Why Windcatcher shut down after Shark Tank

Windcatcher invented a technology that could efficiently inflate mattresses with air. Founder Ryan Frayne surprised the Sharks with his pitch and struck a deal with Lori Greiner. Unfortunately, the deal never closed due to legal issues, and Ryan soon died of cancer. Windcatcher went out of business, but at its peak it was worth $4 million.

Ryan Frayne’s Background

Ryan Frayn is from Brooklyn, New York, and has degrees in computer science from DigiPen Institute of Technology and marketing from the University of South Florida.

He started his career as a software tester at Amaze Entertainment and later worked as an assistant at Digital Aptitude. In 2009, he led Oceanic Innovation as President and Head of R&D.

At 32, he was diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer, but he continued to invent while battling the disease. Ryan had some great ideas while on his deathbed, but cancer prevented him from turning them into reality, and he died in 2018.

Founding Wind Catcher

During a family trip to the beach, Ryan’s brother tried and failed to manually inflate his airbed, which gave him the idea to create the first prototype of the Windcatcher mattress.

The Brooklyn native experimented with air pressure and discovered a scientific principle called entrainment. He learned how to harness the entrainment principle and applied it to valves for inflatable objects. Once he had successfully created airbags, he moved on to mattresses.

In 2013, he launched a Kickstarter campaign hoping to raise $50,000. Backers loved the campaign, and Frayne ended up raising around $150,000.

Shark Tank Appearance

This successful campaign boosted Frain’s confidence, and in 2015 he appeared on the seventh season of Shark Tank, asking for $200,000 for an 8% stake.

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The Sharks were intrigued by Ryan’s demonstration and showed great interest in the mechanics of the Windcatcher. The company had lifetime sales of $165,000, sold to retailers at a 60% profit margin. Kevin immediately smelled a licensing deal.

A bidding war broke out, with Chris Sacca and Lori Greiner initially teaming up, but Ryan preferred Lori’s separate offer of $200,000 for a 5% commission and a line of credit. The highlight of the bidding war was Frayn’s hilarious rejection of Kevin’s royalty offer, which went viral!

After Shark Tank

Windcatcher Technology had a promising future, but it didn’t end well. The company was involved in a lengthy legal battle with Cascade Designs, which allegedly used Windcatcher’s technology to create its own product line. Thankfully, he won the lawsuit and was awarded the full patent.

The deal with Lori was never completed, and Ryan incurred a large sum of legal fees. While all this was happening, the entrepreneur was diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer. Before he died, he left the company to his wife and best friend.

In 2019, the duo launched an IndieGoGo campaign for a second version of Ryan’s flagship product. The product received an average 3.6-star rating from 30 Amazon users. However, the campaign failed and Windcatcher appears to have gone out of business. Hopefully, they can license their patented inflation valve and keep Ryan’s idea alive!

Categories: Shark Tank
Source: dut.edu.vn

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