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Novel Effect

novel effectMatt and Melissa Hammersley hope to book a deal with a Shark when they pitch Novel Effect, their voice interactive storytelling app. Novel Effect pairs music and sound effects with popular children’s books through the smart phone app. As you read a book to your child, the wind might blow or a bird  might whistle – whatever sound or music is appropriate for a story comes out as you read to your child.

The sounds are designed by professional sound effects people from video games, movies, and television. Sound effects trigger through voice recognition software in the app so a particular effect activates when a specific word is read aloud. Accompanying music sets the tone for stories. For instance, Madeline features a Parisian flared soundtrack while The Cat in the Hat has playful, goofy music as a backdrop.

The couple created the app when they had their first child. As they began reading to her, they wanted to bring books alive. They target educators and parents alike. Right now, there are a limited amount of titles – all classic children’s books. The app is free, but it will likely cost something at some point. They probably want a Shark’s help with monetization.

Will a Shark think this is a novel idea and invest?

Novel Effect Company Information

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Posts about Novel Effect on Shark Tank Blog

Interactive Reading App

Novel Effect Shark Tank Recap

Matt and Melissa enter seeking $500,000 for 10% of their business. They have three small children with them and they demonstrate the product by reading a story called “Novel Effect Goes To Shark Tank.” When they’re done, they talk about their backgrounds. Matt’s background as a patent attorney was very helpful. Novel Effect is totally patent protected.

Kevin wants to know numbers. They’ve raised $620,000 so far at a $5 million valuation. That impresses the Sharks, but the pre-revenue status of the company does not. They plan on having stickers on books that they have soundscapes for and linking to books on Amazon. They also plan on letting others use their platform to create their own soundscapes.

Mark is the first Shark out calling the business a huge gamble. Daymond quickly follows. Kevin tells a story about how his Learning Company tried selling audio CDs to accompany books. Lori disagrees and, after a brief argument with Kevin, she offers $500,000 for 20% of the business. Matt counters with 12.5%. After some consideration of bringing Sara into the deal and some negotiations, they do a deal with Lori for $500,000 for 15%.

Novel Effect 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 never closed. Instead, in 2018, they raised $3 million from Amazon, Alpha Edison, TenOneTen Ventures and Waverley Capital. In 2019, they released their Android version of the app and raised another $1.2 million. In December, 2020, they  added to their library of 750 plus children’s books by partnering with the Jim Henson Company.  They will be providing soundscapes for all his Muppet themed titles and plan on launching voice interactive television shows. In February, 2023, the company launched a Chromebook-compatible version of its app which allows for more versatility when teachers use the app in classrooms. As of April, 2023, the company is still rolling along with annual revenue of $4 million.