Did The Sharks Helped Windcatcher?
Ryan Frayne presented his air mattress product on Shark Tank episode 704. The air mattress is known as Windcatcher Air Pad which quickly extends. The Windcatcher has a quick stream inflation that extends an air pad in seconds without any requirement for any battery or mechanical-powered pump.
You need to blow into the valve of the Windcatcher just as you blow into a large bag. If you try to blow into the valve and suck in every breath it is 15 times stronger. You may acquire it due to the significant pressure of air around the aperture. That is why you will be able to fill up a Windcatcher airpad quickly.
It takes the same time to deflate as it takes to inflate. The cost of one packed blown-up mattress with a dimension of 74×20×4 inches is $100. Ryan made a Kickstarter campaign in 2013 for his initial round of production. He managed to raise $149,405 with an expected amount of $50,000.
You may fold the entire device whenever you travel and you may convert the air pad into a chair through attachments. Ryan thinks that if this technology works, it can be used in things like inflatable tents and inflatable rescue backboards. Let’s check out what occurred on the Windcatcher Shark Tank episode.
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The Windcatcher is a quick-inflating inflatable mattress. Windcatcher products include a blown-up outdoor and travelling kit that extends quickly due to a proprietary fast inflation valve.
The Windcatcher mattress stands out from the crowd because of its technology. It does not require any pump or power to work. You can easily inflate it by only blowing into the convenient built-in valve.
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What are the features of Windcatcher?
The features of Windcatcher are as follows:
- You may inflate the product by using your breath.
- There is a built-in valve in the product for inflating and deflating the airpad.
- You do not need to use power or any pump to inflate the product.
- You may buy the product online from Amazon.
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If you want to use the Windcatcher Airpad you do not need to carry an air pump through a dull and dirty nozzle. The technology of the mattress is what makes it unique from others. It does not require any pump or power. The user simply inhales into the built-in valve and the balloon is extended instantly.
There is a scientific mechanism called entrainment through which the Windcatcher may conserve your breath. The product does not only depend completely on the air in your lungs, it also captivates the air around you. As a result, an air mattress gets extended within a fraction of a second quite magically.
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Who founded Windcatcher?
Ryan Frayne set up the Windcatcher company in 2013. He was born and brought up in Tampa, Florida. He completed his graduation with a degree in marketing in 2008 from the University of South Florida.
Raw faced a problem when he went on a family trip to the beach. He saw his brother trying and failing to extend an air mattress. After seeing this he thought that there should be a more convenient way to extend a mattress.
Ryan went back home and began to test with different valves. At last, he discovered a solution called air entrainment which he can use to make blowing things relatively better.
The variations in air pressure help the air entrainment to work. After discovering this technology, Ryan found that no other companies were producing inflatables that used it for commercial purposes.
After this, he created a working model of an air mattress and named it an Airbag. You can inflate it with very little effort only by using a built-in valve that allows the air in. Ryan has also created a valve that enabled the airbag to deflate in only a few seconds.
He made up his mind to build his own company and shifted to Portland, Oregon. He did strange work until he got a position with a digital marketing company.
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How was the business of Windcatcher before Shark Tank?
Ryan Frayne from Portland, Oregon discovered the Windcatcher air mattress which is an outstanding device that enables the users to avoid getting breathless in the first place.
Ryan was inspired to discover such a thing when he went on a trip to a beach with his family. There he saw his brother try and fail to inflate a bed and he thought that there would be a more convenient way to inflate something.
After coming back home, Ryan tried to expedient with various types of valves and after this, he discovered air entrainment with which we can inflate a thing easily.
Ryan arranged a Kickstarter campaign in May 2013 to acquire $50,000 for the month-long project, mainly to pay for the set-up costs of the manufacturing process. While the campaign was completed Ryan managed to acquire a backing of nearly $150,000. But Ryan had big plans for the future and he knew that he required the help and contacts that a business expert could provide. That is why he appeared on Shark Tank in October 2015.
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What occurred to Windcatcher on Shark Tank?
Ryan intended to get an investment of $200,000 in exchange for an 8% share in the business. He started his presentation by telling the sharks that people often find it difficult to inflate an object and you have to put your mouth on a valve to inflate an object but there might be germs in the valve.
The Windcatcher airbag is completely different. Ryan unrolled a man-size air bed across the carpet and showed how easily it can be extended. It was fully pumped up after a few breaths only. The sharks were spellbound. Mark Cuban could not believe his eyes and he thought that he had seen a magic trick.
Ryan had not finished his performance. He showed that the bag has been designed in a way that it can be folded into three layers and you may also transform it into a comfy seat.
He grabbed the attention of all the sharks. Ryan explained the benefits of the product. He said the sharks that the valve he had created were capable of letting the airbag deflate in seconds. He completed his presentation by asking the sharks which one of them was ready to help him Blow away the competition.
Ryan no doubt gave an outstanding pitch. The quick demonstration of the Windcatcher technology is no doubt praiseworthy. Robert Herjavec praised his professionalism but Kevin O’Leary was still concerned about the speed of the inflation of the airbag. He asked Ryan to tell him how the device worked.
