Nina and Sina Farzin hope to boost their wild early success in babycare with the help of two highly-skilled Sharks.
This Oogiebear Shark Tank update tells the story of how babycare startup began, the problem it hopes to solve, and its successful Shark Tank investment.
Spotting a gap in the booger market
Infants often develop a blocked nose (also called the “snuffles”), but they lack the dexterity to grasp a tissue and blow the mucus out. So, parents are conscripted into doing the messy job for them.
The problem, as Nina and Sina Farzin found out, is that babies also get “boogers” (dried pieces of mucus) stuck up their nose that won’t come out with a good honk. This leads to broken sleep as the infant is forced to breathe through a constricted air passage, which in turn leads to a tired baby and grumpy parents.
The Farzins were ideally suited to fix this problem. Nina is a trained pharmacist with 20 years’ experience, while Sina is a periodontist (an expert in sinuses, oral cavities, and airways). Plus, Nina watches a lot of Shark Tank, so their minds immediately switched into entrepreneurial mode.
In 2015, the pair pooled together $22,000 of their own money and founded Oogiebear, a startup dedicated to making babies’ lives easier.
A groundbreaking solution
As a pharmacist, Nina Farzin understood the full range of available products for babies and could find nothing that efficiently and non-invasively cleared a baby’s airway.
“Everything on the market was for wet mucus, but that wasn’t our problem. It inspired us to design the scoop and loop to tackle all types of boogers and earwax,” she said.
Oogiebear’s signature “bear-head” design on the tool isn’t just cute, Nina explained – it actually helps prevent the tips from going too far into a child’s nose.
“It worked so well that whoever buys OogieBear will sleep like a baby knowing they’re helping babies and parents breathe easier,” she said.
But the original product idea wasn’t a guaranteed market success. In fact, the venture worried Nina’s family for a while.
“My parents were disheartened when I told them I was leaving my executive position as a pharmacist to create a booger tool.
“I was coming up with all these ideas and when I showed one to my nephew and told him I was thinking of bringing one to market, he said ‘let’s see you try.’ So, the whole thing was a bit of a dare,” Nina said.
Giving birth to Oogiebear
The flagship tool for the fledgling company is a simple cylindrical handle with a small rubber loop at one end (for unlocking stubborn boogers) while on the other end is a small scoop to finish the job.
“We’re not just a product. Our mission is to provide awareness on the importance of nose breathing,” Nina said.
Customers seem to agree that the tool has a special place in their child’s life.
According to one customer testimonial on the Oogiebear website: “This product is perfect to me in every way. It’s bear design keeps the booger tool from pushing in too deep in baby’s nose, but still allows you to retrieve the icky dry boogies.”
The products are sold online with Amazon (76% of all sales) and also in retailers Nordstrom, buybuy BABY, Walmart, and Target. The products are marketed to babies aged zero to 24 months.
“We do have knockoffs in the market because we’re killing it out there. But we do have utility and design patents on the scoop tool. Nobody can steal the idea,” Nina said.
Oogiebear enters the Shark Tank
Like Pizza Pack and KENT, Oogiebear’s experience of going on Shark Tank was very different to what usually happens: for the first time ever, Shark Tank was broadcast live and had a live studio audience.
As the second business pitching on the first ever Shark Tank Live episode (the Season 14 opener), Oogiebear was asking for $400,000 for 5% of the company.
With a valuation of $8 million, the founders had to impress the Sharks somehow. It turned out, they had exactly the revenue figures the Sharks wanted to hear.
“To date, we have sold over 1 million units of this product. We started in 2015 and total revenue sales have been over $15 million.
“Revenue sales this year  are on track to make $5.4 million with a profit of $1 million. Last year we made $4.5 million in revenue and next year, with no increase in distribution, we will make $5.5 million,” Nina said.
She added that Oogiebear products cost anywhere from $2 to $4 to make and distribute, while the recommended retail prices were between $12.99 and $24.99.
Kevin O’Leary said he didn’t have a “nose picker” in his portfolio but decided he wanted one, so offered the pair all the money for 10% equity.
Daymond John then declared himself out, citing lack of expertise in the baby booger market.
And before she could make a decision, Lori Greiner wanted to know if the TV audience thought baby boogers were a problem (81% of viewers said it was). So, she proposed a deal.
“I love this, and I love you. I will offer the money for 10%, but I would like Mark to go in with me,” Lori said.
Mark Cuban agreed that the product was performing well in market and thought adding Oogiebear to his baby market portfolio (he already owns a part of anti-allergen baby food company ReadySetFood) would make sense. However, he proposed splitting the money with Lori for 12% total equity.
However, Barbara Corcoran countered by offering an investment offer of $400,000 for 10% – but with a twist.
“If I don’t bring you to $400 million in sales over two years, I’ll give you half your stock back,” she said, and Robert Herjavec offered to join with Corcoran on that deal.
The Farzins liked the outlines of the deal but wanted the Sharks to increase their investment to $600,000 for 10% to retrieve some of the lost valuation in Corcoran’s proposal.
“This is my counteroffer,” Corcoran said, “we’ll give you $200,000 extra in a credit line, but I’m sticking with the $400,000 investment.”
The Farzins took the deal.
Oogiebear Shark Tank update
At the time of writing, the deal between Herjavec and Corcoran and the Farzins is still in the due diligence and signing stages.
Oogiebear has already partnered with Walmart and Sam’s Club and its babycare products have a 4.7-star rating from over 30,000 reviews on Amazon. But the Farzins hope the two Sharks can help the company access even more major retailers.
“We’re ready to go to the next level,” Nina said.
Oogiebear has about a dozen employees, including some of their own children who help where they can.
“Our business is truly a family business. My kids are part of every aspect, from shipping to social media. They’re our little Sharks in training,” Nina said.
What is Oogiebear on Shark Tank?
Oogiebear is a tool that helps parents pick boogers out of babies’ noses. The founders went on Shark Tank asking for an investment of $400,000 for 5% equity, valuing the business at $8 million.
Who founded Oogiebear?
Nina and Sina Farzin from Rockville, Maryland, founded Oogiebear.
When did Oogiebear go on Shark Tank?
Oogiebear appeared on Season 14, Episode 1 of Shark Tank. It originally aired on September 23rd, 2022.
Did Oogiebear get a deal on Shark Tank?
Yes, Oogiebear secured an investment from Barbara Corcoran and Robert Herjavec of $400,000 for 10% equity, plus a $200,000 line of credit.
Who invested in Oogiebear on Shark Tank?
Barbara Corcoran and Robert Herjavec invested in Oogiebear. They matched the founders’ original ask, and threw in a $200,000 line of credit on top.
What is Oogiebear’s net worth today?
After securing a deal on Shark Tank, Oogiebear was valued at $4 million.