BetterBack

betterbackKatherine Krug hopes a Shark has her back when she pitches BetterBack, a posture correction device, in Shark Tank episode 720. Krug started the business in April, 2015 after a start-up she co-founded failed.  She realized that working at her desk for up to 14 hours a day was absolutely killing her back and causing her pain, so she sought a solution and invented BetterBack.

Krug got BetterBack going with an enormously successful Kickstarter campaign: she raised over $1.65 million on a modest $12,500 goal. She was the first solo female entrepreneur to break the million dollar mark on Kickstarter. According to BetterBack's press materials: “BetterBack allows you to effortlessly sit in perfect posture, easing back pain—and preventing it. Lightweight and portable, it makes every chair ergonomic. Wearing it for just 15 minutes a day can retrain your body’s default posture, so when you stand or sit without BetterBack, your posture is greatly improved.”

About half of all Americans suffer from some degree of back pain. Much of this pain is due to poor posture while sitting. BetterBack solves the poor posture problem by using a back support strapped to your knees; adjustable straps allow you to find the perfect level of support. This forces the pelvis into proper position and forces you to sit up straight, thus reducing pressure on internal organs and on the spine and neck by restoring your spine's natural curvature. The whole device fits in a handy portable case for set up anywhere: office, plane, or home.

So far, Krug shipped product to 115 different countries. With over 20,000 backers on Kickstarter, she's tapped into a large niche with a simple, effective product that works. She's likely looking for a Shark to help with manufacturing and managing explosive growth. Will a Shark “back” this business?

BetterBack Shark Tank Recap

Katherine enters seeking $750K for 7.5% of her business. As she tells her story, she notes that 8 out of 10 Americans will have back pain at some point in their life. BetterBack makes any chair ergonomic and she asks the Sharks “who's got my back?”

She hands out samples and the Sharks appear to have difficulties putting it on. Krug says once you do it a few times, it gets easier. Barbara says it's intimidating but totally comfortable. Krug tells the story of Everest, her failed start-up, that led her to come up with a prototype. She also tells the Sharks about her Kickstarter success. Lori is impressed.

Krug has 10,000 units leaving her factory now, with another 20,000 coming in a few weeks. They cost $8.50 to make and sell for $59. Krug has $875K in the bank. Barbara wants to now Krug's plan and she replies she's “growth hacking Amazon.” Mark says that doesn't necessarily translate into sales.

Barbara thinks the business is over-valued; she's out. Mark says valuation is the biggest challenge and you can't value the company right now. He's more interested in her core competencies and what happens when it becomes a real business. Mark says Krug came out and pigeon-holed herself; he's out.

Robert says all the stuff Krug has to do hasn't been proven yet, but he offers $750K for 20% citing the risks involved.Mr. Wonderful offers $750K for 25% and says the value is reasonable. Lori chimes in and says “it's deal time!”

After a break, Lori says Krug's a starter and she's a closer. Lori LOVES demonstrable products and offers $750K for 20%. Mark says it's a bargain if you do $5 million in sales. Kevin counters with a $750K loan for 24 months at 7.5% and 5% equity. Lori offers the same loan, but for 36 months and she wants 8% equity.

Krug counters with 7.5% and Lori says “you don't want to quibble over half a point, do you?” When Krug asks to phone a friend, the Sharks all react and give her a bit of a hard time. Krug looks at Lori and says “you have a deal!”

RESULT: DEAL with Lori for $750K at 7.5% plus 8% equity

BetterBack Shark Tank Update

Having secured a deal with Lori, Katherine has continued to build and improve her business. Better Back was sold out for a time on Amazon, but is available now at the old $59 price point, as well as through the website. The web page is minimalist but provides fitting tips and FAQs to answer customer questions.

The social media sites are active, showcasing accessories like heat pads that can be worn with Better Back. It appears that, with the backing of a Shark, Better Back has the support it needs to reach success.

Posts About BetterBack on Shark Tank Blog

Better Back Posture Correction Device

BetterBack Company Information

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