Ryan told in short about air entrainment and he told the sharks that it was caused by differences in air pressure and with it an airbag can be initiated ten times faster. It happened only because of his unique valve.
Kevin asked Ryan the cost of the Windcatcher airbag. Ryan said that the retail price of the product is $99. Guest shark Chris Sacca inquired whether the airbag itself was special in any way, or if only the valve was unique.
Ryan informed him that the valve itself was the unique thing about his airbag but the capability to fold it up was a genuine design.
Lori Grenier wanted to know whether Ryan had a patent for his product and Ryan replied that he had been awarded a utility patent for the device. Chris asked when he came from an engineering background and Ryan said no but he informed the Sharks that he had a huge interest in discovering things for a long time.
Kevin O’Leary asked Ryan about his strategy for the future of the business. He wanted to know whether Ryan wanted to license the technology out to manufacturers of other products, or wanted to design his range of products using the technology. Ryan replied that he wanted to continue both ways as the valve can be used in different ways that are yet to be developed.
Kevin asked Ryan how much he dreamed of his equity. Ryan replied that it was very worthy to him. Kevin then declared that he wanted to give $200,000 to the entrepreneur not as an investment but as a venture debt. He said that he would recoup the money with a 6% royalty on sales until Ryan repaid him $800,000 and after this, he would get 3% equity in the business.
Ryan was less interested in the offer and he was not happy about the 400% replacement level.
Lori Grenier said that she was ready to invest $200,000 in return for a 15% stake in the business. Chris Sacca wanted to join Lori on her deal and she was happy to take him in the deal. After this Lori said that Ryan had to give up a 20% stake in the business.
Robert Herjavec offered Ryan an investment of $200,000 in return for only a 10% stake in the business. The sharks were fighting to make the deal. They all were eager to invest in the business.
Eventually, Lori improved her joint deal with Chris to $200,000 for a 15% share.
Ryan then asked Robert if he was ready to add a $10 million line of credit in the deal to fund purchase orders. Kevin revised his offer in the middle that he would only get 2% equity of the business as soon as the loan was repaid.
In the meantime, Robert replied to Ryan that he would not provide $10 million in credit but he was ready to fund the purchase orders.
Mark Cuban then declared that he was ready to invest $200,000 in return for an 8% stake in the business and he was ready to fund the purchase orders also.
Robert promptly revised his offer to only 6.5% share and Kevin said he would only take 1% of the company. Lori Grenier then took an incredible move. She declared that she was ready to give $200,000 in return for only a 5% stake in the business without Chris.
She was also ready to fund the purchase orders but Ryan had to readily accept the offer. Ryan found the offer far better than he was looking for, hence he accepted the deal instantly.
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Windcatcher Shark Tank update
The Windcatcher company finalized a deal with Lori Grenier but it never became successful. A company called Cascade Designs made a knock-off of the product using their technology. It was not until other companies started notifying and congratulating Ryan for the licensing deal that he found out.
Finally, a legal battle started. Cascade complained to Windcatcher for wrong advertising and unfair games, though they were the ones who made the knock-off.
The Windcatcher was awarded the full patent for the Windcatcher valve in the end. But they had to spend a lot of money on this.
When Cascade filed a case Ryan was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic and liver cancer. He then went to Brooklyn, New York to start chemotherapy. He breathed his last on June 5, 2018, at the age of 35.
Before his death, Ryan handed over the company to his wife Geneve Nguyen and his childhood friend, Orn Hanson. The two made an IndieGoGo campaign to reignite sales but it was not successful.
The social media accounts of the company are inactive. Their official Facebook page (@wincatchergear) has not been updated since 2019 and the same goes for their Instagram. As of October 2023, the website is also inactive. So, we can say that the company is not in business any more.
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A lot of companies come up on Shark Tank but it does not mean that everyone becomes successful and the Windcatcher Airpad is one of them. Sometimes despite securing deals on Shark Tank, it does not become successful for many reasons. Nevertheless, Windcatcher Airpad has gone out of business as of 2023. The product of the company is not available anymore in the market. But the company has set a remarkable impression on the industry.
Is Ryan Frayne alive?
No, Ryan Frayne is not alive any more. Ryan was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer soon after appearing on Shark Tank. He passed away on June 5, 2018.
Is Windcatcher still in business?
Lori and Windcatcher’s partnership did not work out as another business of similar technology embroiled in litigation. Lori Grenier therefore backed out of the deal.
Regretfully, Ryan was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer soon after taking part in the program. He breathed his last on 5 June 2018. In 2019, his wife and closest friend launched an IndieGoGo effort to revive sales, but it only achieved $6,572.
The owners have not posted anything about the company on social media since June 2019. The website of the company is also inactive. That means that the company is not active in business now.
What is the net worth of Windcatcher?
When the founder of the company Ryan represented Windcatcher Airpad on Shark Tank the valuation of the company was nearly $4 million. As of 2022, the approximate net worth of the company is $6 million. The founder started his venture by investing only $2000 in the company and has now reached a valuation of $6 million. It is praiseworthy.