Shark Tank India Episode 3: qZense Labs, Peeshute, and NOCD

Pitch 6: qZense Labs

qZense Labs is a solution to Rs 92,000 crores worth of edibles that get wasted in India every year. Specifically, their patented technology helps farmers to gauge the ripeness, health, and sweetness of fruits and vegetables. According to the pitchers, this will help them to decide which products to sell right away and which to store longer.

The gadget has 95% accuracy, the pitchers claim. Preventing the need to cut fruit or a vegetable open to find out its quality, they claim their technology eliminates the guesswork in the process.

qZense Labs pitching in Shark Tank India.

Technology

The technology of qZense Labs is based on spectroscopy. It is also a pioneering technology that uses artificial olfaction (sense of smell).

The hand-held device has an indicator that glows red when the fruit or vegetable is stale and green when it is fresh. The device also tells the sweetness level of fruits.

Financial Performance

The device costs Rs. 45,000 to Rs. 50,000 upfront. Each device costs around Rs. 15,000 to make. The company also earns from annual maintenance.

The company did not have any revenue until this year (during pitch). Their revenue this year was Rs. 15 lakhs.

The company expects to have sales worth Rs. 5 crores this year and Rs. 20 crores next year via the warehouse model.

Ask: ₹1 crores for 0.25% equity
Company Valuation: ₹400 crores

Offer from the Sharks

The sharks Aman Gupta and Vineeta Singh seem baffled by qZense Labs’ valuation of Rs. 400 crores. Gupta also questions whether this technology can form a habit among people since he believes the problem it solves is the one people are okay having. He steps out.

Shark Anupam Mittal says fruits and vegetables is a low-margin business. When he realizes that the company only has had Rs. 15 lakhs worth of sales till now, Mittal can’t fathom the high valuation. As such, he thinks they’re here only to popularize their brand because their obscure valuation is not investable. He steps out.

Shark Namita Thapar also declares she is out of qZense Labs but praises the involvement of the women in science and technology nonetheless.

Shark Ashneer Grover also can’t digest the valuation. Sticking to his harsh personality, he tells the pitchers that the sharks are not here for fun, and the pitchers need to respect their dedication. This offends the pitchers, especially because one of them is pregnant and drove from far for the pitch. Grover, other sharks, and the pitchers then go on a tense verbal exchange.

Ashneer Grover says 13 Nobel Laureates started a business that failed in a year, hence having a Ph.D. or complex technology does not necessarily mean business success. However, a quick Google search shows no such incident. Grover may have been referring to the failure of Long-Term Capital Management. LTCM was a large hedge fund led by Nobel Prize-winning economists and renowned Wall Street traders. Although profitable in the beginning, LTCM’s highly leveraged trading strategies failed to pan out and it suffered monumental losses which nearly collapsed the global financial system in 1998. Ultimately, the U.S. government had to step in and arrange a bailout of LTCM by a consortium of Wall Street banks in order to prevent systemic contagion.

Stating that the pitchers don’t have business sense, Shark Ashneer Grover also advises them to reevaluate their career choices by selling their patent for the technology. He is out.

Vineeta Singh offers 5% for Rs. 1 crore, hence valuing the company at Rs. 20 crores.

Pitcher’s Counter Offer:

Rs. 1 crore for 0.5% equity, hence valuing the company at Rs. 200 crores.

Final Deal:

Vineeta Singh, the only shark that gave an offer, can’t take the pitchers’ counteroffer. qZense Labs gets no deal from Shark Tank India.

Pitch 7: Peeshute

28-year old Siddhanth from Maharastra presents a solution to the unexpected urge to pee in places that don’t have a restroom.

Peeshute is a pocket-size, unisex, disposable urine bag of funnel-shaped paper that instantly solidifies human urine. There is no problem with urine smell or leakage.

Peeshute pitching in Shark Tank India.

Peeshute is installed in public places with a “privacy chamber”. Thus, the company aims to eliminate expensive, high-maintenance toilet systems from public places. The collapsible chamber only costs Rs. 2,500 to install, compared to a toilet that costs Rs. 2.5 lakhs to Rs. 5 lakhs.

Financial Performance

From 2019 till date, Peeshute has sold 2 lakh urine bags in 4 countries.

One of their products sells at Rs. 33 and the other, one-time usage product, sell at Rs. 10.

