Window screens are super annoying and hard to work around during painting or repairs of the house. Besides that, they need regular cleaning, and a little carelessness while handling them can break them easily. It is nearly impossible to take your window screens out in a single piece as soon as it has been two or three years since they have been installed.
Joe Altieri, the owner and inventor behind FlexScreen came up with the idea of the world’s first flexible window screens. The flexible screens are easy to install and take out and are next to impossible to break while handling or repairing them.
What Do They Make?
Window screens provide a significant challenge while installing or removing them, and they may collect dust and block your view, which requires you to clean them regularly. Of course, whenever you try to pry it out of its frame in the window, the window screens may bend or break from one of their sides.
FlexScreen is the world’s first flexible window screen, and it can bend so that you can install or remove them from your windows without any hassle. The screens can be custom-made according to your requirement.
What Makes Them Unique?
FlexScreen provides you everything that you wished your regular window screens had. The only difference between FlexScreen and regular window screens is its flexible frame. The screen material is absolutely ordinary, but what makes it unique is the high-carbon oil tempered spring steel that the frame is made of.
Are They Still an Active Company?
FlexScreen is running a great business as the product is now available in Home Depot, and the active and running website caters to homeowners and manufacturers.
How Did the Shark Tank Pitch Go?
Joe Altieri from Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, appeared on Shark Tank seeking $800,000 for 6% of his company, FlexScreen.
Joe has been selling window screens for 20 years, and when he was given the task of convincing people to let him make their window screens, he started experimenting in his own garage and showed the working prototype in his industry. Joe applied for a patent immediately because there hasn’t been such an innovation in the window screens department in a very long time.
Kevin said that Joe might be a window guy, but Kevin was an investor guy and thought that the valuation Joe was asking was very high. Joe responded that he made $400,000 in sales in the first year, year two increased the number to $2 million, which further excelled to $3.5 million in year three, and year four brought $5.1 million in sales. This impressed the Sharks. However, Joe revealed that their profit margins were extremely low.
Their gross margin was just $700,000 last year when they made $5 million in sales. Robert remarked that the profit margin should have been higher than this since Joe was a manufacturer. Joe explained that the four manufacturing plants were licensed, and he didn’t own them. He bought products from them. Kevin jumped in and asked whether he was doing a royalty business, and Joe agreed with him.
Mark commented that if FlexScreen was such an innovative idea, why wasn’t he selling it at an even higher price? He replied that there’s only so much that a window screen manufacturer can earn, as the market is definitely huge. That is why he couldn’t demand a higher price than that.
Kevin asked him to drop the idea since Joe was not making money. Mark clarified that the window screen manufacturers should convey to their customers that this particular window screen was of a higher quality and better in design than the other window screens. Joe answered that window manufacturers were not good marketers, and Mark countered that it was Joe who wasn’t being a good marketer.
Joe kept defending himself and said that he would make $10 million that year in sales, and Kevin said that it was fruitless since Joe was only going to earn $80,000 in profits. He said he didn’t want to invest in a company where he would “die of old age” before getting his $800,000 back. He was interested in making an offer where he would make Joe license his product to the windows manufacturers. Joe responded that he had already talked to the manufacturers, but they wanted him to make a name for himself and then ask for the licensing procedure.
Joe announced that he had just started selling his product through his website, but every window ordered through the e-commerce platform needed to be custom-made.
Mark was baffled that Joe had such a great product design, which was custom-made for every customer but was only getting 15% profits. Joe said that right now, he was hoping to gain more volume for his business and wanted the FlexScreen to be present in every home out there so that it becomes a standard in the window screens industry.
Robert was the first Shark to go out. Barbara offered him $400,000 in cash, $400,000 in credit to be used to manufacture standard-size screens, and wanted 50% of the right to sell the product online and in stores under a different business than what Joe was running.
Kevin said he would take Joe to the number one windows manufacturer in the USA and wanted 20% of business in exchange for $800,000, but Kevin would only work with that one dealer and not the rest of them.
Lori also jumped in to make an offer, $400,000 as cash and a $400,000 line of credit as a loan, and she wanted 10% equity in the company. Kevin countered with the offer of $800,000 as a loan, charged 9% interest on it, and wanted 6% equity in the company.
Joe decided to go with either Lori or Barbara, and Lori matched her offer with Barbara. Finally, Joe accepted Lori’s offer as he thought she had better connections and influence to bring his products to more customers and retail stores.
Our Review of FlexScreen
Flexible window screens may sound like a skeptical idea, but as soon as you try this revolutionary product, you wouldn’t regret spending your money on them.
Pros of FlexScreen
- FlexScreen puts an end to bulky and fragile window screens that can break easily
- Extremely strong and flexible structure
- Elimination of several components and screws that hold your window screens in place
Cons of FlexScreen
- Very expensive as compared to traditional window screens.
Who Is FlexScreen For?
FlexScreen also provides options for choosing your mesh size and the type of screen you want to install in your window, giving you the freedom to measure your screen size and then order the customized window screens from their website.
Are There Any Alternatives?
Currently, no alternative products are available that can compete with the durability and feasibility of FlexScreen.
Our Final Thoughts:
Lori’s partnership would prove to be a big step towards the success of FlexScreen as, being the “queen of QVC,” she can bring the product to the masses and big retail stores.