Finance graduate and entrepreneur Sarah Moret appeared in Shark Tank season 13 to enlist the help of a Shark to expand her deodorant business, Curie. Sarah impressed the Sharks with her business acumen, knowledge of numbers, and resilient attitude. She was confident and knew what she wanted from the deal from the get-go. She asked for $300,000 for 5% equity stakes in her company, and the Sharks were eager to know the reason behind her 6 million valuations.
What Is Curie
Curie is a skin and body care line specializing in aluminum-free deodorant sprays and sticks. The sage oil and probiotics in the product remove bad odor. Aloe and chamomile give a relaxing and fresh feel to the skin. Arrowroot powder has been added to absorb perspiration. Curie has expanded its skincare line and has included body oils, sanitizers, and even candles to provide its customers with a rich body care experience.
Entrepreneur Sarah Moret took Shark Tank season 13 stage to pitch for her deodorant business, Curie. Sarah told the Sharks that she has seen people spend a lot of money on lotions and potions for their skins, yet they never give a second thought to what they put on the most delicate part of their skin, the armpits. She admitted that she was the same until she realized that most antiperspirants available on the market are heavy on aluminum. Sarah had tried the natural alternatives and the herbal sprays, but they left her skin irritated and her aura stinking.
At last, she took matters into her own hands and launched Curie, an aluminum-free deodorant made with luxurious skincare ingredients. She boosted that her products eliminate the foul body odor even after intense workouts and keeps your arms bumps and rash free. The enthusiastic entrepreneur listed all the ingredients used in the formula and asked the Sharks if they were interested in helping her build her armpit empire!
After the pitch, Sarah handed out samples of her products. She mentioned that Curie’s signature scent, White Tea, was a fan favorite, and they had sold out twice on QVC. Addressing the male Sharks, Sarah introduced Orange Neroli, a preferred choice of her male customers because of its gender-neutral whiff. She added that Curie deodorants are available as a spray and stick, and the orange Neroli spray deodorant is her bestselling product. She explained that Curie started out as a stick deodorant, but she was approached by a big national fitness chain, and since one can’t share a stick in lockerrooms, she decided to develop an aluminum-free spray.
Lori opened the discussion by asking Sarah about Curie’s total sales. Sarah revealed that she bootstrapped her way out of the first year with $125,000 in sales despite Curie being a side-hustle. Mark interrupted her, asking that she must have done something to make so much with just a single product and Sarah replied that social media marketing was a huge help. Kevin jumped in, inquiring about the profits, and Sarah’s answer didn’t align with the Sharks’ expectations. Sarah accepted quite confidently that Curie was still not profitable, but she had raised 1 million dollars on a convertible note at a 5 million cap in funding. She was hoping to invest in growth and see positive outputs at the end of the same year and the beginning of the next.
Kevin was curious about her profit margins, and Sarah’s detailed answer surprised everyone. Daymond praised her for being spot on with the numbers, prompting Sarah to reveal that she worked at a venture capital fund for more than four years. She explained that there had been only a handful of women investors, and Mark interjected that less than 9% of venture capital investors are women and commended her for her dedication. Sarah shared that she had to really hustle and earn her spot on the investment table, and during those meetings with the entrepreneurs, she realized she could make it happen for herself too. Soon, what started as a personal need, became a million-dollar venture; she made $700,000 in the second year, and in her third, Curie was on track to make 2 million dollars in sales.
Lori asked if Sarah had done any laboratory tests to prove the efficacy product and the entrepreneur replied in the negative, citing that the testing is expensive. Still, the manufacturers of each ingredient have done their own testing, so she had that to prove efficacy.
Kevin reasoned he didn’t think he would add value to the business and that the business was worth 6 million, so he was out for those reasons. Mark explained that he couldn’t see any hockey stick spike taking effect, and Sarah countered that Curie had just been introduced to the gyms and should cycle institutions and is converting fast. Mark replied that not fast enough and pulled out of the deal.
Barbara thought Sarah was too confident and had raised a lot of money too early, which could be a hassle in the future, so she stepped away from the deal. Lori commented that she would have been interested if there was something to prove the product’s efficacy, but without it, it didn’t make sense for her to place any bets; she was out.
With Daymond being the last Shark in the tank, Sarah’s hopes to close a deal dwindled. Daymond told her he was on the fence and wasn’t sold on the valuation. He offered her $200,000 for 20% equity stakes against her 5% ask. Sarah countered with $200,000 for 12%, and while Daymond contemplated, she reasoned that she had brought Curie to this point on her own, and it was pure hustle on her part. At this point, Mark and Barbara exchanged praises for the woman, and she revealed she had been hiking at Griffith observatory just two hours ago; the duo was impressed.
Unfortunately, Sarah’s rant made Daymond pull out of the deal, but all was not lost. Barbara and Mark came back in and proposed a joint offer of $200,000 for 14% equity stakes. Sarah countered with $400,000 for 14% stakes, and Mark commented that since she was worried about conversion percentage, he’d take 2% in advisory shares and 12% in equity for a $300,000 investment. He explained that Sarah could issue advisory shares after the deal and note conversion, which would solve her problem with other investors.
Sarah agreed and closed the deal with Barbara and Mark.
After her appearance on Shark Tank season 13, Sarah made $250,000 in sales in just three days. Her company is still selling from the official website and Amazon though there is no evidence that Barbara and Mark are still on board.
Our Review of Curie
We found Curie’s aluminum-free formula essential to driving its sales, considering the buss around the harmful effects of aluminum. It was smart of Sarah to make her product gender-inclusive, breaking out of an otherwise closed-off niche. Considering the instant boost in her sales after her Shark Tank appearance, we think the entrepreneur is well on her way to making a huge bank out of her out-of-pocket venture.
Pros of Curie
- Variety in scents
- Moisturing & Soothing
Cons of Curie
- Exclusively sold from the website and Amazon
- No efficacy certification
Who Is Curie for?
Curie is for people looking for aluminum-free deodorant alternatives either because of an allergy or just out of health concerns. The product can last for hours and doesn’t lose effect even when you are sweating for hours.
Are There Any Alternatives?
Unfortunately, Curie is not the only aluminum-free deodorant in the market and is fending off some huge competition. Leading brands like Dove, Old Spice, American Provenance, and Secret all offer aluminum-free deodorant ranges.
Our Final Thoughts
Sarah Moret proved her mettle in more ways than one during her Shark Tank pitch. She knew her numbers and profit margins and understood what needed improvement to further her brand’s growth. We think that with impressive margins and the storming Shark Tank effect, Curie is bound for greater heights.