CO.Alition

Co.AlitionJeff Popp and Casey Lorenzen pitch CO.Alition, their line of smart, urban backpacks, in Shark Tank episode 716. The pair had a lot of success after launching MHM Backpacks back in 2009. The brand quickly became sought after and respected in the hiking and outdoor world. CO.Alition is a new, completely separate brand, that focusses on urban, tech-based consumers. They're dubbing CO.Alition “the evolution of carry.”

The pair looked to Kickstarter three times to get CO.Alition off the ground. Their first attempt in June, 2014, was unsuccessful, but in the fall of 2014, they successfully raised over $50,000. They did a second campaign in the fall of 2015 as a “pre-order” mechanism for a new pack called the COLFAX – a pack with built-in power supply and hard drive.

The CO.Alition packs all feature rugged, water-resistant designs with built-in wires for storing and charging electronic devices. The thick padding ensures computers and tablets will stay protected. In models with hard drives, there are 500GB, 1TB or 2TB of storage available. You can also run your own wi-fi hotspot with these packs!

At $179 – $479, depending on which model and options you choose, these are not inexpensive backpacks. They are aimed at the urban gadget/tech freak who wants to store his electronics in the safest, most fashionable way possible.

Will a Shark want to pack it in and invest in this business?

CO.Alition Shark Tank Recap

Jeff and Casey enter seeking $200K for 20% of CO.Alition. They begin by saying we live in the age when we are constantly on the move. The CO.Alition bags are brains and beauty, bringing charging power with you everywhere.
They explain the integrated hard drive and how you charge the bag by plugging it into a wall.

As they hand out bags, they say they started the business 7 months ago. The also talk about the success of MHM, which has $1.4 million in sales. CO.Alition bags have no patents, prompting Mr. Wonderful to say “there's nothing proprietary here; what do we have? Nothing!”

They guys sold 500 bags in 7 months. Their margins are 50%-70% and their profits are $100K. They explain everyone has a device and a bag and they want to become a global brand, prompting Robert to ask them how they'll do it. They explain they want to go direct.

Daymond says any one of the Sharks could license a bag and outfit it with the same thing. Mark thinks they should grow CO.Alition as a product within MHM; he's out. Robert agrees with Mark and he goes out too. Kevin says he'll give them an opportunity to re-boot their offer before he throws them out.

After a break, Kevin says splitting the brands is ridiculous and asks if they'd combine the two companies. The guys offer $300K for 30% of the total company: MHM and CO.Alition. Lori thinks the bags are too expensive; she's out. Kevin says anyone can make the bag; he's out. Daymond gets what they're doing. He says you are never going to create anything totally new, but he doesn't think they are there yet. He's tempted, but he's out.

RESULT: NO DEAL

CO.Alition Shark Tank Update

Supported by their already-successful MHM company, the pair have moved forward with Co.Alition. Their website and social media are active, indicating they're still selling. The line may not have taken off the way the pair hoped, but the Shark Tank effect may have boosted sales temporarily.

They have had some success placing Co.Alition in REI stores. Although the packs are rather pricey, the customizability definitely adds to the appeal. Serious technophiles will enjoy the multitude of available options. Time will tell how well the Co Alition packs will do, riding the wave of the Shark Tank effect.

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