Breathometer CEO Charles Michael Yim shows the Sharks how to use his smartphone breathalyzer app in episode 505 of Shark Tank.
The Breathometer breathalyzer requires a smartphone app to operate. Breathalyzers that plug into smartphone headphone jacks can be found at keychain-sized stores.
The Breathometer app measures your blood alcohol content by having you blow into a mouthpiece.
Yim maintains that the Breathometer is just as accurate as any other breathalyzer. When drivers pick up the app after a few drinks, they will make more informed decisions.
You can use the Breathometer to see if you’re fit to drive or if you should call a cab instead.
A mobile app like this could save hundreds of lives and arrest hundreds of drunk drivers and traffic violators.
The app and hardware were available for pre-order for $49, with the general public supposed to order them in the summer of 2013.
What Is Breathometer?
Breathometer is a device you attach to your mobile device’s audio jack, download the app, and blow into after a wild night on the town.
It takes just a few seconds for your smartphone to tell you your blood alcohol concentration (BAC).
You’ll even get a cab, be alerted to friends and family, and be given hotel recommendations if you’re over the legal limit of 0.08 percent.
|Product||A smartphone attachment that acts as a breathalyzer|
|Investment Seeking||$250,000 For 10% equity in Breathometer|
|Final Deal||$1,000,000 For 30% equity in Breathometer|
|Shark||Robert Herjavec, Kevin O’Leary, Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner, Daymond John|
|Episode||Season 5 Episode 2|
|Business Status||Out Of Business|
Who Is The Founder Of Breathometer?
Breathometer was founded in 2013 by CEO Charles Yim. A graduate of the University of California with a Bachelor of Science in Business Economics and a lifelong entrepreneur, she has founded two businesses in her career so far.
Charles is now a San Francisco-based venture capitalist with his firm, Sync VC.
His LinkedIn profile indicates that he raised over $1 billion for start-up investments, many of which he served as a Board Member or Advisor.
He also does guest speaking and business mentoring, and in May 2021, he will have a book about entrepreneurship published.
Breathometer Before Shark Tank
Charles got the idea for the company when he realized there wasn’t a breathalyzer that was both connected to the smartphone market and also portable.
Charles Yim founded Breathometer at the end of 2012 to create the first breath analysis program that could be carried around with you.
Early beta trials were given away at the SXSW music festival in Austin, TX after IndieGoGo raised close to $140,000 in funding to get production going.
Charles then put the product on the market and sold it primarily on the internet and brick-and-mortar stores.
Breathometer produced only one product before its appearance on Shark Tank, and that was the all-inclusive device known as the Breathometer.
Searching for new ways to expand his business and reach a wider audience led him to seek high-profile investors.
How Was The Shark Tank Of Breathometer?
Charles begins by asking for $250,000 in exchange for a 10% stake in his company.
Charles offers the Sharks champagne and inquires as to whether or not they’ll be able to drive home safely that night.
He likens the Breathometer to large, clunky breathalyzers for driving under the influence. The project was successfully crowdfunded on Indiegogo in March, he says after describing its functions.
Mr. Wonderful is concerned about his legal responsibilities, but Charles assures him that good judgment is still required.
Lori puts the Breathometer to the test and comes up with a.04, which is within the legal limit for driving.
Using similar hardware and technology, Charles then explains his work on a diabetes testing app. He put in his own $50,000, but he still needs more to produce the product.
Mark offers $500K for 20% of the business with his eyes peeled for an opportunity. Mark refuses to work with Lori because she wants to team up with him.
A million-dollar venture capital round in 60 days is what Mr. Wonderful offers Charles in exchange for his 15 percent stake in the company.
They then band together to make a $750K offer for 30% of Robert, Kevin, and Lori.
Daymond is willing to part with $250k in exchange for a 10% stake in his company and the right to make an unlimited number of products.
Kevin then proposes that Mark and Daymond agree to let all Sharks participate in the $1 million deal. Daymond says he’ll join if the other four agree to participate.
The Sharks challenge Charles to a duel, and he agrees to split the lion’s share with Mark. Mark will give Charles $300, and the rest will chip in another $700,000. That’s what Charles claims.
Mark is willing to put up $500k for 15 percent, and the other Sharks will add another $500k for 30 percent to make a million-dollar offer.
Charles calls his business partner and expresses his concerns about the Sharks’ valuation and ability to cooperate.
So, Charles accepts, and thankfully there is already champagne open in his honor back in the Tank! Charles says he’s “ecstatic” that the five Sharks helped him raise a million dollars.
What Happened To Breathometer After Shark Tank?
A Breathometer-related segment appears in episode 529 of season 5, just a few months after the original airing.
It became apparent during that episode that Yim couldn’t keep up with the tens of thousands of orders the show was generating.
A million dollars in sales have been generated since their appearance on Shark Tank.
They must be doing well because, in Season 6, Episode 604, they get a second update on their progress!
A new Bluetooth Breathometer, dubbed The Breeze by Yim in the episode 604 update, is shown off.
He came up with the Breeze idea while working on a breath analysis project for the Cleveland Clinic.
They’re being rolled out in Brookstone and Best Buy stores across the country. Kim made $1 million in sales in the first update. The company expects to make $10 million this year!
Breathometer made some significant announcements at the 2016 CES (Consumer Electronics Show).
There is a segment about it in Season 2, Episode 207 of Beyond the Tank. You can catch up on everything that’s happened so far and what’s to come HERE.
Breathometer was ordered by the Federal Trade Commission in January 2017 to provide refunds for its devices sold between 2013 and 2015. (FTC).
Breathometer devices frequently understated blood alcohol levels, and the FTC investigators concluded that the company was well aware of this.
Breathometer decided not to inform its customers despite this fact and continued marketing and selling its products.
Jessica Rich, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, stated in a statement that “people relied on the defendant’s products to decide whether it was safe to get behind the wheel.”
It was misleading and dangerous to place too much weight on how accurate the devices were.
Mint, the company’s oral health analyzer, is still being developed. Unfortunately, the breathalyzer app has been removed from the App Store.
They’re still in business with a $5 million yearly profit as of November 2021.
Is Breathometer Still In Business?
Breathometer operated from 2013 to 2015, but the company switched to Mint, which measures oral health and hydration levels.
Breathometer production was halted in 2015 due to an increase in complaints and an FTC investigation.
The company has essentially been shut down since 2017.
Charles and the FTC reached an agreement, and the app was taken down as a result.
Charles will be required to contact all customers who purchased the Breathometer device and offer a full refund of over $5 million under the agreement with the FTC.