The eighth episode of Shark Tank featured many memorable pitches, including one from the founder of the Famous Amos Cookie Wally Amos, another from two Harvard graduates who had chips made from cricket flour, and a vibrating mat to make babies shrink . Several of the eight-season programs were for iPhone and Android apps, including one to help prevent cyberbullying and another that connects to a stuffed toy and allows children to send and receive electronic messages.
Another release of the program came in Section 21 from Portland, Oregon entrepreneurs Ian Lyman, Tov Arneson, and Alex Wilhelm, a trio of Mark Cuban laughingly called “The Drew Carey triplets.” Their focus was on a program called Validated, which offered shoppers at participating merchants in Portland and Seattle rewards that could be redeemed for parking and parking.
The Sharks received the game with confusion and derision, some of whom said the practice was too harsh.
“You have a lot of points to put together with different stakeholders,” Cuban said. “It’s heavy, and there will always be bugs. That makes it expensive. So, for those reasons, I’m out.” Barbara Corcoran didn’t see the need for the system, and Kevin O’Leary called Validated “a dog.”
Lori Greiner saw promise in the idea but did not like the app itself, and guest shark Chris Sacca especially hates the app’s reliance on QR codes, crassly comparing them to sexually transmitted diseases. In the end, the three left without making any money, so what was the future of the Approved program?
Officials eventually ran out
Shark Tank’s Validated episode aired in April 2017, and things looked promising for the company in May 2019 when Validated was acquired by Reach Now; the car-sharing company was created when BMW’s business in the arena merged with Daimler’s Car2go. Unfortunately for Lyman, Arneson, and Wilhelm, however, this acquisition did not provide the Trustees with enough capital to keep the program in business for long. A month later, the company went out of business, and the app is no longer available on the Apple or Google Play stores.
The fish warning two years earlier saved each of them $250,000; that was the amount that the founders of Accredited sought for 8% of their company. While the investor community may correctly assess the system as too complicated, Sacca was wrong in his distaste for QR codes. Now, abstract squares are used as advertising tools and even in restaurants as menu links.