Monti Kids is a business designed to fill the educational gap for children aged 1 to 3. High qualified childcare expert and trained preschool teacher Zehra Kassam started Monti Kids’ subscription service when she realised that children aged 1 to 3 were not getting enough stimulation and developmental tools, despite objective evidence for that age period to be the most critical for brain development. Her academic background and a genuine passion for child development led her to create Monti Kids, which helps parents engage in fun, educational ways with their toddlers.
Monti Kids is a subscription service that provides parents with toys designed specifically for their child’s developmental stage. The toys and related guidance for parents are delivered every three months, and the programs can start for children as young as three months. All the toys are based on the universally approved Montessori method and are designed keeping in mind all developmental aspects such as physical, cognitive, emotional, behavioral etc. These toys help parents immensely in deciding which activities to carry out to engage their toddlers.
Monti Kids is a unique business from Shark Tank’s repertoire as it seeks to create a new market in the education sector. Kassam’s identification of a need for an educational program before pre-school was correct, as the business is estimated to be valued at around $7 million these days. As more parents gain awareness of the need to immediately focus on their child’s development without waiting for school, Monti Kids will continue to grow in today’s market.
How Did The Shark Tank Pitch Go?
Zehra Kassam entered her Shark Tank pitch with a broad smile that viewers soon learned to associate with her. The Sharks were sold on her overall demeanor and were interested in her pitch. She asked for $200,000 for 2.5% of her business. A valuation that elicited shocked reactions from the Sharks.
Kassam built her entire pitch around the premise that 85% of brain development in a human happens between ages 1 to 3. However, most people neglect this age and do not provide any targeted developmental activities for toddlers. It is left till the child goes to pre-school. Kassam emphasized that it is essential for children to have designed learning and activities at that age for holistic development. Monti Kids fills in that gap for the parents. It provides different toys in their subscription box and a guide for the parents to conduct those activities. She again reiterated that her product was not a simple toy subscription box but an educational resource based on academic research.
Lori Greiner asked Kassam about her background, which she answered with her qualifications from Harvard and her experience teaching as a trained pre-school teacher. Her background increased her credibility and the academic nature of the product in the Shark’s eyes. However, they were still less than convinced about the business side of things.
The Sharks were curious to learn about the product’s sales. Kassam replied that they had done around $550,000 in sales, and their subscriptions were growing 20% by the month. Kevin O’Leary asked how much money the business had in the bank; Kassam answered they had $200,000. These figures deeply troubled the Sharks as it was evident that the company was burning through money at an unsustainable pace. When asked how much money they had raised, Kassam’s answer of $2.8 million led to audible expressions of shock from the Sharks, who were now appalled at the business model.
Greiner wanted to know how the toys in the subscription were different from the ones already available on the market. Kassam pointed out that the value of the toys was in the educational guides provided to the parents, which enabled them to make the most out of these activities. Greiner remained unconvinced and pulled out of making an offer.
Mark Cuban did not believe in the business model and predicted that it would not last long going in this direction. He also declined to make an offer. John Daymond cited issues with the valuation of the business and its feasibility and backed out of negotiations.
Robert Herjavec claimed that despite the numbers of the business being horrific, Kassam had a captivating character. He believed in the industry and was willing to make an offer. He put forward an offer of $200,000 for 10% of the business.
Kevin O’Leary then jumped as he believed in the educational model despite the business’ financial woes. He offered a royalty-based deal which entailed $200,000 for $10 royalty until he recouped his amount. After that, he wanted a $2.5 royalty until he made $600,000.
Kassam tried negotiating with Herjavec and asked if he could do 5%. Herjavec refused, which prompted Kassam to come up with a counter offer of a 5% stake and 5% advisory shares. Herjavec was not interested in the deal’s structure; however, when Kassam asked if he would like to work with O’Leary, he retracted his offer.
Herjavec’s sudden response made the environment a bit tense. She accepted O’leary’s deal, and the two shook hands to seal it.
Our Review of Monti Kids
Monti Kids is an exciting business that taps into parents’ anxieties about working toward the holistic development of their children and provides tailored solutions to their issues. The product can look like basic wooden toys, but the provided tutorials hold the most value as they help parents immensely. There are, however, many aspects that Monti Kids could work to improve.
Pros of Monti Kids
- Delivered right at home so easy of accessibility
- Includes an activity gym that can be hung at an appropriate height for your children
- Includes detailed guides and video tutorials for parents and guardians
- Toys are categorized according to the skill they are designed to enhance. For example, there are toys for motor skills and toys for visual skills
- Parents do not need to be involved entirely; they can supervise as the program encourages independent learning.
Cons of Monti Kids
- Price is too steep; people might opt out and choose to buy regular toys
- Does not focus on social skills
Who Is It For?
Monti Kids was designed for first-time parents to guide them through the process. However, this program can be used by all caretakers of children aged 1-3. Caretakers looking to focus on child development or fears of developmental issues in children can use this program to help them learn skills that might be more natural for other children their age.
Are There Any Alternatives?
There are now several toddler subscription boxes on the market. Many of those are more affordable options, which may entice parents to switch to them from Monti Kids. These brands are:
- Kiwi Co
- Self Curate
Monti Kids is an excellent resource for parents looking to enhance their child’s developmental abilities and who want to be hands-on in the critical age of mental development. While it may seem unnecessary to many, as children get on just fine without these programs, there is a rising demand for academic research-based resources for child-rearing. Monti Kids is just another product in the ever-increasing range of products and services available to help people raise healthy, well-adjusted individuals.