ootBox, a company specializing in movable, temporary, and aesthetically pleasing workspaces, made its mark in Shark Tank Season 13, Episode 16. With them individuals can create a versatile office space wherever and whenever they need it, addressing the perennial challenge of finding a suitable workspace and a quiet environment. Founder Robbie Friedman presented his innovative concept to the Sharks, seeking a $300,000 investment in exchange for a 5% equity stake in the company.
The need for flexible workspace solutions is undeniable, especially for those looking to start their own businesses or projects without the burden of hefty office rents. they stepped in to cater to this demand, offering a game-changing solution for people seeking temporary, versatile, and cost-effective workspace options.
What is ootBox?
Their, headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, is a real estate leasing startup founded on November 12, 2020. This innovative company transforms standard 10-foot shipping containers into functional, modern offices. The idea for ootBox emerged when founder Robbie Friedman sought a separate workspace near his home. He coined the term “out-of-the-box” to encapsulate the concept of offering ready-to-use, portable workspaces for individuals and businesses.
They stand apart by offering workspace solutions that are versatile and readily deployable. While there are companies specializing in backyard offices and modular meeting rooms, their model focuses on affordability and accessibility. The company operates on a rental basis, with prices starting at $1,500 per month.
The Visionary Behind ootBox
Robbie Friedman, the founder and CEO of ootBox, embarked on his entrepreneurial journey after pursuing a law degree at the University of Michigan Law School. With experience in various startups and having established the Friedman Law Group, LLC and Viewabill Startup, he was well-prepared to dive into the world of innovative workspace solutions.
Allison Zofan, the Co-Founder and COO of ootBox, holds a Bachelor of Science in Public Affairs Management from Indiana University Bloomington. Her extensive background, including five years at “CEB” and eight years at Gartner, adds a layer of expertise to the team.
ootBox’s Pre-Shark Tank Success
Before stepping into the Shark Tank, they had already achieved significant success. The company turned profitable within 12-14 months of operation, a testament to the demand for its portable workspaces. Commercial leases for their offices start at approximately $1,500 per month, making them an attractive and cost-effective solution for businesses and individuals.
To fuel its growth, it had secured investments from three investors prior to appearing on Shark Tank. As a privately held company, they had an estimated value of $870,000. Key investors included Bolt Ventures, i-Hatch Ventures, and Island Capital Funds.
The Shark Tank Pitch and Deal
During their appearance on Shark Tank, Robbie and Allison delivered a compelling pitch that resonated with the Sharks. Seeking a $300,000 investment for a 5% equity stake, they shared insights into their startup’s performance and potential.
Barbara Corcoran, one of the Sharks, recognized the value of their innovative concept and offered $300,000 in exchange for a 9% equity share in the company. The founders accepted this deal, making Barbara a 9% stakeholder in ootBox.
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Where to Find ootBox
For those interested in renting their workspaces, the official ootBox website provides a convenient platform to explore their offerings. they currently offer four types of workspaces, each tailored to different needs and preferences.
The OG: Designed for individual use, this workspace is ideal for solo professionals seeking a comfortable and private work environment. It boasts dimensions of 8 feet, 6 inches in height and 8 feet in width. The monthly rental cost starts at $1,000, with a minimum commitment of three months.
The O2: Offering a truly portable plug-and-play retail experience, the O2 workspace shares the same dimensions as the OG. Customers have the option to customize this workspace, and pricing starts at $1,100 per month, with a minimum four-month commitment.
ootBox’s Post-Shark Tank Success
They experienced a surge in popularity following its appearance on Shark Tank, with many viewers learning about the company and its innovative workspace solutions. The exposure on national television helped them secure numerous orders, reflecting the significant demand for flexible and temporary workspace options.
In January 2023, ootBox gained further recognition when it constructed a substantial container for UBCO – Electric Adventure Vehicles at the Moda Center. As of April 2023, the company introduced two new models, the OG XL and the Curbside, expanding its range of offerings.
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ootBox’s Net Worth
ootBox’s current valuation stands at an impressive $3.3 million, a testament to its profitability and potential for growth. While the company is already profitable, the decision to seek investment on Shark Tank was driven by the desire to accelerate marketing efforts and scale the business.
ootBox’s Ongoing Operation
As of April 2023, they remain a dynamic and profitable business. The company employs more than 10 individuals and is headquartered in the Great Lakes region of the Midwestern United States.
In conclusion, ootBox, with its innovative approach to portable workspaces, continues to thrive and serve a diverse clientele. Its success story, marked by a Shark Tank deal and post-show expansion, underscores the demand for flexible workspace solutions in today’s dynamic work environment. With its growing net worth and ongoing operations, ootBox is well-positioned to make a lasting impact in the industry.
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