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GrypmatTom Burden wants to get a grip on a Shark and have one invest in Grypmat, his tool mat that grips virtually any surface, in Shark Tank episode 912. Burden, a veteran Air Force jet mechanic, created Grypmat to let folks who work with tools have a safe and secure place to put them down while on the job. He brought the product to market with a successful Kickstarter campaign that raised over $133,000 in early 2017. By July, 2017 all Grypmats made it into the hands of backers.

Burden spent a lot of time working on jets in his air force days. The odd angles and curves of a plane make it difficult to set tools down without them slipping. The silicone Grypmat sticks to any surface and it has small troughs – like those found in a utensil drawer organizer – that hold tools. While designed for airplanes, auto mechanics and do-it-yourselfers of all kinds use it to hold their tools and hardware while working.

The product is a “non-magnetic, non slip, chemical resistant, anti-static rubber tool mat that can hold tools at extreme angles (up to 70 degrees) on a variety of work surfaces.” It’s washable, durable, and resistant to chemicals and fuels. Anyone who uses tools and needs a place to put them down while working can use a Grypmat. They come in small (6″x 12″), medium (8″x 12″), and large (12″x 22″) sizes. A three pack costs $129.00. Burden likely wants a Shark’s help expanding his retail reach.

Will a Shark grab onto this idea and invest?

Grypmat Company Information

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Posts About Grypmat on Shark Tank Blog

Gryp Mat Tool Tray

Grypmat Shark Tank Recap

Tom enters seeking $200,000 for 10% of his business. He begins his pitch in front of an airplane nose with several Grypmats on top; they’re loaded with tools. As a military f-16 mechanic, he explains the difficulties with keeping his tools organized while working due to the curves on the planes. He invented Grypmat to solve that problem.

While showing the samples on the nose of his “plane,” he states each mat can hold tools and parts up to a 70 degree angle. The product isn’t just for plane mechanics, it’s great for anyone who works with a lot of tools and small parts. As he hands out samples, Robert says he loves the product and Mark says he should make an offer.

To date, Tom has $400,000 in sales: around 10,000 units in just 10 months. Profits are between $150,000 and $200,000, which makes Mark applaud. Sales are through the company website, Amazon and trade shows. He’s sold to NASA and people in the aviation industry, but he wants to target the automotive industry.

After fielding questions about his background, Robert asks Tom what he’ll do with the $200,000. Tom wants to invest in inventory so he can get his production costs down. Daymond thinks the product has lots of applications and offers $200,000 for 25%. Sensing some hesitation, Daymond drops to $200,000 for 20% as the Sharks talk amongst themselves.

Robert asks what Tom is willing to offer for two or three Sharks. Tom says it depends on the Sharks then says with Richard Branson’s aviation background, he’d be a good partner. Robert then proposes $400,000 for 40% with $200,000 coming from him and $200,000 from Sir Richard. Richard offers to drop to 15% prompting Daymond to change his offer to $200,000 for 15%.

Mark chimes in and says he and Lori will team up to offer $200,000 for 20%. Tom then asks if they’d bring in Richard and do $360,000 for  30% and they all agree!

Grypmat Shark Tank Update

The Shark Tank Blog constantly provides updates and follow-ups about entrepreneurs who have appeared on the Shark Tank TV show. The deal with Lori, Mark and Richard closed. After the episode first aired, Grypmat sold out of all its stock. Since then, sales have grown ten times what they were pre-Tank. Mark, Lori and Richard are helping with international distribution.

In season ten, the business gets an update segment in episode 1017. In the update segment, Tom visits an Air Force base and announces a deal with the Air Force.

Branson uses the product everywhere in his empire from his electric race teams, all the way to his Virgin space programs. In 2019, they put all sales online at the bequest of Branson. It turned out to be a good move because the Covid-19 pandemic killed retail for a good chunk of 2020. During this time, they introduced smaller versions for home mechanics.

As of August, 2023, the company is still in business and does around $2 million in revenue annually.