Benjilock is a company from Los Angeles, CA, that makes a unique padlock with fingerprint and key unlocking.
The entrepreneur demonstrated a non-functioning prototype and appeared to be pitching more the concept than the actual device itself for which he won the 2017 CES Innovators Award. He claimed that the final product would take thirty hours to charge and last for over a year.
The entrepreneur stated that a patent had just been issued for the lock and that the patent didn't just cover padlocks but also house door locks as well.
While not yet shipping, the entrepreneur claimed that consumers would be willing to pay north of $60 per unit and stated that his costs landed could be as low as $20/unit if at least 20,000 units were ordered at once.
The entrepreneur has a background in marketing and advertising and was working on Benjilock fulltime as of the episode's airing. He had personally invested $87,000 into the product.
This deal aired on Episode 9.04.
Making A Deal
Despite fielding offers from both Alex Rodriguez and Mark Cuban, the entrepreneur turned both down and instead chose Kevin's offer of $200,000 for 15%. Despite the $666,000 bite to his value, the entrepreneur stated that he preferred Kevin's licensing strategy over what Mark and Arod offered.
In an update that aired on Episode 9.21, the entrepreneur was seen being interviewed in CNBC and stated that he and Kevin had worked out a licensing deal with Hampton worth $450,000 and would include distribution across all of North America. He also appeared at CES where it was announced that Ace Hardware had placed a large order worth $1,500,000.
The Stats Shark remains divided on companies with products like this (or Toor from Season Eight). While the technology sounds interesting to an average consumer for whom the TouchID on their iPhone is still cool, everything in the technology world is moving toward integration like this. It's just a matter of time until everything can be unlocked with a fingerprint, voice print, phone, watch.
The inventor of Benjilock did not invent the fingerprint sensor. He didn't invent a lock. He invented putting a fingerprint sensor on a lock in much the same way that the entrepreneur who created Toor mostly invented an internet enabled lockbox. As the Supreme Court has ruled, adding "on a computer" to an existing product should not make it patentable. And all the Stats Shark sees is a fingerprint sensor on a lock. By this logic, any new method for authentication should be equally as patentable and the Stats Shark isn't sure that's a good thing. At least Toor involved a larger platform strategy. This is just a lock.