FunkkOFF! is a compact 2-in-1 toothbrush and toothpaste beauty product that comes in a container about the size of a tube of lipstick. FunkkOFF! allows you discreetly remove the funk from your teeth while you are out socializing, without needing to carry around a big toothbrush and toothpaste. Will the company convince the Sharks that their new funk removal tool will be the next beauty product to clean up in the business world? Read our FunkkOFF! Shark Tank update to find out more.
What is FunkkOFF!?
FunkkOFF! is a company which manufactures FunkkOFF! TeethRefreshers, the only compact, 2-in-1 toothbrush and toothpaste beauty essential that’s reusable 30x to keep your smile fresh and white. The company is located in Dana Point, California.
FunkkOFF! TeethRefreshers are designed to conveniently fit in your purse, pocket, travel bag, or anywhere you go, an absolute beauty necessity for your smile. The lipstick-sized FunkOFF! Teeth Refreshers contain an all natural toothpaste, and the company has multiple patents on the product’s unique design.
Who created FunkkOFF!?
FunkkOFF! was co-founded by Joelle Flynn and Sonia Hounsell, two women who have been friends since 7th grade. Despite the fact that Joelle and Sonia ended up living on opposite coasts of the US, their friendship always remained close.
Joelle Flynn attended the Univesity of Delaware, where she received a BS degree in Consumer Economics. She started her professional career in the banking industry, working for Bank of America and BOA-Merrill Lynch.
After her start in the banking industry, she began her career as an entrepreneur co-founding LendersUnlimited, a virtual loan-search company, and after this business was acquired by a larger player, she launched a consulting practice serving various stages of financial and healthcare online startups, as well as holding Advisory and Board positions for nonprofit and profit companies. Prior to FunkkOFF, Joelle also founded an NGO, Girls on the Run of Orange County, a program which inspires and empowers girls to be joyful, healthy, and confident though their activity-based positive youth development program for girls in 3rd-8th grade.
Sonia Hounsell attended both Boston College Carroll Scholl of Managagement, where she earned an MS degree in Business and the University of Virgina Darden School of Business, where she was granted an MBA in Marketing. Sonia started her professional career working in brand management, working with iconic brands such as Trident, Dentyne, and Coppertone. Eventually, Sonia struck out on her own and founded her own consulting firm in New York City, and for nearly 10 years, she helped clients improve their brand marketing strategy.
How did FunkkOFF! get started?
The idea for FunkkOFF came to co-founder Joelle Flynn while she was living near Napa’s wineries in California where she enjoyed getting dressed up and going to the wineries for social events. When she attended these events, she never left home without both her favorite lipstick, to touch up when required, along with her toothbrush and a full tube of toothpaste to take care of the red-wine funk created while sipping her favorite wines.
On one of these trips, while she was in the restroom at the winery, with her lipstick in hand, she realized, ‘I need something compact like my lipstick but for my teeth! I need a secret that combines my toothbrush and toothpaste into one, and it has to be reusable and be able to quickly refresh my teeth on-the-go!’
According to the FunkkOFF! website, after this light bulb moment at the winery, Joelle got to work: “When she arrived home, Joelle immediately began designing and invented the first FunkkOFF! TeethRefreshers prototype by ripping off the round toothbrush head from her electric toothbrush and taping it to a chapstick tube.”
While Joelle was working on the product design and obtaining the patents, she knew that she needed her friend Sonia to help bring her idea to market. Sonia had taken over 30 products to market during her 25 year brand-marketing career, and she had also been a close friend since 7th grade.
What happened to FunkkOFF! before Shark Tank?
FunkkOFF! had been trading for about a year when their Shark Tank episode was taped, but prior to going to market, the company spent considerable time and money working through the design, prototyping, and patent stages of development. During their time in the Tank, Sonia explained to the Sharks that the product is really easy to use, but it has a quite sophisticated design.
Co-founders Joelle and Sonia had invested a combined $325k in the business, and they had raised a total of $675k before they entered the Tank looking for new investment from a Shark. One fact that the Shark’s found problematic was that the company had only $50k in cash when they pitched.
