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Susty Party passes on ‘Shark Tank’ investment, gets $6.25M valuation

A breakdown of Susty Party's appearance on Shark Tank — and what we've learned since.

Screengrab from Shark Tank episode 26, Season 5.

The Greenpoint founders of Susty PartyEmily Doubilet and Jessica Holsey, appeared on ABC’s “Shark Tank” Friday, finally. The episode was taped in September. It went basically as Technical.ly Brooklyn predicted.

We first introduced the sustainable party goods makers here. Watch the Shark Tank episode here.

The company got one offer, but for a very high price, from Kevin O’Leary, the edtech entrepreneur whose on-air personality is rather aggressive and callous (Doubilet and Holsey later say he’s not really mean). O’Leary offered $250,000 in debt with 10 percent interest, plus a 30 percent stake in the business. They counter-offered with an option, but he said no. O’Leary makes an offer despite describing the business as simply curating a commodity.

Since then, the team has raised $500,000 in an equity-only deal. In a video that they posted after the show, you learn that they got the money by selling only 8 percent of the company (a $6.25 million valuation).

The other sharks mainly seemed to fear that a larger competitor could effectively make the same product and crowd them out of the market with better distribution channels and better marketing. The sharks were also concerned that, at the time of the taping, they had an $80,000 cash shortfall, $125,000 in inventory and new products on the way that hadn’t been sold yet.

Some highlights from the show:

  • In Susty Party’s promo video the team makes a very big deal out of working from Brooklyn (we approve) and show off the office traditions of dance breaks and yoga breaks.
  • Jessica Holsey takes charge of all the business and numbers questions, showing a real poise and readiness with each figure the sharks ask for. The team’s only real stumble comes when they try to dance around the fact that another company could order the same products from their factory partners. The sharks put an end to that dance break pretty quickly.
  • As of September, the team reports that they had been profitable for three months, projecting $1.5 million in sales this year and $5 million next year.
  • In the Google Hangout the team hosted the night of the airing, they say that the taping lasted an hour but viewers only see about seven minutes of it.
  • The team comes equipped with crowns made of their products for each shark and succeeds in getting two sharks to dance with them.
  • The shark they really wanted to deal with was Barbara Corcoran, but she was the first to go out. Corcoran has apparently written that she thinks fun is good for business.

Here’s a video the cofounders made from their trailer before the taping, which is fully equipped with a VHS VCR entertainment system:

Companies: Susty Party
Series: Brooklyn

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