The sale in the first year was Rs. 14 lakhs, Rs. 23 lakhs in the second year. The company has forecasted Rs. 1 crore worth of sales for the year.

Why the Company in Pitching for Funding

The founder of Peeshute needs the expertise of a shark more than the money, especially marketing for a consumer-facing brand. By now, it is clear that he wants Aman Gupta.

Ask: ₹75 lakhs for 4% equity
Company Valuation: ₹18.75 crores

Offer from the Sharks

Shark Ashneer Grover sees a good usage of the product itself, ignoring the chamber complication. He also thinks India can be a big market alone. He offers the asked Rs. 75 lakhs but for 7% equity.

Because Peeshute still has a patent pending on the products and the chamber brings complexities, shark Namita Thapar is out.

Shark Aman Gupta offers the asked Rs. 75 lakhs for 10% equity.

Sharks Anupam Mittal and Vineeta Singh also collaborate to offer Rs. 75 lakhs for 10% equity.

Pitcher’s Counter Offer:

The pitcher wants Aman to come down to take 6% equity for his investment of Rs. 75 lakhs.

Final Deal:

Aman agrees. Peeshute gets shark Aman Gupta to take 6% equity for his investment of Rs. 75 lakhs, thanks to the shark’s marketing expertise perceived by the pitcher.

Pitch 8: NOCD

NOCD is a “healthier drink for a healthier world.” NOCD is an energy drink that has amino acids, folic acids, biotin, green coffee beans, and multivitamins.

NOCD does not contain any sugar, and one can of drink only has 5 calories. The brand is present in more than 1,100 stores and major e-commerce platforms like Amazon, Flipkart, Big Basket, and more.

NOCD pitching in Shark Tank India.

Reaction of the Sharks

Shark Namita Thapar loves the taste of NOCD but Aman Gupta hates it. Vineeta Singh notices that each can has caffeine equivalent to a cup of coffee. Singh also finds the name NOCD confusing.

One of the co-founders of NOCD is seen frequently trying to flatter the sharks. In one such instance, shark Ashneer Grover intervenes and states that flattery won’t work, and isn’t needed.

Financial Performance

The company makes each can at Rs. 20. Each can of drink sells at Rs. 110, compared to Red Bull’s price of Rs. 150.

The sales in the first year (six months) were worth Rs. 1.16 crores. Last month (time of pitch), the company recorded a revenue of Rs. 17.2 lakhs.

In response to Anupam Mittal’s assumption that the company must be at a loss because of products that get returned from the 1,110 stores, the co-founder reveals that not a single product has been returned till now.

Ask: ₹50 lakhs for 2% equity
Company Valuation: ₹25 crores

Offer from the Sharks

Shark Anupam Mittal does not find a marketing story and a fantastic distribution game in NOCD, which are the major determinants in the energy drink industry. He steps out.

Shark Namita Thapar can’t relate to the product because she doesn’t consume energy drinks. She steps out.

Ashneer Grover is also not amused by the name NOCD, since it lacks excitement and creates an impression of being a medicine. Because the company missed the marketing phase, he steps out.

Although Aman is a marketing expert in the group, he feels that the co-founders will make him do a lot of work for his investment. He also did not like the taste. Aman steps out.

Shark Vineeta Singh offers Rs. 20 lakhs equity for 20% equity and an additional Rs. 30 lakhs of debt.

Pitcher’s Counter Offer:

20 lakhs equity for 10% equity and an additional Rs. 30 lakhs of debt.

Sharks’ Counter Offer:

20 lakhs equity for 15% equity and an additional Rs. 30 lakhs of debt contingent that they’ll change the name and packaging.

Final Deal:

The pitchers accept shark Vineeta Singh’s counter offer. NOCD gets 20 lakhs equity for 15% equity and an additional Rs. 30 lakhs of debt from Vineeta Singh.

Shark Tank India Episode 1: Bluepine Foods (Momo Mami), Booz Scooters, and Heart Up My Sleeves

Shark Tank India Episode 2: Tagz, Head and Heart

Shark Tank India Episode 3: qZense Labs, Peeshute, and NOCD

Shark Tank India Episode 4: CosIQ Cosmetics, Jhaji Store, and Bummer

Shark Tank India Episode 5: Revamp Moto and Hungry Head

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