Bat BnB isn't a house rental business for Batman, it's an elegant, modern looking bat house for homeowners. Bats are the most efficient form of mosquito control around. a single bat eats as many as 1,000 mosquitoes per hour; imagine what a whole colony can do. Entrepreneurs Harrison Broadhurst and Chris Rannefors (aka the Batmen) are bat enthusiasts who used their shared love of bats to create a business while helping the environment.
Bats, like many other wildlife, suffer from habitat destruction. One way to combat this is to give them a comfy, safe place to roost and raise their young. That's where BatBnB comes in. Bat BnB isn't a crummy little bat house like the ones I used to make in the Boy Scouts, it's a water repellent, cedar bat palace. Each BatBnB bat house features tight spaces with grooves for the bats to grab onto. It's a design approved of by world renowned bat expert Merlin Tuttle. Tuttle's spent most of his life dedicated to bat conservation and he helped consult on the Bat BnB design.
For their part, Broadhurst and Rannefors are into bats and have been since childhood. They took their knowledge and interest when creating Bat BnB's for their successful IndieGoGo campaign which funded their first production run to the tune of $120,000. People apparently liked the idea of natural mosquito control, conservation and design. When they pitch to the Sharks in the season ten finale, they probably want some help scaling production to meet demand. Will a Shark go to bat for this business?
My Take on Bat BnB
As I stated above, I made very rudimentary bat houses starting as a child in the Boy Scouts. We always had bat houses in Massachusetts, but they were small, boxy bat houses – not the sleek styled Bat BnB bat houses. I always knew bats were good for mosquito control and they never bothered me.
BatBnB makes sense from a practical perspective, too. Bats, when left to their own designs, can be destructive. Without anywhere else to go, they often find their way into attics and eaves in homes. If a colony gets established, they create quite a mess. Their poop – bat guano – is toxic when it builds up in an enclosed space. By giving them a good place to live, you keep them out of places you don't want them in.
As for the product itself, I'm sold. Starting at $100, they aren't prohibitively expensive. It's certainly cheaper than a lot of other forms of mosquito control and, since there are no chemicals involved, they're better for the environment. We still have a populated bat house here in Florida, so I'm not in the market for one now, but when that one falls apart, I just might drop a dime on a BatBnB.
Do Sharks Like Bats?
Bat BnB has a lot going for it. It's an ethical company with a good story. The bat houses are very well built and Broadhurst and Rannefors are smart guys, but the product might be a bit too niche for the Sharks. The only Shark I see adding real value is Lori.
Lori could position Bat BnB in the Home Depots of the world. She has good connections there and with ACE Hardware. I think the product would do well in those venues. Unless there's a great valuation for the Sharks, I fear BatBnB falls into the “product not a business” category.