Aira is a company from San Diego, CA, and Phoenix, AZ, with a "new" product inspired by "old" technology. The entrepreneurs behind Aira say that while many accessory manufacturers are involved with wireless charging, the experience with all of their products is frustrating because it requires precise placement of devices on the charging mats they make. However, Aira, says the entrepreneurs, have harnessed an old technology to make this new one better!
In a bit of showmanship, the entrepreneurs light up a Tesla Coil, something any fan of Man... or Astroman? will be familiar with.
Aira, the entreprneurs claim, have invented a new kind of charging surface that utilizes some priniciple discovered by Tesla that excites magnetic fields around the charging coils in the devices. This is then converted into energy by the charging coils in the devices which charges their batteries. The best part about this technology, if it's to be believed, is that it no longer matters how a devices is layed on a charging mat, it will now just charge. They claim their mat can charge three phones or two phones and a pair of AirPods. The entrepreneurs state a larger model of the mat could sharge an iPad.
Aira is currently "pre-money". They have only just finished their product prototype and they have a cosmetic example and a functional model. Aira does not plan to actually manufacture charing mats themselves but, instead, hope to license the technology and allow their licensees to brand it however they would like. However, the company does have a burn rate of $33,000 per month and needs to increase that to $50,000 per month in order to keep up with the technology. They claim to have their first licensee with 33,000 units for which Aira will receive between $4 and $10 per unit pre-paid, which is no doubt intended to show they will reach profitability shortly.
One of the entrepreneurs is supposed to hold the record for the most powerful Tesla Coil ever built.
Making A Deal
Mark is the first to question the entreprneurs, asking them whether they're aware of a company called uBeam that does charging with soundwaves. Not that it matters because Mark declares that he's out, believing their techology will get leapfrogged by another.
Robert jumps in first and offers the asked $500,000 for 10% in equity. But Lori and Kevin form a rare partnership and offer Aira $500,000 as a loan with 9% interest plus 15% equity to be shared among the two sharks. They claim to have an advantage given that they've both done so much licensing.
The entrepreneurs, naturally are wary and state that they don't need (or want, it seems) a loan. So Lori and Kevin pivot and drop the loan part, changing it to just $500,000 for 15% equity. When the entrepreneurs ask if, for the same deal, they could get Robert in there also, the sharks agree!
While Aira wanted to only give away 7% of the company and 15% is a little more than double that (representing a bite of $3,809,524 from the original value), the company now has a rare three sharks on their side which, you know, should have to mean something.
- As a side story, your Stats Shark once saw Man... or Astroman? perform an in-store at San Francisco's Amoeba Records where they did not have enough room to perform their end of show Tesla Coil light show. So, while the band vamped the last song, Coco The Electronic Monkey Wizard dived out in the crowd, ran down the aisle, grabbed something, and ran back on to stage. He then said, "We can't have our normal Tesla Coil right but but we can give you..." and he help up the CD divider for the band Tesla. It was pretty funny in the moment.
- Your Stats Shark hasn't said much about his opinion about this technology because, honestly, he doesn't know anything about it. It has a bit of a ring of being too good to be true but maybe it's not, maybe it's actually just good. However, when a company states that they're already expecting to be paid between $4 and $10 per unit by a licensee, this throws up some red flags. Which is it, $4 or $10? One of these numbers is 250% more than the other and it feels like a number that would be firm and written into any kind of signed contract. Instead, it feels like this is being pulled out of no where and being made up. Maybe it's not but it feels like it.