Stealth Bros & Co seeks to help those who use injectable medications to keep their medical supplies organized and allow them to carry their medicines in a discreet, fashionable manner. But will the Sharks be willing to inject some cash into the company? Read our Stealth Bros & Co Shark Tank update to see if the Sharks were just what the doctor ordered for this stealthy business.
What is Stealth Bros & Co?
Stealth Bros & Co is a luxury supply company providing medical storage supplies in a stealthy way. The company is based in Mays Landing, New Jersey.
Stealth Bros & Co seeks to infuse elegance into both safe, disposal containers for needles, and for the storage and transport of injectable medications. The company says that it champions a shift away from stigma and towards empowerment, ensuring those who rely on these tools can stand proud.
Who created Stealth Bros & Co?
Braxton Fleming, a Licensed Practical Nurse, founded Stealth Bros & Co in 2017. Braxton graduated with a degree in Adult Nursing from Kean University in 2008, and since graduating from college, he has worked as an LPN.
How did Stealth Bros & Co get started?
Stealth Bros and Co founder Braxton Fleming was 27 years old when he realized that he was transgender. He said that with this realization, he understood the lifelong commitment of taking hormone replacement therapy in the form of injections.
During his first year of transitioning, he quickly discovered that there was nowhere to store his medical needs in a safe, secure, neat, yet stylish, way. Braxton told a local newspaper that he had searched through stores in vain for the right sort of container to hold the needles and other hormone replacement therapy supplies that he uses.
Braxton also says that when he first started transitioning, he watched YouTube videos of other trans men with their medications, and he was always secretly assessing them with his nursing skills. He wondered to himself, ‘What are they doing with their medication? Where are they putting it?’ And he noticed that people didn’t really have anywhere to put their used needles.
Once he started taking the injectable medications, about three or four months into the regime, he decided, “I’m going to create my own bag.” Both of Braxton’s parents are entrepreneurs, so he explained his idea to his father and told him that he had ordered 300 bags. When Braxton’s father asked him if he thought “300 bags would be enough,” he knew that he was on the right track.
What happened to Stealth Bros & Co before Shark Tank?
When Braxton initially thought about designing and manufacturing his fashionable medical storage bags, one of his goals was that he simply wanted to perhaps raise enough extra money to pay for some of the expenses for the surgery related to his female-to-male transition. All of his initial sales were online from his website, and in his first year in business, the company did provide him with enough extra income to pay for the surgery.
Braxton continued to grow the business, but he soon realized that if he wanted to really expand the business into national retail outlets, he would need additional funding. He had been communicating with CVS to get his product into some of their stores, but the required liability insurance alone was going to cost him over $12,000 each year. He knew that he was going to need more cash.
Braxton finally managed to get an offer to do an interview on a program on CNBC, and he hoped that this might be the break which would lead to a great deal of new exposure for his business, and perhaps catch the eye of a potential investor; however, on the day scheduled for the interview, he received a call from the network, and they told him that they had decided against going ahead with his segment.
Feeling down after the disappointment of the canceled interview, Braxton could hardly believe it when he opened his email to discover a message from a Shark Tank producer inviting him to submit materials for a chance to appear on the show. At first, he thought the email was a hoax, but he followed up and learned that it was indeed a legitimate offer.
Prior to taping his episode, Stealth Bros & Co, in its previous year of operations, had revenue of $110K, and when he pitched in front of the Sharks, the company’s sales were up by 40% over the previous year.
What do customers think of Stealth Bros & Co?
During our research concerning customer’s ratings for Stealth Bros & Co products, our most surprising finding was that there are so few published reviews online. Amazon has only three reviews posted, the CVS website also has just two reviews, and the company’s Facebook page has 14 reviews. For a company which has been in business since 2017, this seems to be a very low number of customer ratings.
What are customers saying about Stealth Bros & Co?
The CVS website has two 5-star reviews, and one customer writes about the disposable Sharps Containers, “These shuttles make disposing of needles much easier and safer. Perfect for if you have pets or children who could accidentally come across any used syringes.”
On the company’s Facebook page, there are 14 ratings with an average of 4.6 out of 5 stars. One very satisfied customer writes, “I got the Jr Dopp Pride Edition bag and I LOVE it! It holds a month of supplies so nicely and cleanly, with plenty of space for a sharps shuttle, my two types of syringes, needles, vial, and alcohol wipes. The rainbow swords on the inside are super rad, and I like how discrete the bag is on the outside. Super happy with my purchase!”
On Amazon, there are only three ratings, all of which give the product only one star. One less-than-impressed Amazon purchaser writes, “Way too expensive and very, very low quality!”
When did Stealth Bros & Co appear on Shark Tank?
Stealth Bros & Co appeared on Shark Tank in Season 14, Episode 2, which aired on September 30, 2022. This episode featured the regular Sharks: Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner, Barbara Corcoran, Robert Herjavec, and Kevin O’Leary.
Stealth Bros & Co shared Season 14 of Shark Tank with many successful pitches, including ZipString.
What happened to Stealth Bros & Co on Shark Tank?
