Slick Barrier is a company that makes a pesticide-free barrier coating which goes around the base of your house to keep all of the creepy crawlers, such as spiders, cockroaches, ants, scorpions, bedbugs, and even rodents, from coming in to your home for a visit. But will this pesticide-free bug barrier be slick enough to coax some cash out of the Sharks? Read our Slick Barrier Shark Tank update to find out all about it.
What is Slick Barrier?
Slick Barrier is a company which produces a pesticide-free, physical barrier which goes around the base of your home or business to keep cockroaches, spiders, ants, bedbugs, scorpions, and other insects from entering the premises. The company is located in Gilbert, Arizona.
Slick Barrier is a patented, and patent-pending, system that protects homes and businesses from pests. It accomplishes this without the need to spray pesticides through the use of specialty clear coatings and films applied to both the foundation and a few inches off the ground around the exterior walls. The coating prevents pests from climbing and entering the building.
Who created Slick Barrier?
Slick Barrier was co-founded by two friends, Aaron Gonzales and Tony Gonzales, in Gilbert Arizona. Tony Gonzales attended Arizona State University as an undergraduate, and he earned a BASc in Political Science, Government, Religion, and Political Philosophy. Tony then continued his education at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, also at ASU, where he received a JD degree in Litigation and Commercial Law. Prior to founding Slick Barrier, Tony worked as a practicing attorney at his own firm in Chandler, Arizona.
Aaron Gonzales attended the University of Phoenix, where he earned a BA degree in Business Administration and Management, and he also worked at the college for 5 years as an Enrollment Manager. After working at the college, Aaron entered the business world and worked in marketing and relationship management. He worked for several large corporations, including American Express and Verizon Wireless.
How did Slick Barrier get started?
Slick Barrier co-founder Aaron told an Arizona publication, AZcentral.com that soon after he and his wife had bought their dream home, they realized that they had a problem. The house was infested with dangerous Arizona Bark Scorpions.
Aaron said, “We tried traditional pest control methods, but we could not keep the pests from entering. I got stung by a scorpion, and my wife and I were concerned about the safety of our 3-year-old son, to the point where we considered selling our dream home.”
Aaron’s friend, Tony, Slick Barrier’s other co-founder, had a frightening experience when his young son was bitten by a scorpion. Tony described his son’s bite, “My 4-year-old son was stung by a scorpion inside our home and almost died. His throat started to close, and he could not breathe.”
Tony and Aaron talked about their experiences with the scorpions, and Tony said that at this point, he believed that they needed a product that would act as a barrier, was easy to use, and would effectively rid the house of these potent scorpions. Tony thought that a clear coating solution of some type could work, and Aaron knew that most pests were incapable of climbing smooth surfaces, so, the two got to work.
In the AZcentral column, Tony stated: “We figured a clear coating would do the trick. We hired a chemist to help us come up with a formulation. And after many, many tries we finally developed a coating that worked on rodents and insects.” At this point, the friends were ready to go out to market and try their concept.
What happened to Slick Barrier before Shark Tank?
After developing and testing their coating product, Slick Barrier started as a service business, installing Slick Barrier on clients’ homes. And in 2020, its first year of trading, the company had $180k in sales.
In 2021, their second year, Slick Barrier continued to operate its service business, but they also started selling their product to pest control companies. Total revenues for 2021 were $650k, with around $450k in service business, and $200k selling the product business-to-business to pest control companies.
When Aaron and Tony entered the Tank, they were looking to focus on selling their coating product, rather than the service, and they also wanted to enter the retail market, while continuing to push it into the pest control sector as well.
What do customers think of Slick Barrier?
We did not find a large number of customer reviews online for Slick Barrier, and it was obvious that the product had not been available on Amazon for long, as all of the reviews were from late 2023. There were 10 reviews on Amazon, and these customers gave the pest control coating an average rating of 3.7 out of 5 stars. 73% percent of reviewers rated Slick Barrier at 4 or 5 stars while 27 % gave it a 1-star rating.
Even with the small number of reviews, there were several very positive responses to the product. One Amazon customer wrote, “I watched a scorpion make several attempts at climbing up the baseboard in my garage. He never made it and eventually walked away making himself easy to smash! This stuff is great- simple application and much cheaper than having the exterminator spray regularly. Besides, I feel better about exposing my home and family to less poison.”
Another very happy customer said, “I received the product on time, and in the early Spring I applied it as instructed around the base of the foundation of my home. I even have stone on the front of my home. I painted the stone as well, with extra coats to make sure. OH MY GOODNESS this product does everything they say it will do! I am able to go into the rooms of my home now without scanning it first to make sure I don’t see any scorpions on the ceilings or walls or floors!”
There was only one critical review, and this unhappy customer wrote, “I wish I could return this. I purchased it, but have not used it; however, the can is oozing from the lid even though it was never opened.”
As Slick Barrier works to enter the retail market, it will be interesting to see what more homeowners have to say about the product.
When did Slick Barrier appear on Shark Tank?
Slick Barrier appeared on Shark Tank in Season 14, Episode 13, which aired on January 27th, 2023. The company pitched to regular Sharks: Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner, Kevin O’Leary, Daymond John, and Robert Herjavec.
What happened to Slick Barrier on Shark Tank?
Slick Barrier co-founders, friends Aaron Gonzales and Tony Gonzales, entered a Shark Tank set with a display of large glass boxes, which were full of cockroaches, mice, and even scorpions. Amongst these creepy creatures, Tony started the pitch by telling the Sharks, “There are intruders breaking into our homes, right now. We are talking about spiders, cockroaches, scorpions, bedbugs, ants, and even rodents!”
