There are always those apps in Shark Tank that are ahead of their time. Scan was one such app introduced by the entrepreneur Garrett Gee while he was still a freshman at BYU. The Scan model is fairly simple, allowing people to easily make scannable codes.
In 2013, when the show was airing its 5th season, QR codes were not as popular as they are now; therefore, this app was ahead of its time. The unique aspect of this product was that it was one of the first apps introduced on the show. Before this, there was limited exposure on Shark Tank regarding technology apps, but that changed swiftly as Scan was introduced.
The Scan was an app that the viewers sitting at home could easily use QR codes and blockchain technology. The app was helpful in not only generating its links, but it could also use its database to host other links and charge the sites that it was hosting for the links.
The company is no longer active in 2022, as other apps now use this technology with seeming ease.
Garrett Gee entered the Shark Tank, asking the Sharks for a big bid. He asked them for $1 million for 5% of the business. It seemed that he knew the worth of his company. He demonstrated how the app worked in front of the judges, who all seemed impressed. Garrett Gee had linked a website to the QR code he demonstrated, and all the judges could understand the technology they were working with.
The entrepreneur also mentioned to the judges in his pitch that they already had quite a high number of downloads, making them want to continue with the app. The app at the time of the taping had about 51 million downloads on the regular, combined with millions of scans from the app every month.
All in all, the entrepreneurs associated with the product knew of its value and how they could market it. However, Garrett Gee came in with the question of how to monetize the app better so he could offer it at a lower cost. At the time of the pitch, the app wasn’t paid. But at the time of the screening, the app’s price had been upped to $1.99. Garrett also stated that he used SharkTank to negotiate the VC model.
Even with all of the very potent points set forth by Garrett, the Sharks still seemed unconvinced by the pitch. The app had raised $8.7 million, but the Sharks still felt they could not invest.
Mark questioned the longevity of QR codes and how long the model would stay. Daymond thought Garrett didn’t need the money and felt that the entrepreneur was using Shark Tank for clout.
The other sharks on the panel weren’t interested in the app and didn’t have the expertise for such an app. None of the sharks offered Scan a deal even though it seemed to be one of the complete products.
However, this episode achieved something significant in Shark Tank history. It launched the product, i.e., the Scan app, immediately from the episode.
Daymond also said he was glad the show inspired entrepreneurs to put themselves out there.
Our Review of Scan
Scan has some good features and some that are not. We have listed our pros and cons below to explain this point.
Pros of Scan
The creators of Scan knew how the technology worked. They knew enough about it to market it at the right amount. Garrett Gee took a smart imperative to not oversell or undersell his product. The technology was also ahead of its time. The app was monetizing and knew of its popularity even though it wasn’t widely known.
The expertise of the creators made the product a popular choice, and it meant that these creators didn’t have to rely on anyone else for technical expertise.
They knew about the ways that they could charge big companies for a QR link and how to increase the popularity of the
Cons of Scan
The product wasn’t something that led to something major. The creators hadn’t shown any promise of growth at that time. They didn’t have the necessary links to bigger companies that could help demonstrate their technology’s novelty. The sharks felt like the product didn’t need the money, and since they didn’t need it, they shouldn’t have invested in it, which they didn’t.
Who Is Scan For?
The Scan is for everyone. Businesses can use it to make their processes easier or for people to gain easy access to something. Scanning QR codes is something we now do regularly. It was also meant for people who like new technologies and are early adopters to be more technologically advanced than their peers.
Are There Alternatives to the Product?
Yes, there are. The alternatives are easily available to smartphone users. Some iOS and Android applications offer similar features that users can download for free. iPhone already has a scanner that can read QR codes and links them to different websites. The alternative to Scan is present in the popularity of the blockchain algorithm, which is now used everywhere.
Our Final Thoughts
The Scan was a great technology for its time, but the creators could have handled it in a better way for the money they were asking for. However, it ended well for the creators as they could sell the technology to Snapchat, a social media giant, for $54 Million. It made the Shark Tank loss of $1 million seem like nothing in comparison.
The product had been having problems with monetization. However, the deal with Snapchat allowed the app to overcome these problems and have a stand-alone value that rivaled what they had asked for during Shark Tank.