Is there anything like popcorn in the world? I mean, the flavor? The crunch? According to an entrepreneur behind Bohana, a business out of Boston, MA, the answer... is yes! She says that she loved popcorn... right up until she discovered popped water lily seeds. These seeds, native to northern India, are better not just because they contain 50% more protein but also because they don't have a kernel so there's nothing to get stuck between your teeth. So, she and a partner (who could not be there because she was due to give birth) created Bohana.
Bohana makes several flavors for its bags of pre-popped water lily seeds including: Himalayan Pink Salt, White Cheddar, and "Soulful Spice." It also has "all nine" essential amino acids.
Barbara comments that it's lighter in her mouth than popcorn. Mr. Wonderful, on the other hand, wants to get down to brass tacks and and asks how Bohana has been educating the public about their product and whether it's been a problem. The entrepreneur admits that education has been difficult but also says that people get it once they've tried it. Lori expresses some disappointment with the amount of fiber contained in each bag but the entrepreneur says that it can be tweaked.
Bohana is about twice as expensive as popcorn per bag, selling for about $3.99 at retail. Also, Bohana water lily seeds wouldn't be found in the usual snack aisle as the entrepreneurs would prefer to sell it with other health and organic snacks.
The business was launched in April of 2018 and, in sixteen months of sales has made $120,000. Additionally, Bohana has only been selling in retail for nine of those months.
Making A Deal
Mark drops out early, stating that he thinks the whole process of educating people and trying to reach a critical mass will of sales will be a "slog" and he's not up for it.
Barbara, though, says that she's willing to make an offer. She says that she likes that it's "more digestable" and filling than popcorn. Additionally, she says she's had good luck with Pipcorn, having seen them make $12,000,000 in sales over 3,500 stores. She says Pipcorn could help out Bohana because they're a few years ahead. So she offers $200,000 in exchange for 30% more of the business than the entrepreneur originally was willing to part with.
Guest shark Rohan Oza says that he likes the product because it has both an Indian side and a snack side but that he thinks the path will be too difficult and he drops out. Lori, likewise, drops out because she was serious about the lack of fiber and didn't feel the entrepreneur has sufficiently answered her questions about it. Though she does say she would buy it.
Kevin, as per usual, takes issue with the value but would love to partner up with Barbara. Unfortunately for him, Barbara's not interested, going so far as to state that she "didn't need" him. So he makes an offer of his own: $200,000 as debt to be repaid over thirty-six months at 9% interest plus 8% in equity. Like Barbara's deal with The Space Traveler last episode he turns the deal in venture debt, something Rohan recognizes and suggests the entrepreneur take. Even Mark mumbles approval.
The entrepreneur admits that the deal is attractive because she and her partner value their equity and 8% seems like a reasonable ask. She tries to get Barbara and Kevin to come in together but Barbara says that she "doesn't like" Kevin and the two refuse to come to an agreement. The entrepreneur dithers for a little bit but, one supposes, that when one considers the difference between Mr. Wonderful's 8% ask versus Barbara's 30%, if one were serious about making a deal, Kevin was the only real option.
- Firstly, Pipcorn originally aired back in Episode 6.08 and was, at the time, called "Pipsnacks". Secondly, this is interesting to hear Barbara use her experience with Pipcorn as an advantage for this deal since, just back in episode four of this season in the Snacklins, she stated that Pipcorn had made "essentially no profit" and that, because of her experience with that she wasn't interested in them. It would be interesting to get a definitive answer on how this company has performed.