During their first year in business prior to entering the Tank, FunkkOFF! had only $80k in sales, and the products were being sold online, both on the company website and on Amazon, and they were in 50 stores, in 20 US states, ranging from dentist’s offices to spas and hotel gift shops.
The FunkkOFF! team entered the Tank looking for additional investment from the Sharks, both to build inventory, and to scale up.
What do customers think of FunkkOFF!?
We found 144 global ratings for FunkkOFF! Teeth Refreshers on Amazon, with an average rating of 3.6 out of 5 stars. 59% of Amazon customers rated the product at 4 or 5 stars, while a full 20% of reviewers gave FunkkOFF! just a 1-star rating.
What are customers saying about FunkkOFF!?
One verified purchaser really liked the convenience of the product: “Nifty product and perfect to keep on hand in my purse. Also a great little gift for friends and family!”
Another happy customer commented, “Bought this after seeing it on Shark Tank and it is SUCH a genius invention! It fits so easily in small purses and is perfect to bring after dinners, coffee, wine, etc. Sometimes mints just really don’t do the job, and this is such an easy way to get that clean-teeth feeling without fully carrying a tooth brush around. Not an overpowering minty taste but just enough to feel actually clean after!”
The negative reviews for Funkkoff! focused on the quality of the product. One unhappy customer wrote, “Poor quality. I haven’t even used it once. Last night, I turned the bottom and paste started coming from the sides, outside of the package. Poor quality. Too bad I didn’t use it right away so I could return it.”
Another disgruntled customer said, “Packaging was in perfect condition. The products, 3 of them, each had cracks along the side, the paste had leaked out. It was a mess and not usable. Waste of $66. Very dissatisfied.”
With such experienced entrepreneurs at the helm of FunkkOFF!, we were a bit surprised to find so many complaints about product quality among the Amazon reviews. Hopefully, the company will take these reviews to heart, and make corrections to either the product design or manufacturing flaws which are causing the problems.
When did FunkkOFF! appear on Shark Tank?
FunkkOFF! appeared on Shark Tank in Season 14, Episode 14, which aired on February 17, 2023. The company pitched to regular Sharks Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner, Kevin O’Leary, Robert Herjavec, and Guest Shark Emma Grede, CEO and co-founder of fashion brand Good American.
Along with FunkkOFF!, Season 14 of Shark Tank saw several beauty products in the Tank, including latin-inspired beauty brand Nopalera.
What happened to FunkkOFF! on Shark Tank?
FunkkOFF! co-founders Joelle Flynn and Sonia Hounsell entered the Tank, glasses of red wine in hand, and Joelle asked the Sharks, “Sharks, how many times have you been so embarrassed to find food stains on your teeth, and noone told you about it? We call it funk, and you need it off.”
Sonia continued to describe the funk, “Listen Sharks, funk happens, there’s no escaping it. There’s coffee, tea, salad, pesky pieces of pepper, and, of course, red wine. We all get funk, and we need it off quietly and discreetly when we’re on the go, so we’re introducing FunkkOFF! Teeth Refresher.”
The FunkkOFF! Team then explained to the Sharks that their product was first and only two-in-one toothbrush and toothgel that’s reusable thirty times to refresh your teeth. They described the FunkkOFF! Teeth Refresher as brilliant, saying, “It’s as easy to use as lipstick, simply remove the serrated cap, twist the bottom, brush your teeth and smile, it’s as easy as that!” Joelle also instructed the Sharks to pick up their samples and look at the bottom of the FunkkOFF! to discover a small mirror which can be used to check out your clean smile!
The questions started with Robert wanting to know how the women came up with the idea, and Joelle told him that when she used to live near Napa, she liked to get dressed up and visit the wineries for social events. She said that she always took both her lipstick for the occasional touch up, and a full tube of toothpaste and toothbrush to deal with the funk one acquires after sipping wine at these social gatherings.
One day, she recalled, while she was in a winery, holding her lipstick in her hand, she thought to herself, ‘Why isn’t there something that’s reusable, and compact, but for my teeth?’ So, when she got home, she did some research online and discovered that there wasn’t anything like this available, so she decided to make it herself.
