By Peter Osborne l DBT Editor
Urban Float Founders Joe Beaudry and Scott Swerland swam with the sharks tonight and survived.
And that's likely good news for the owners of the company's first East Coast store, located in the Ocean Atlantic Plaza Shopping Center on Coastal Highway in Rehoboth Beach.
Beaudry and Swerland kicked off tonight's Shark Tank episode and asked for $500,000 for 5% of the company, a $10 million valuation. After some discussion about Urban Float's debt ($1 million); whether interest in the flotation-therapy concept is sustainable; and the cleanliness of the water in their sensory-managed flotation-therapy devices, it was time for the sharks to make their decisions.
It ultimately came down to Kevin "Mr. Wonderful" O'Leary, who offered $100,000 and a 36-month, $400,000 loan at 9.5 percent for 15 percent equity, and guest shark Matt Higgins, CEO of private investment firm RSE and vice chairman of the Miami Dolphins, who offered a straight $500,000 for 15 percent equity.
After a bit of haggling between Higgins, Beaudry, and Swerland (the founders tried to limit the equity first to 7.5 percent and then to 10 percent), Higgins offered $500,000 for 12.5 percent "“ a $4 million valuation -- and they accepted.
"It was exciting for us," said Rehoboth Beach franchise owner Carlos Casas with co-owner and wife Amy as they drove home from an employee watch party. "The exposure is positive. We're excited to make a deal with a shark and expect that the growth will continue with his help."
Casas said he knew a deal had been done but didn't know any of the details. He also expressed excitement about the future of his Rehoboth Beach store, which opened in February.
"In our first six weeks since we opened, we've exceeded many of the goals that corporate set for us and have had the fastest (opening) start in the network" in terms of revenue, he said.