buys, you pay anywhere between fifty cents and one dollar per minute, in order to get connected to a translator.
“Robert Herjavec asks how Ryan and Kunal are paying the translators”
Ryan Frankel answers the question by saying that translators earn anywhere between seven and fifteen dollars an hour, depending on how many minutes they translate. This means that both Ryan Frankel and Kunal Sarda keep a seventy percent margin on every dollar they make through Verbalizeit.
“Kevin O’Leary asks Kunal Sarda what their sales are to date”
Kunal Sarda answers the question by saying that, in the last two weeks, they have made about ten thousand dollars in sales.
“Mark Cuban asks how long Verbalizeit has been on the market”
Kunal Sarda answers the question by saying that Verbalizeit has been on the market for only one month.
“Daymond John asks how Ryan Frankel and Kunal Sarda are filtering their translators, and how they trust that the translators are doing their job correctly”
Ryan Frankel answers the question by saying that they have been going out to language centers and finding translators there. He states that after that, they had a tremendous word-of-mouth referral, and the community just kept growing and growing.
“Kevin O’Leary asks if there is a rating system after the call is over”
Ryan Frankel answers the question by saying that there is a rating system, and this way, as a translator you are able to build up a reputation, which means that you will be able to make more money. Kunal Sarda continues by stating that their top translator has made five hundred and fifty dollars, over the last two days alone.
“Barbara Corcoran states that there are so many translation apps out there, and asks why Verbalizeit is so specifically different from anything else”
Ryan Frankel answers the question by saying that on the one hand, you have a machine-based technology, which just doesn’t work.
Mark Cuban cuts Ryan Frankel off, and states that he disagrees with Ryan Frankel significantly. Mark Cuban continues by saying that machine-based technology does work, specifically in a business environment. He states that Ryan Frankel and Kunal Sarda need to go out and find translators that understand business, because if they do not understand anything about business, a typical translator is not going to understand how to translate business letters or technical meetings.
Kunal Sarda states that their community of translators consist of people who just graduated from High School to people who have a PhD and business degrees.
“Mark Cuban states that Verbalizeit loses its instantaneous aspect, because higher educated people will not always be available and will also not want to work for cheap”
“Kevin O’Leary asks what the business looks like in term of the available languages”
Kunal Sarda answers the question by saying that they are live in five languages, which are Spanish, Portuguese, Mandarin, French and English.
“Robert Herjavec asks Kunal Sarda why there is no Croatian”
Kunal Sarda answers the question by stating that they do not have any Croatian translators yet, and jokingly offers Robert Herjavec a job as a translator.
Ryan Frankel states that Verbalizeit has only been live for a month and that they are very excited with some of the large partnerships that they are working on. He continues by stating that Verbalizeit has just launched a pilot with Skype, which means that any one of the thirty one million Skype users can add a Verbalizeit translator into any conversation.
“The Sharks seem shocked that Verbalizeit has made a deal with Skype”
Ryan Frankel states that they have reached out to Skype and Verbalizeit is now the featured app, in the Skype App Directory.
Barbara Corcoran states that she thought the Skype deal was a done deal, but because it is not an exclusive agreement, she feels like Verbalizeit is too shaky for her. Barbara Corcoran also states that she is not willing to invest in Verbalizeit and that she is out.
Daymond John states that technology is not his department, and that the other Sharks are definitely going to fight between them, in order to be able to get a bite out of Verbalizeit. Daymond John is not willing to invest in Verbalizeit, and states that he is out as well.
Mark Cuban states that he has invested in multiple language companies in the past, and that the problem is that there is never solution for all of the language problems. Human translators might be good for non-formal translations, but they will lack the capacity when it comes to business meetings or letters.
Mark Cuban states that he will make an offer, and wants that Ryan Frankel and Kunal Sarda to not listen to Kevin O’Leary or Robert Herjavec at all, if they want his offer to stand. Mark Cuban offers two hundred fifty thousand dollars for twenty five percent of Verbalizeit.
Kevin O’Leary states that he is offering two hundred fifty thousand dollars, in exchange for a twenty percent stake in Verbalizeit. Robert Herjavec states that he also offers two hundred fifty thousand dollars, in exchange for a twenty five percent stake in Verbalizeit.
“Ryan Frankel and Kunal Sarda walk out into the hallway to discuss the offers”
“Daymond John asks what Ryan and Kunal have decided”
Kunal Sarda states that they love all three of them, and that they all have made amazing offers. He continues by stating that they have learned in business school that it is not just about creating value, but also about capturing value.
“Ryan Frankel asks if the Sharks are willing to improve their offers”
“The Sharks discuss between them who has made the better offer”
Ryan Frankel and Kunal Sarda choose Kevin O’Leary as their partner and accept his offer.
At the end interview, Kunal Sarda states that it wasn’t just about the five percent difference, but that Kevin O’Leary really showed that he really understands what Verbalizeit is about.
Verbalizeit Now In 2023 – After Shark Tank Update
The pair might have chosen Kevin as their shark but the deal never went through. The terms were too much, which led them to seek outside funding, which they eventually received. With that, they were able to grow the company. Not only did they offer document translation, but they also began offering translation services for apps, website content, as well as videos.
The pair also took Mark’s advice to heart and shifted the focus of the company away from an individual consumer-based model and toward business-to-business applications. And it seemed to have paid off. Before long, business was booming.
In fact, it did so well that it was acquired by Smartling, a cloud-based translation technology, and language services company, in December 2016 (they had allegedly been in discussion for three years). Kunal also joined the team as the company’s vice president, which allowed him to help various businesses achieve their global potential. According to LinkedIn, he stayed with Startling for nearly four tears, from May 2016 to January 2020.
As of 2023, VerbalizeIt services are still available through their site and can be used to translate video, audio, and other multimedia content.
What is Kunal up to now? In 2020, he founded a new company called Arya, which offers different compensation options for flex workforce operators. As for Ryan, he launched a new app called “This App Saves Lives (TASL)” in 2019, which rewards drivers for not engaging in distracted driving. Basically, how it works is that drivers earn points for driving undistracted, which they can then use to redeem various items from different brands. And it seems to be very popular with a 4.6-star rating on the App Store. If anything, the only drawback is that the prizes can be limited sometimes. Other than that, users seem to be happy with the app.
Prior to TASL, Ryan founded another company called EduPlated, which allowed users to work with a virtual dietician to make better choices about their diet. According to his LinkedIn page, it lasted for three years, before shutting down in June 2019. Prior to that, he worked as a freelance independent consultant on behalf of MasterCard Advisors.
The bottom line is, the company was a success. They never disclosed how much they sold it for but we’re guessing it was a fair amount. At the very least, it’s enough for their various new projects. Seeing as how they’ve moved on to other things, we probably won’t be seeing them on Shark Tank again anytime soon—not about VerbalizeIt, anyway.