Founder Henry Penix decided it was time to answer the question that is on everyone’s mind, “Did I forget my phone?” It has become a force of habit that plagues the best of us: constantly checking purses and patting down our pockets to see if we have our phones.
Henry was a successful entrepreneur with a thriving early learning center, Koala Care Preschool. He knew he had the business savvy to set up a new business.
Like Steve Jobs, Henry “wanted to put a Zomm in every household.” He sold his early learning center, found an investor, and developed Zomm.
What Does Zomm Make?
Zomm makes sleek, handheld devices that attach to your keychain and connect via Bluetooth to your iPhone. When the device gets 20 – 30 feet away from your phone, it will get your attention with blinking lights, vibrations, and an alarm that gets progressively louder.
On the flip side, you can use the Zomm to find your keys provided it is attached to the keychain. The app on your phone becomes a locator that beeps louder as you get closer.
Zomm also has the option to program in an emergency phone number and has a speaker and background noise canceling microphone.
Is Zomm Still Active?
The business has closed operation, but the website is still up. It has some information about Zomm, and all the social media handles links. It may be on hiatus as Henry Penix still lists himself as the CEO.
How Did the Shark Tank Pitch Go?
The Sharks love their gadgets and are always looking for cutting-edge technology. Henry was hoping his Zomm would be the next big thing. He came asking for $2,000,000 for 10% equity, valuing the Zomm at a staggering 20 million dollars.
Henry demonstrated the Zomm features and shared how his multi-purpose key fob was patented and had won several innovation awards.
He even had the numbers to support his business. Henry had raised $9 million, sold product worth $5 million in 2011, and was set to earn $7.2 million in the coming year. Even his profits were a solid $2 million after all the costs.
On the surface, it sounded like a goldmine, but the Sharks dug deeper because the numbers were not adding up.
Firstly, they wanted to know how much the initial investor had put up. Henry answered $5 million for 17% of the company. But that would value Zomm at $30 million, not $20 million. Henry reasoned he needed the money. Red flag number 1.
Secondly, if Henry had $2 million, why had he come to Shark Tank? He could reinvest the money he made back into Zomm. Turns out, he was also developing another version of the Zomm device that would monitor life stats like heart rate, but he had no idea how much was going into research and development. Red flag number 2.
Also, Henry had over 2 million devices in inventory. Turns out the company had overproduced in anticipation of the Christmas season. Red Flag number 3.
The red flags kept popping up. Robert wanted to know how Zomm burned through 9 million dollars in 3 years, but Henry could not give any solid answer. He had no idea how much he had spent on R&D and marketing.
Robert said his company was about the die, and Henry didn’t even know it; he was out. Mark believed he went too big; he was out.
Daymond thought his business was great, but his books were a mess; Lori and Kevin agreed. They all felt they would lose their money. Everyone was out.
Zomm left the Tank empty-handed.
What Happened After Shark Tank?
After Zomm’s appearance on Shark Tank, their web traffic and sales skyrocketed. They received over 250K unique hits on their site and were able to move a considerable amount of inventory.
However, sales dwindled, and the company had to shut down operations. Their website is still live, hinting at the possibility that Zomm will come back.
Our Review of Zomm
This wireless leash is genius. One of our greatest fears is leaving our iPhone behind, be it at home, a restaurant, or even a cab. The Zomm saves the day by easing that nagging “Do I have my phone?” in our heads.
It can alert you when you leave your phone behind, find it for you when you misplace it, find your keys, and even acts as a personal panic button with its emergency contact option.
It’s a stylish phone accessory with a sleek, compact design and is available in black, white, and pink.
Pros Of Zomm
- Connects wirelessly to iPhones
- One button press so easy to use
- Easy-to-use app that installs on your PC and iPhone
- Speakerphone with noise-canceling microphone
Cons Of Zomm
- Not compatible with Android phones
- Fragile and can break if dropped
- Bluetooth connectivity is affected by interference from other wireless devices
Are There Any Alternatives?
Currently, there aren’t any devices that remind you that you have left your phone behind.
Many tech companies have wireless tag devices you can attach to your phone and use as a locator when you can’t find it.
There are also a variety of online web services available where you can enter your phone account details and use that to ping your device, which can be helpful provided you remember you have left your phone behind.
Mobile phones are ubiquitous. These handheld devices are indispensable and have changed the way we communicate globally. The market is ever-growing, and there is a constant need for peripheral devices that enhance the experience.
Zomm could have been the device to do just that. It solved a genuine problem faced by cellphone users and could have become one of those default purchases everyone gets with a cell phone.
Unfortunately, Henry’s bad bookkeeping and disorganized business management were Zomm’s failing. The Sharks were right not to invest; they could smell the business hemorrhaging a mile away.