Stealth Bros & Co founder Braxton Fleming entered the Tank and asked the Sharks for a $200k investment in return for 15% of his company.
Braxton Fleming entered the Tank and dove right into the deep end with a very personal story. He told the Sharks that six years ago, he realized that he was transgender, and with this came the fact that he was making a lifelong commitment to take hormone replacement therapy medications, which are injectable medicines.
Very early in the process of his transition, he quickly realized that there was nowhere to store his medical needs in a safe, neat, discreet, yet stylish way. He spent a good deal of time scrolling the internet and shopping at stores, only to discover that he was unable to find storage options which he felt comfortable with.
Thus, Braxton decided to create something for himself, and during his pitch, he told the Sharks, that he soon realized that “there were multiple under-represented medical communities, such as diabetics and others with injectable medications, who needed a safe, discreet, but fashionable means, to carry their medical supplies.
After his introduction, the Sharks examined the products, and they discovered that the storage bags had both secure places to store medications, and disposable biohazard containers for safely disposing of used needles. Braxton explained that the disposable sharps containers could be filled with a number of needles, and then be locked for safe disposal.
Barbara Corocoran immediately wanted to know if only one disposable container came with the bag, and Braxton told her that each bag came with one container, but they were available to purchase in bundles of 3 or 5 containers on the website.
Next, Robert inquired if there were other storage bags available on the market, and if so, what was missing from the other kits? Braxton explained that without some way to organize things, it felt daunting for him to take the injections even though he was a nurse. He said that prior to starting his therapy, he had watched a number of YouTube videos of trans people taking injections, and as a nurse, he was watching with a critical eye, thinking about how unorganized and unsafe some of the practices surrounding injections appeared to him.
The Sharks then proceeded to examine the financial aspects of the business, and Barbara asked Brandon how he reached his community, where the sales came from. He explained to her that all of his sales to date were direct-to-consumer online. He also told her that the previous year the company had $110k in sales, and year-to-date, sales had increased by 40%.
Kevin O’Leary asked for the cost to manufacture and the sales price, and he learned that the kits cost $5.80 to make, and the retail price was $34. Mark Cuban wanted to know the cost to manufacture the disposable biohazard containers, and Braxton told him that they cost $.28 to make and retailed at $4 each or 5 for $15 on the website.
Braxton also said that he had just received a purchase order from a large retailer, and they were going to wholesale the disposable containers for $7.50 for a 4 pack.
Finally, the Sharks also learned that Braxton was still working as a nurse while running 100% of the business by himself out of his basement.
It appeared that the Sharks had learned what they needed from Braxton, and they were ready to reveal their intentions.
Did Stealth Bros & Co get a deal on Shark Tank?
Stealth Bros & Co successfully got a deal on Shark Tank. Mark Cuban and Barbara Corcoran agreed to invest $200k, $100k in the form of a credit line, and $100k cash in return for a 20% equity stake in the business.
All of the Sharks sincerely commended Braxton both for his passion to help members of the transgender community and for his support of the wider community of people who use injectable medications. Robert spoke up first, and told Braxton that without diminishing the product, he wanted Braxton to know that he was the best part of his business. Robert then indicated that the business was just too small for him right now.
Lori Greiner explained to Braxton that she believed he really did not need a partner, and that while she rarely said this in the Tank, she wanted him to know that she thought he might be better off keeping 100% of the business for himself.
Next, Barbara explained that while she was trying to get pregnant, she was taking injectable in vitro fertilization medications for seven years, so she truly understood the needs of people who use these medications. She told Braxton that she used to cut holes in old books to make a space to carry her needles into business situations, so his product really spoke to her. Barbara made the first offer at a total of $200k for 20% of the business.
While Kevin O’Leary was telling Braxton that he was a great guy and had a good product, but it just wasn’t for him, Barbara could be heard asking Mark Cuban if he wanted to share the deal, so when O’Leary had finished speaking, Mark Cuban said, “From an operational perspective, it’s just not a cash issue; it’s a building your business issue because you’re doin’ it yourself, and trying to scale it from a basement to a business is going to take a lot of work.”
Mark then told Braxton that between their two organizations he and Barbara would compliment each other to help him to get there. Mark then told Braxton that the offer was for $220k, in the form of a $100k line of credit and $100k in cash for a total of 20% equity.
Braxton looked almost overwhelmed by the offer, and he did try to counter at 18%, but when Mark just shook his head no, Braxton immediately said, “Ok, you have a deal at 20%.”
Stealth Bros & Co Shark Tank update, what happened after Shark Tank?
After its episode aired, Stealth Bros & Co felt an immediate Shark Tank effect, and Braxton reported that he sold out of his entire inventory within a few days. Braxton has also reported that the deal with Mark Cuban and Barbara Corcoran did close, and things are moving forward for the company.
Stealth Bros & Co products can now be found in bricks and mortar stores in the retail market, as their disposable biohazard containers are now sold in 4,000 CVS stores nationwide in the US. And with Mark Cuban and Barbara Corcoran onboard, the company is now negotiating with another major national retailer.