Pickup Pools Makes A Splash in the Shark Tank
Air Force Pilot, Tommy Prestella, traveled from San Dimas, California, to pitch the Sharks Pickup Pools, his convenient solution to summer heat. He was seeking a $100k investment in exchange for 25% equity stake in his business. Prestella’s clean-cut look and friendly smile gave the Sharks a warm first impression as he entered the Tank.
The entrepreneur began his presentation and amused the Sharks with his energy and playful jokes. He shared his personal grudge against scorching weather, which grew from being deployed to the hot climates in Iraq, Afghanistan and Africa, for the military. Prestalla was presenting on stage next to two Cornhole boards and a massive curtain. After a brief introduction, Prestella said, “Sharks, you guys ready to cool off?” and dropped the curtain to reveal his product to the world.
The entrepreneur responded by assuring the Sharks that the Pickup Pools is the only product that can make the truck bed watertight. Thus, Prestella has been able to successfully protect his company and idea from emerging competition with his issued patent. Next, the Sharks wanted to know the numbers surrounding the business.
Prestella said that they make a unit for between $110-$117 and he sells them through his website for $200-$210. Prestella built his website on his own and he wanted to use a portion of the investment on professional marketing services to upgrade the website. Then, the entrepreneur’s presentation took a downturn as he revealed that Pickup Pools had only done $12k in lifetime sales.
The Sharks were shocked at how little sales the company had generated and needed an explanation. Prestella responded, saying that when he started the company, sales were going well on a small scale until his manufacturer retired. Then, as he was trying to search for a new manufacturer to make his product, he was unexpectedly deployed to an “undisclosed location” in Africa. Prestella justified his small number of sales with good points, but the waters still looked murky as O’Leary said, “$12k lifetime sales from the beginning is really abysmal.”
Prestella saved himself with a good joke while O’Leary was tearing in to his numbers, saying, “That’s an 800% increase from last year, Kevin,” and all the Sharks laughed with amusement.
However, it was time for negotiations and Prestella was hungry for a deal. Prior to diving into offers, Prestella clarified that he was still under contract with the military for eight more years, and he recruited his sister to come in and manage the business when he is away. He also explained that his main objective with the business is to bring down his manufacturing cost, as well as his selling price.
Greiner was the first to go out claiming she didn’t feel secure investing because she didn’t have the necessary market research to know if Pickup Pools had a potential demand. Robert was the next to go out on account of Prestella having too little sales. O’Leary went out, cynically saying, “Look, the product is telling you, ‘Tommy, I don’t think so.’ I’m out from an undisclosed location,” and the panel of venture capitalists erupted with laughter.
Then, Barbra decided to make an offer of $100k in exchange for 25%, matching what Prestella was seeking when he entered the tank. However, she added two contingencies. Corcoran needed to meet Pretella’s sister and make sure she was a solid person to work with and Prestella had to bring the price down to below $100 in order for her to do the deal. Prestella was enthused by Corcaran’s offer, but there was still one Shark left.
Mark decided to offer Prestella $100k in exchange for 33% with no contingencies and he promised to support the business while Prestella was deployed for the Air Force. Prestella took Mark’s deal, despite the greater percentage of equity he would have to give up. The entrepreneur valued how Mark was willing to work with him through his next eight years in the military. Hopefully, Pickup Pools can raise their level of sales with the help of Cuban.