He then added, “But these nasty, creepy crawlers don’t stand a chance against our product.”
Aaron followed this creepy introduction by telling the Sharks that Slick Barrier is a pesticide-free physical barrier that goes around the base of your home. It is applied around the base of the structure like a paint, and it dries hard, smooth, and slick so that it prevents the insects and rodents from being able to climb up and get into the house.
The Sharks are then invited to look into the glass tanks on stage, in which there are some small model houses, some coated with Slick Barrier, and others without it, and the houses without the coating are free of pests. There is also a Slick Barrier coated post in the tank with the mice, and they are not climbing on the post.
Kevin O’Leary was invited on stage, as the Slick Barrier team had heard that he had a special relationship with a certain insect. They revealed a glass box full of cockroaches, and in the box, there were two bricks treated with Slick Barrier, Mr. Wonderful was invited to stand on the bricks among the cockroaches, and everyone could see that the roaches could not climb the bricks to join their kindred spirit. The other Sharks had a good deal of fun with this at O’Leary’s expense.
Next, Aaron explained that he and his wife had bought their dream home, but it quickly became a nightmare as the house was infested with Arizona Bark Scorpions, and despite trying every pest control method and several professional companies, they were afraid that they were going to have to sell their dream house. This led Aaron to thinking about how the scorpions couldn’t crawl up slick surfaces, and he realized that he needed to create a slick surface to keep these poisonous critters out of the house.
During their opening pitch, the Slick Barrier team had told the Sharks that the coating was patented, and they had two universities test the product. Mark Cuban read through the test results, and he was impressed, saying, “The results were amazing, in neither study did the scorpions climb the walls, there was zero penetration.”
Lori next asked about sales, and she learned in their first year, 2020, they had sales of $180k, and all of the sales were service sales, the team applying the coating for customers. In 2021, they had a total of $650k in sales, with $450k coming from services, and $200k from selling the coating to pest control companies. Aaron also told the Sharks that, going forward, they wanted to focus on selling the coating product in the retail sector, and that the latest version of their product had $50k in sales over the past month.
Kevin O’Leary declared that even the rats know that the company is not worth a $5 million valuation, and he then learned that the company had already raised capital twice, first a round of $500k, followed by a second round of $700k.
Mark asked about the retail price and cost of the product, and the Slick Barrier team revealed that the average sale price was $70, with a landed cost of $30. Mark also learned that when Slick Barrier was selling the product to pest control companies, the clients were charged about $1,400 for product and application, but Slick Barrier was not getting a piece of the service fee.
At this point, there was a creepy feeling in the Tank, as some Sharks appeared ready to slip away from Slick Barrier.
Did Slick Barrier get a deal on Shark Tank?
Slick Barrier did get a deal in the Tank. The company agreed to a deal with Lori Greiner for a total investment of $500k, of which $100k would be in cash, with the remaining $400k a loan at standard commercial rates. For her investment, Lori receives a 15% equity stake in the company.
Mr. Wonderful was first to show his hand, saying, “I know the cockroach community, and I’m very familiar with the scorpion community, but with your valuation, I can’t decide if you’re cockroaches or scorpions, but this is not worth $5 million.”
Robert spoke up next saying, “Your product is great, but I don’t think any house is a complete vacuum; they’re gonna get in. The rats are just freaking me out. I’m out.”
Daymond told the Slick Barrier guys that when you live in New York, and it gets cold in winter, these pests, they’re coming in the house. He said, “Where I’m from in New York, when I get locked out of the house, I call a rat to let me in.”
Lori, the last Shark swimming, said that she knew that people really hate pests, and she believed that the team was in desperate need of a Shark, so she decided to take a flier. Lori offered $500k for 15%, but she wanted to structure the deal so that $100k was in cash, and the remaining $400k as a loan. She added that she could easily figure out how this could be a great consumer product.
Aaron responded to Lori, “We know exactly why we need you. We need help on the consumer side.” At this point, Mark Cuban intervened to say, “She’s only taking 5% more than you’re asking, what is there to think about?”
Aaron looked at Mark, and then at Lori, and said, “There’s not, let’s do it.”
Slick Barrier Shark Tank update, what happened next?
Slick Barrier, like many other Shark Tank companies, experienced a huge Shark Tank effect immediately following their appearance on the show. In the week after appearing on Shark Tank, the company did over $100k in sales.
While we could not find conclusive evidence of whether or not the deal between Slick Barrier and Lori Greiner has closed, the company appears to be making progress on several fronts. First, according to several media reports, and the Slick Barrier company website, the company’s products are now available at Home Depot stores in Arizona.
Slick Barrier has also expanded their line to include Averzion with nanofilm technology. This is a pest-barrier film that is attached to the structure like a tape rather than being brushed on. When the Slick Barrier team pitched in the Tank, they had indicated that they were looking to move away from the service sector of the industry to focus on selling their products to retail.
However, it appears that they have actually expanded their installation services, as they now claim to offer professional installation services of their product line in Arizona, Nevada, and Texas, and it will be interesting to discover whether or not the company decides to attempt to further expand the service portion of the business in the future.
It will also be interesting to follow what happens with Slick Barrier if the deal with Lori Greiner, the Queen of Consumer Products, closes. We can imagine both a huge national and international push into retail once Lori hits the launch button.