Joelle also revealed that after coming up with the idea, she spent many years filing patents, and the company now holds 8 patents for the product. Lori was quite impressed to hear this, but she also wanted to hear about Sonia’s background. Lori learned that after Sonia completed her MBA, she spent many years in brand marketing for major corporations, working with brands including Dentyne, Coppertone, and Trident.
Guest Shark Emma Grede next asked where the FunkkOFF! products were being sold, and she learned that they were selling online both on the company website and on Amazon, and they also had placed products in 50 stores in 20 states, including hotel gift shops, spas, and dental offices.
Robert asked the team if they had raised any capital and how much they had personally invested, and he discovered that the company had already raised $675k and that the founders had contributed $325k. Lori then inquired about sales, and after being told that FunkkOFF! had been on the market for just about a year, they had sales of only $80k. The Sharks all looked a bit crestfallen after hearing this.
Mark Cuban then asked, “How much do you have in the bank?” to which Joelle responded, “$50k,” and Mark shot back quickly, “That’s a problem.” The Sharks wanted to know what happened to the money that was raised, and Joelle told them that “It’s a really easy product to use, but it’s a sophisticated design.”
There was next a long discussion among the FunkkOFF! team and the Sharks concerning their next steps, where they should focus on selling the product, but there was no real agreement reached. At this point, after hearing both the disappointing sales figures and the limited resources left in the company, most of the Sharks appeared ready to bolt.
Did FunkkOFF! get a deal on Shark Tank?
FunkkOFF! did make a deal in the Tank. They accepted an offer of $250k for 12% of the company from Robert Herjavec.
When the Sharks were finally ready to delare their intentions, Robert spoke first and said that the company was going to need a lot more money to grow and that it was too small for him to invest at present. Guest Shark Emma Grede then told co-founders Joelle and Sonia that they had spent so much money to achieve very little in sales revenues that they really needed to go out and prove themselves before trying to raise any more money.
Lori Greiner spoke up next, and she said, “Right now, you guys have really small sales. I’ll be a user, but not an investor.” Mr. Wonderful followed Lori with another simple statement, “You needed more sales to get me involved. I’m out.” Finally, Mark Cuban followed the others to the exit, as he added, “I love the product, everybody loves the product, but I disagree completely on the marketing.”
After Joelle and Sonia thanked the Sharks for their time and turned to leave the Tank without an offer, Robert spoke up one more time. He told the women that every year after making a new season of Shark Tank that his wife always finds one product about which she asks, “Why didn’t you invest in this?” And Robert said that he would explain to his wife why he didn’t invest, but she would always come back with, “It’s a great product. I would buy this.”
Sonia then jokingly asked Robert, “Can we talk to your wife?”
Robert, then, in something that is rarely seen in the Tank, said, “As I’m sitting here. I see that this is such a great product, I get the problems, you need to sell more, but I’m willing to take a flier, I’ll make you an offer.” Robert then offered $250k for 12%, to which Sonia quickly responded, “Absolutely, I love it!!” Then she remembered Joelle, “Wait, wait, I need to talk to her first!” Joelle simply smiled and said, “It’s a yes!”
In something that we rarely see when dealing with the Sharks, a last second reprieve, snatching victory from the jaws of defeat.
FunkkOff! Shark Tank update, what happened after Shark Tank?
Funkkoff!, like many other companies, reported a solid Shark Tank effect after their episode aired; however, the additional demand caused them to sell out of inventory, and they appear to have had some difficulties quickly resupplying the product.
Also, on the Courageous Conversations podcast, which aired on June 22, 2023, FunkkOFF! co-founders Joelle Flynn and Sonia Hounsell shared a great deal of advice for new female entrepreneurs. However, when they spoke about their post-Shark Tank experience, they spoke only in generalities and did not comment on whether or not their deal with Robert had closed.
On the podcast, Joelle also shared that Shark Tank had opened many new opportunities, including international opportunities; however, she gave no details about any of this potential new business. We also found it a bit odd that the team did not discuss their sales post-Shark Tank. This lack of information of updated sales information was not limited to this podcast, but we were unable to find any media in which FunkkOff! has revealed anything about their progress since being in the Tank.
It will be interesting to see whether or not Robert’s last-second deal actually closes, and if so, the effect that his presence on the team brings to the company’s success.