April 17, 2014
DC-based startup Zoobean, which offers a web recommendation service that helps parents discover apps and books for their children, recently announced that its founders, Jordan Lloyd Bookey and Felix Brandon Lloyd, will be featured on tomorrow's episode of Shark Tank. The episode airs at 9 pm EDT on ABC.
“We were thrilled to present Zoobean to the Sharks,” said Lloyd, Zoobean's Chief Dad, in a statement. “We've been fans of the show since the first episode aired. We learned many key lessons from our experience on the show and have refined our service to be even more useful and accessible for families with young children.”
DC startups have had a fair amount of luck making it onto the show, but ultimately have left Shark Tank empty-handed. The show, which features entrepreneurs pitching their business ideas to the “Sharks” – a panel of well-known investors that includes Mark Cuban – is pretty high-pressure, so merely surviving a pitch is laudable. Last November, Surprise Ride, which ships a monthly box of children's activities to parents, came back to DC with nothing but shark bites. Most recently, Eyebloc, which offers a webcam blocker, returned with nothing (but did get some increased motivation). Will Zoobean be the first DC startup to bring home some cash?
The husband and wife team launched Zoobean last May (and even presented at Tech Cocktail's DC Startup Showcase), and combines their experience teaching and parenting. The platform allows parents to search apps and books by certain criteria, including age, topic/interest, and reading level. Recommendations and reviews on Zoobean are provided through data science and a team of expert curators, equipping parents with comprehensive knowledge on whether a certain app or book is appropriate for their children.
Aside from its initial seed funding, Zoobean most recently raised $573,000 in venture funding last December. Considering the value of that previous investment, it's clear that the DC startup has a lot of merit, but is their idea good enough to secure an investment from the Sharks? I guess we'll find out tomorrow night. Dallas startup iLumi will also be pitching, so it's a good excuse to tune in!
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