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The Duo

the duoNathaniel Wellen pitches The Duo, his family business’ latest new product, in Shark Tank episode 1514. Nathaniel is the great granddson of one of the founders of ShedRain, a global umbrella company that’s been in business since 1947. To his credit, he has umbrellas in his blood and patented a design for a dual handled umbrella in 2018.

The product is a two-handled umbrella for use by two people. It doesn’t appear to be in production yet, so he’ll be looking for a Shark to help with that.

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The Duo by ShedRain

The Duo Shark Tank Recap

Nathaniel enters the Shark Tank with his mom and sister seeking $100,000 for 10% equity in his company. He tells the Sharks “we’ve all been there, you get caught in the rain and there’s only one umbrella for 2 of you.” You could be with your tall friend, your fast walking friend, your business partner or even you little sister.  No matter how hard you try, the 2 of you can’t stay dry under that tiny brim and there’s not enough room for both your hands on the handle so you struggle for control. No one is safe, no one is dry and no one is happy. In thousands of years the standard umbrellas we use today haven’t changed much, that’s why he invented The Duo.

The Duo is the first dual handle umbrella designed for 2. He opens the umbrella and extends the handle. It’s the first umbrella for 2 with 2 different handles at 2 different heights. This allows 2 people to walk in the rain and stay safe and dry. Everyone deserves their own handle. The Duo comes with a 54 inch larger canopy that lets 2 people fit comfortably underneath it. It comes in both a compact and stick umbrella style. Either way, it has you covered. He asks the Sharks to help him make umbrellas they way they should have been made from the beginning.

Samples and Questions

His mom and sister leave the stage and the Sharks open up their sample umbrellas.  Lori thinks it’s a good size. The Sharks have prototypes; The Duo is a pre-revenue company. He has a utility patent for the idea of 2 handles. There is a second utility patent pending for the handle’s locking mechanism. The Sharks are impressed when he tells them he’s 15 years old. He made the prototype, developed the design and applied for the first utility patent when he was 9. He was invited to The Henry Ford Museum to compete in the National Invention Convention where he won “most original invention” out of 144,000 participants.

Next,he tells the Sharks about Shed Rain, the number 1 USA market leader for everything umbrellas in volume and  distribution. Shed Rain owns 49% of the company but they sell over 50 million umbrellas every year. Shed Rain is helping with prototypes, manufacturing and distribution and will get The Duo in thousands of stores including Target, Wal Mart and others. He formed a bond with Shed Rain’s CEO and their staff is amazing.

The Numbers and Offers

The estimated landing cost for the compact version is $4 and it will sell for $25. The stick version has an estimated landing cost of $8 and it will sell for $50. Shed Rain will create all the umbrellas and handle distribution. Barbara goes out because she thinks he has an ideal partnership and doesn’t need a Shark. Kevin was impressed by the presentation but he has a rule that he must be able to call his CEO 24 hours a day and Nathaniel won’t be able to annswer while he’s in school. That really pisses him off; he’s out. Mark thinks Nathaniel is a great example for kids who want to be entrepreneurs. Mark doesn’t want to dilute Nathaiel to less than 50% ownership; he’s out.

Robert thinks the other Sharks have good points, but he likes deals with an exit already built in. If the product takes off, there’s no way Shed Rain isn’t going to buy him out. All Nathaiel has to do is go out there and prove it works. Robert likes the deal, he offers $100,000 for 20%. He thinks there’s nuances to make it better. Lori is blown away by what he’s done, but she thinks he has the perfect partner already; she’s out. Nathaniel counters with 15% and Rovbert says he’ll do it for 18%. Nathaniel says “you got a deal, Robert.”

The Duo Shark Tank Update

The Shark Tank Blog constantly provides updates and follow-ups about entrepreneurs who have appeared on the Shark Tank TV show. Apparently, the deal with Robert closed. The business gets an update segment in episode 1519.  In the update, Nathaniel says there is no competition for an umbrella with 2 handles because nobody has ever done it. He says he needs a team to get things done because some people won’t take him seriously because he’s a kid. When he appeared on Shark Tank, he had a few prototypes. Now he’s doing a 10,000 unit production run and has commitments from Target, REI, Nordstrom and Macy’s. They’ll also be available on Amazon and Shed Rain.

Nathaniel says other kid entrepreneurs should go for it, you have nothing to wait for. Next is a segment from Nathaniel’s high school. Robert, Mr. Wonderful, Candace Nelson and Nathaniel are presenting to the students. They encourage the kids to start their own businesses.

The Shark Tank Blog will follow-up on The Duo & Nathaniel Wellen as more details become available.