Every startup founder on ABC's Shark Tank dreams of starting a feeding frenzy where multiple sharks bid for a piece of a company, and that's exactly what happened Friday to Ben and Eric Kusin, co-founders of Reviver Clothing Swipes.
Dallas-based Reviver makes odor eliminating dry "swipes" that consumers rub on their clothes to make them smell better. The company is on track to generate $2 million in revenue this year, according to the co-founders, who debuted their first product--a dry swipe for cats and dogs called Reviver Pets--in 2013.
Eric, 31, and Ben, 35, came to Shark Tank seeking $150,000 for a 5 percent stake in their company. Co-hosts Lori Greiner and Robert Herjavec each made offers of $150,000, with Greiner asking for 15 percent and Herjavec requiring just a 10 percent equity stake.
Surprisingly, the brothers accepted Greiner's offer despite having to give up a larger piece of the business than Herjavec wanted.
"We were looking for a partner to grow this into the very big brand that we think it can be, and we saw that in Lori," says Eric. "One of the big challenges with Reviver is educating our customers that you can freshen clothes on the go--and how a dry swipe works--because there's just nothing like it. Lori's such a good demonstrator that always in the back of our minds we really wanted to do a deal [with her]."
Essentially a non-spray Febreze for clothes, Reviver represents as a new category of product, according to the Kusins, who insist they're not trying to replace laundry, the same way chewing gum is not intended to replace tooth brushing.
"We envision that we are an intermediate solution to laundry and dry cleaning, and that intermediate market is significant," says Ben.
Three-packs of the reusable clothing swipes, each of which deliver roughly 10 treatments, sell for $9.99 at Reviver.com and single packs are available in 1,200 Walgreens stores nationwide. Despite the reusability of the product, the founders say that the strength of the dry swipes don't produce an overwhelming fragrance.
"You won't smell like the guy who sprays cologne all over himself," says Eric.
Reviver's newest products are a smoke swipe that removes the smell of cigarette smoke from clothes and something called the "Spark" clothing swipe--one for men and one for women--that produces a dry fragrance meant to attract members the opposite sex.
"During the day you'd wear Reviver," Eric says. "At night, if you're on the prowl, Spark is the product for you."
Stay tuned for more recaps of Shark Tank every week.