Yumble is a company from Englewood, NJ, started by a husband and wife team of entrepreneurs that wants to provide simple and fast meals for parents to make children.
Just like Plated or Blue Apron, Yumble puts together a box of healthy meals on a subscription basis for easy finishing by the customer. Unlike Plated, it appears as though Yumble's meals are completed or mostly completed and just require re-heating. Also, since these meals are aimed at children, each box also contains a "collectible" such as a card.
Example meals included in the box are "Chicken Pops" that look and taste like Chicken McNuggets but are made from free range organic chicken and are claimed to be healthier. Other options include empanadas and "Smac & Cheese".
Parents can order the boxes in six meal, twelve meal, or twenty-four meal packs. And the meals don't lack for range either. The entrepreneurs claim that, each week, they have twenty-two different meals to select from.
Yumble claims that they have experienced extraordinary growth, seeing 30% month over month growth in new subscriptions so that at the time of filming they had 12,000 customers. In the company's lifetime, they have grossed $1,300,000 in sales. They project earning $5,000,000 by the end of the year and $35,000,000 by the end of the next year.
The entrepreneurs specifically mentioned that they reduced their customer acquisition cost to to "just" $40 per customer which was down from $100 per customer and when they were spending $4,000 a week on marketing.
This deal aired on Episode 10.08.
Making A Deal
Kevin specifically mentioned his experience with Plated as a similar business he had been involved in and the difficulties that were involved. He mentioned that Plated was eventually sold to Albertsons because they found it necessary to have a retail partner behind them and questioned what their strategy was.
Returning guest shark Bethenny Frankel stated that she believed that the business model was more akin to "lunchables" where the food was already prepared versus a cooking box like Plated and jumped to make them an offer. Initially, it was for a fair amount of equity that the entrepreneurs stated was below the value that they believed the company was worth. Mr. Wonderful dropped out of the deal because of his experience with Plated.
Unusually, the entrepreneurs were actually pitching two guest shark and Rohan Oza also began to express an interest in the business. Unfortunately, Bethenny went all reality show hysterical drama on the entrepreneurs and dropped her offer to 6% equity and be a spokesperson for the brand before threatening to walk away entirely. Unfortunately, this left Mark (the original investor in Plated when it aired) unheard because the entrepreneurs begged her not to walk away and that they would accept her offer despite the fact that it bit over $4,100,000 from the value of the company and that they would be associated with Bethenny Frankel for fucks sake.
Simply put, a company in the box category is one that assembles a subscription box containing whatever it is the company is selling such as coffee in Mistobox or dog toys and treats as with PupBox. Whatever it is, it's a reoccurring subscription box of themed articles and, for a while at least, they seemed as if they were going to be a breakout category of their own much like Gag or Toys. But this is only the twelfth box deal on the show with all of the rest having happened between seasons four and and eight. What had once seemed like a new and growing category has, in fact, reversed trends and now appears to be not so popular. Is this the case or has Shark Tank merely stopped airing box deals? Is there something about the category and its business model that has not held up to the test of time?
This is a question that would be interesting to find out the answer to.
- The Plated deal originally aired in the twenty second episode of Season Five and was originally a deal that Mark Cuban made on the show. However in the second episode of Beyond the Tank, it was revealed that Mark actually dropped out of the deal and Kevin O'Leary stepped in as an investor. It is interesting that even though Mark appeared in this episode along with Kevin, this fact was never mentioned.