PopSlate

popslateYashar Behzadi wants to start a feeding frenzy for PopSlate, his “smart second screen” for iPhones, in Shark Tank episode 710. A feeding frenzy already occurred around this product on IndieGoGo, where the business raised $1,091,204.00 in March, 2016.

PopSlate is a phone case that turns the unused, backside of an iPhone into a clock, e-reader, and extra battery source. It also lets you use your apps, without unlocking your phone. Think of it as an extra, always-on screen for the iPhone. Initially created to display pictures on the backside of the iPhone to easily give it a new look, Behzadi realized there was more uses for it.

The e-reader functionality borrows from the original Kindle technology by providing a low-power, ambient lit screen. Users can customize what they want displayed on the PopSlate “screen,” too. The device uses the iPhone charging portal to charge and has a rugged exterior to withstand abuse while still providing functionality.

At only $89 or so (depending on your iPhone model), it's in the same price range as premium cases. The product is only available for iPhones and is  available on a “pre-order” basis, as of the original air date. Behzadi likely wants a Shark to help push through the first round of production. Will a Shark pop for this unique product?

PopSlate Shark Tank Recap

Yashar comes to the Sharks seeking an investment of $500,000 in return for 5% of his company. It's an impressive ask, so he'll have to sell the Sharks. He presents his product, showing the basics of the Popslate. The Sharks ask a few clarifying questions.

Robert Herjavec wants to know what the value is to the customer. Yashar explains that the Popslate saves the customer time by letting them customize their screen. Mark Cuban wants to know about cost and pricing. The Popslate sells for $129 and costs $80 to make. He could get the cost down to $41 by putting in larger orders.

Lori Greiner wants to know the cost of each run of Popslate, to create the cases for each of the major phones available. It costs $50,000 to create the product to fit each model of phone, so Yashar has focused on the iPhone6 and the iPhone6 Plus.

Kevin O'Leary wants to know how much Yashar has lost, and when he plans to break even. Yashar explains that he's spent $1.6 million to date on development and that they'll be “cash flow positive” in less than 12 months.

Robert Herjavec sees the market going to a “wearable” experience. He's out.

Mark Cuban believes that the technology has potential. The other Sharks agree, but Kevin O'Leary doesn't believe the price point is there. He's out.

Lori Greiner thinks that the constant updating of the technology to keep up with the ever-changing cell phone market will cost too much. She's out. Only two Sharks are left.

Ashton Kutcher finds the software “compelling,” but he's worried about the dependency upon Apple and the price point. He says he can't get over those hurdles and goes out.

Mark Cuban believes that phones will continue to evolve, making his technology obsolete. He's out, and Yashar leaves the Tank with no Shark deal.

PopSlate Shark Tank Update

Although Popslate didn't get a Shark deal, the product did enjoy a surge in sales after airing, a phenomenon sometimes referred to as the “Shark Tank Effect.” The iPhone 6 and 6S models are showing as “sold out” on the website, but the founders have plans for the iPhone7, noting that the emergence of a new phone gives them an opportunity to refine their product in response to user feedback, hopefully offering new features that users will get excited about.

Although the Sharks had legitimate concerns about the longevity of the technology, consumers proclivity to buy the newest phones as they come out on the market may indicate that the market is strong enough to withstand a new Popslate model with each release of a new iPhone. Time will tell.

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