What Is Windcatcher?
An air mattress called the Windcatcher inflates quickly. A unique rapid inflation valve makes it simple to inflate the inflatable outdoor and travel gear in the Windcatcher product line.
The technology in the mattress makes it stand out. It can function without a pump or electricity. By blowing into the built-in valve, it quickly inflates.
|Innovating Air Catching Mattress Pads
|Investment Asking For
|$200,000 For 8% equity in Windcatcher
|$200,000 For 6% equity in Windcatcher
|Season 7 Episode 6
Who Is the Founder of Windcatcher?
The originator and designer of Windcatcher are Ryan Frayne, a native of Brooklyn, New York. In 2015, he presented Windcatcher on the Shark Tank programme.
Windcatcher Before Shark Tank:
The genius invention Windcatcher was created by Portland, Oregon resident Ryan Frayne. It helps users avoid being out of breath by keeping them from doing so in the first place. On a trip to the beach with his family, Ryan found inspiration. He realised there must be an easier approach after seeing his brother struggle to blow up a bed.
Ryan went back to his house and began experimenting with different valves until he came across a phenomenon known as air entrainment, which he found could significantly increase the efficiency of inflating objects.
Despite the fact that air entrainment is a tried and true method, Ryan saw that no other company was producing inflatables that utilised it, at least not commercially. With the use of an air-intake valve, Ryan created a prototype of the inflatable toy he called the Air Bag. He also created a valve that enabled the bag to instantly deflate.
As is customary for entrepreneurs, Ryan resorted to Kickstarter and launched a campaign in May 2013 to turn his concepts into physical things. The $50,000 target was enthusiastically backed on Kickstarter, mostly to pay for setup fees. By the time the campaign was through, Ryan had nearly tripled his goal, raising about $150,000.
Ryan had huge aspirations for the future, but he was aware that in order to get the millions of dollars that he was certain his invention was worth, he would need the help and connections that a business expert could offer. This inspired him to submit an application to Shark Tank in October 2015 and get a spot as a guest.
How Was the Shark Tank Pitch of Windcatcher?
Ryan appears on the Shark Tank programme looking for a $200k investment in exchange for an 8% ownership position in Windcatcher. He starts out by showing viewers how difficult it is to inflate a typical inflatable.
When he shows the Sharks how the Windcatcher works, they are amazed. Robert is rather amazed by the seemingly endless possibilities that he explains. As he explains the workings of the Windcatcher valve, the Sharks are shocked.
While blowing things up at the beach, Ryan came up with the idea. Though he lacks scientific training, he carried out substantial research and created the valve. Since 2013, he has earned $165K in revenue.
Ryan responds that he is interested in both when Mr Wonderful asks if he is interested in creating a brand or in licencing the technology. Ryan says he has 60% margins but chooses not to reveal the cost of creation.
Ryan is admired by Mr Wonderful, who calls him a “mad scientist man” who ought to pursue direct licencing. That, according to Ryan, would be just too monotonous. Kevin then offers Ryan $200k in venture funding; he will take 6% of all sales until $800k is sustained, at which point he will keep 3%.
Ryan is not able to accept that offer, and Mark chuckles. Chris Sacca predicts that a counter offer will come at any minute. After a brief pause, Lori makes an offer of $200K for 15% of the company. Kevin responds, “OUCH,” but Lori believes Ryan will need help creating more products.
Sacca offers to go with Lori into the store and go over the backstory of the other items. According to Lori, if there are two Sharks, the equity portion should rise to 20%. Robert then makes the precise offer Ryan had requested: $200K in exchange for 10%. Ryan asks Sacca and Lori if they would be open to extending a $10 million line of credit when they up their offer to $200K for 15%.
Robert is furious and demands to know the reason his offer was turned down. Mark steps up with an offer of $200K along with the 8% line of credit. Robert’s cost is decreased by 6.5 per cent to $200K. Without Sacca, Lori increases her offer to $200K for 5 per cent and adds a line of credit.
Ryan answers “yes”
Final Agreement: Lori consents to a transaction for $200K at 5% equity in Windcatcher plus a line of credit.
After Shark Tank, What Happened to Windcatcher?
The agreement with Lori was never fully fulfilled. Ryan received a pancreatic cancer diagnosis soon after his appearance on the programme. His wife and her best friend ran an IndieGoGo campaign in 2019 and raised $6,572 from it.
Since June 2019, there hasn’t been a social media update. Although the company’s website is still live, there are no products available for purchase as of 2021. Since the beginning of the series, Windcatcher has attracted a lot of interest, and Ryan has been the focus of various joking internet rumours.
Ryan was pleasantly delighted when potential clients showed up even though he had anticipated the surge of orders that would follow the appearance on the show. Instead of paying the full retail price of $99 for the windcatcher airbags after the episode, they were on sale for a month in order to increase sales and spread awareness of the company’s goods.
Ryan claimed that the programme had caused sales to “jump through the roof.” Additionally, Windcatcher’s technical brilliance was noted. A month after Ryan’s Shark Tank appearance, Inc.com identified Windcatcher as one of the top seven Shark Tank pitches of 2015.
Right before Christmas 2015, Forbes, a significant financial publication, chose Windcatcher as one of the top 12 travel-related gifts on Shark Tank. The anticipated licence agreements for Lori have already started to be inked. Canadian Tire and Eagle Creek Travel Products use air mattresses with windcatcher technology that are offered both domestically and abroad.
In the future, Eagle Creek plans to include Windcatcher technology in additional products. Finally, after making his debut and emanating a sense of enchantment and mystery, Ryan Frayne built a little internet following.
He has the assurance to unwind thanks to award-winning firm Lori Greiner, a Shark partner. Perhaps in the future Windcatcher will grow to such a size that we will all be in awe of its size.
Does Windcatcher Still Operate?
As a result of litigation involving another company using similar technologies, the agreement between Lori and Windcatcher ultimately fell through. Lori Greiner pulled out of the deal. Unluckily, there was more. Ryan received a fatal cancer diagnosis two weeks after Ryan’s Shark Tank pitch was recorded.
Following their participation in Shark Tank, Eagle Creek obtained a licence for the Windcatcher “Rapid Inflation Valve Technology.” The company that makes travel accessories uses the technique in its Fast InflateTM Pillow.
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