Bat BnB is perhaps the business that captures the true spirit of Shark Tank. It’s a business based entirely on a quest to innovate in a field and use scientific knowledge to create a unique product. As its name indicates, Bat BnB applies the concept of bed and breakfast to bats and provides places with bat houses that can help comfortable host around 80 bats. These bat houses are handy in a place as they can eat hundreds of mosquitos and other pests. With a sudden increase in mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue and Zika virus, these bat homes are efficient ways of using natural pest control to mitigate health and hygiene issues.
The business takes an approach based on science and uses an oft-feared creatures’ qualities to provide a new innovative product in the pest control industry. These bat homes do not need elaborate handling and do not come with the burning side effects of insect repellents. However, it is a business that requires a lot of education for the masses. Therefore, it appeals to a considerably small market.
Despite its restrictions related to market exposure, Bat BnB continues to do well for itself and has seemed to have carved a niche in the market. The added bonus of wildlife preservation coupled with pest control has made it a popular product among environmentally conscious consumers. Bat BnB continues to be in business, and with the rising awareness about environmental issues, it has all the potential to grow exponentially.
How Did The Shark Tank Pitch Go?
Chris Rannefors and Harrison Broadhurst entered their Shark Tank pitch with a mission of removing the negative stereotypes about bats and educating the Sharks about their ecological advantages. The duo spoke with calm and measured confidence that communicated their conviction in their project and the good they believed it would bring to society. They asked for $100,000 for a 16% stake in their sustainable bat house business.
Due to the nature of the product, Rannefors and Broadhurst had to spend most of their pitch spreading awareness about the nature of bats and how they can help eliminate mosquitos and other kinds of pests. The Sharks were intrigued by the premise of the business, and quite a few bat-related jokes were flying around. Kevin O’Leary was explicitly interested in the business as he proclaimed himself a bat enthusiast.
The duo told the Sharks about their bat houses designed with the comfort of bats in mind and how they could hold a sizeable number of Bats inside them. They even brought in an actual bat for demonstration, which was met by equal measures of excitement and horror by the Sharks.
O’Leary wanted to know if the houses would attract the blood-sucking type of bat and Rannefors assured him that breed of bats was native to Central and South America, whereas their market was based in North America. The jokes about O’Leary’s affinity for bats continued during his childhood in Tunisia.
The Sharks then turned the conversation to the critical matter of numbers. The duo revealed that they had made $135,000 in revenue so far and projected to make $145,000 for the year. Their five-year forecast saw the business making up to a million dollars in revenue as they planned to expand their product to the public sector. The company planned to use the Shark Tank money to market the business and create liaisons with the public sector.
The numbers provided showed that this was a comparatively small business, and the Sharks were skeptical of its reach. Robert Herjavec was the first to pull out of negotiations as he believed their product was for a select audience and part of a hobby market. He could not invest in the relatively small market.
Mark Cuban also declined to make an offer as he believed the business was part of a tiny market. The investment and time spent would not make the desired return. John Daymond was not to back out from negotiations. He cited his experience with bats on his property and did not see a reduction in the mosquito problem. Therefore, he did not entirely believe in the premise of the business. Lori Greiner, who had been creeped out by all the talk of bats, did not make an offer as she could not see herself investing in a bat-related business.
This left the entrepreneurs with O’Leary, who claimed he was interested in the business due to his bat expertise. He knew it was a small market, and the company needed a lot of effort to increase exposure. However, he was passionate about reinstating the image of bats and made an offer. He made an offer of $100,000 for 33.3% of the business. The duo was doubtful about the size of the equity and made a counter offer of 25%. O’Leary refused to budge on his original proposal.
The duo spent a few minutes discussing the offer and accepted it on the condition that O’Leary would wear a Batman costume. O’Leary accepted the condition to the delight of the other Sharks, and the three of them shook on the deal.
Our Review of Bat BnB
Bat BnB is a unique business and approach to pest control. However, it is worth a try as it mitigates the side effects of pesticides and insect repellents. It also comes with the advantage of wildlife conservation, which makes it a sustainable product. There is, however, a question about whether it completely eliminates a place’s mosquito problem as there are still mixed reviews about it.
Pros of Bat BnB
- The bat houses and sustainable and recyclable
- Promotes wildlife conservation
- Does not come with the health issues associated with pesticides
- The grooves inside the house enable bats to grip and climb easily.
- The products come with a hanging guide for customers
Cons of Bat BnB
- Price point can be a bit steep for a wood house.
Who Is It For?
Bat BnB can be used in any outdoor place with a mosquito problem. Therefore, its demographic is not limited. However, due to its approach to the problem, the product attracts an environmentally conscious clientele passionate about wildlife conservation, not synthetic solutions such as pesticides.
Are There Any Alternatives?
There are many companies on the market that provide bat houses for sale. Some of these include:
- Urban Nature Store
Bat BnB is paving the way for sustainable nature-based entrepreneurship, and its presence on the market shows the demand for products like it. The business is a blueprint for sustainable products, and despite its small market, it is an excellent addition to the pest control industry.