Seattle company Urban Float, which has locations in Kirkland, Renton, and Tacoma, met the sharks and lived to tell the tale.
Urban Float CEO Scott Swerland and Chief Operating Officer Joe Beaudry appeared before the panel of investors known as the “sharks” on the ABC TV show Shark Tank. The duo pitched their flotation therapy business, in which customers float in pods filled with purified water and Epsom salt.
In the episode, which aired Sunday on ABC, the pair fielded offers from series regular Kevin O’Leary and guest shark Matt Higgins, co-founder and CEO of private investment firm RSE Ventures.
Ultimately, they decided to take a deal with Higgins for $500,000 in exchange for 12.5 percent equity in the company.
“It was really because of his understanding of what our product and service was; he’s kind of in that space and personally connected with it and said he was an avid floater himself,” Beaudry said. “He knew all about floating. So, that resonated with us, and then also he has connections to professional athletic organizations, like the Miami Dolphins.”
After filming the episode, both sides are able to do due diligence to ensure they want to go through with the deal, Beaudry said. In this case, both sides ultimately decided not to pursue a deal.
“Basically, when you’re on the show, it’s kind of just a handshake agreement, like speed dating,” he said. “You really only got maybe an hour to get to know somebody and for them to get to know your business and make sure it’s a good fit both ways. After filming, we go into due diligence, and at that point, as we went further down the process, we both decided it wasn’t the best fit for their investment portfolio, and then also we were looking for something a little different as well, so we decided not to go forward with the deal after the show aired.”
Although the deal didn’t come through, appearing on the show was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, Beaudry said. “It’s great exposure on primetime television and just to get awareness out there for our industry,” he said. “Floating is so new to some of these people. We thought it was a great platform to elevate awareness for floating in general.”