Flated, an innovative company based in Carlsbad, California, took to the stage of the popular TV show Shark Tank to showcase their unique inflatable automobile accessories designed for outdoor adventures. Since their appearance in 2023, the company has sparked interest with its practical solutions for enthusiasts seeking convenience without compromising on space or functionality. Their products, tailored to fit a variety of truck sizes, combine the robustness required for outdoor equipment with the ease of inflatable design, making them a noteworthy mention in the industry.
The impact of Shark Tank on Flated’s journey can’t be underestimated, as it opened doors to a broader audience and provided a platform for the founders to present their vision to potential investors. This exposure has not only underlined Flated’s commitment to innovation but also their ability to address a market need with precision and creativity. Their presence in the market is characterized by a dedication to quality and a customer-focused approach to product development, positioning them well within the competitive landscape of automobile accessories for outdoor use.
- Flated introduced inflatable automotive accessories following their Shark Tank feature in 2023.
- They offer a product range designed for outdoor enthusiasts prioritizing convenience.
- The company has established a strong market presence with a focus on customer satisfaction.
Company Background and Founders
Flated is a company that has carved a niche in the inflatable automotive accessories market. With a focus on innovation and practicality, the company has made a significant impact following their appearance on Shark Tank.
Origin and Vision
The company Flated was conceived in 2020 with a vision to revolutionize the automotive accessory space. They center their products on adaptability and convenience, offering a range of inflatable solutions for vehicle owners. From the very beginning, their mission has been to provide durable, space-saving accessories that cater to the diverse needs of their customers, whether for outdoor adventures or everyday use.
Key Founders and Leadership
At the helm of Flated are four key entrepreneurs whose industrial experiences and passion for outdoor activities fueled the company’s creation.
- Ryan Guay serves as the CEO of Flated. His leadership and strategic direction have been instrumental in steering the company towards growth and innovation.
- Monique Keefer took on the role of CFO. Her expertise in finance ensures the company’s financial health and supports its scaling efforts.
- As a Co-Founder, Ken Hoeve plays a vital role in the company’s operational and product development. His insights contribute to the development of products that truly resonate with adventurers.
- The team’s combined expertise and leadership have made Flated a notable name post their Shark Tank appearance, bringing a fresh perspective to the realm of automotive accessories.
Product Offerings and Innovations
Flated, an innovative company featured on Shark Tank, has introduced a range of inflatable automobile accessories designed for outdoor enthusiasts. Their products, including the Air-Topper and Air-Deck, offer a blend of durability, flexibility, and patent-pending technology, with a focus on sustainability.
The Flated Air-Topper
The Air-Topper is an inflatable truck topper unique to Flated’s line of products. Tailor-made to fit different truck sizes, this versatile topper provides a lighter, more flexible alternative to traditional hardshell toppers. Being inflatable, it’s easy to store when not in use, making it an excellent choice for those who enjoy spontaneous outdoor adventures.
Flated has integrally included patent-pending designs across their products to ensure proprietary innovation and a competitive edge in the market. Their use of advanced materials and technology contributes to both the durability and flexibility of their offerings like the inflatable paddleboards, allowing for a seamless transition from storage to usage.
Other Inflatable Accessories
Apart from the Air-Topper, Flated offers a variety of other inflatable accessories geared towards outdoor and camping gear. For instance:
- The Air-Deck: An inflatable raised sleeping platform suitable for trucks, vans, SUVs, and RVs.
- The Air-Carrier: An inflatable roof rack solution, which provides additional hauling capacity without the bulk.
These products exemplify Flated’s commitment to creating flexible and eco-friendly outdoor equipment.
Focus on Sustainability
Flated has a strong commitment to sustainability, manufacturing products that are not only eco-friendly but also geared towards the conscious outdoor enthusiast. This is reflected in their selection of materials and their flexible product designs, ensuring that their inflatable accessories are durable enough to withstand the rigors of outdoor use while minimizing environmental impact.
Shark Tank Appearance and Investment Details
The Pitch and Experience
On Season 14 Episode 16 of Shark Tank, the founders of Flated stepped into the spotlight, pitching their innovative inflatable automobile accessories to a panel of renowned Sharks. Their presentation highlighted the practicality and portability of their products, aiming to capture the interest of the national audience tuned into the ABC Television Network.
Investment and Valuation
Flated entered the Tank seeking an investment of $350,000 for 5% equity, valuing their company at $7 million. After a round of negotiations, they secured an offer from Daymond John: the same $350,000 for 5% equity, with an additional $8 royalty until the money is returned. This counter offer matched the original valuation of the company.
Post-Show Growth and Deals
The deal with Daymond John spurred Flated’s growth post-Shark Tank. Their exposure to a wide audience on the show, combined with the strategic investment, opened doors for Flated to expand their market reach and enhance their product line.
Market Presence and Sales Channels
As Flated continues to make waves in the outdoor market, their strategic approach in expanding market presence and establishing various sales channels has played a pivotal role. By leveraging e-commerce, forming retail partnerships, and utilizing social media, Flated has tapped into the core of outdoor enthusiasts’ communities, providing enhanced support and engagement.
E-Commerce and Retail Partnerships
Flated has established a robust e-commerce platform, allowing customers to easily purchase their products online. With a seamless shopping experience on their website, they have also partnered with major retail outlets like REI, making their innovative inflatable products widely accessible both on REI.com and in REI stores nationwide. Furthermore, they have capitalized on the massive customer base of Amazon, increasing their reach and providing multiple channels for customers to engage with their brand.
Social Media and Marketing
A key factor in Flated’s market presence is their adept use of social media. Through platforms like YouTube, they have created a community-centric space where they can showcase product tutorials, customer testimonials, and engaging content tailored to outdoor enthusiasts. This has positioned Flated not just as a paddleboard company, but a significant player in the larger stand-up paddleboard industries.
Customer Engagement and Support
Their commitment to customer satisfaction is evident through the presence of a dedicated Customer Support Office, providing assistance and fostering trust among their user base. Flated’s investment in customer support has not only strengthened their bond with existing customers but also attracts new customers who value reliable service.