BrellaBox was a startup company that aimed to provide an eco-friendly, convenient solution to the problem of getting caught in the rain without an umbrella.
The concept behind BrellaBox was to create a network of automated kiosks in high-traffic urban areas where people could rent umbrellas on a pay-per-use basis.
Users would locate the nearest BrellaBox kiosk using a mobile app, and upon arrival, they would swipe their credit card to rent an umbrella. Once they no longer needed the umbrella, they could return it to any BrellaBox kiosk in the network.
The idea was to reduce the waste generated by disposable umbrellas and provide a convenient, affordable solution for people who needed an umbrella in a pinch.
Unfortunately, BrellaBox did not gain the traction and funding necessary to bring its concept to fruition on a large scale.
The company faced challenges such as high manufacturing costs, maintenance, and potential issues with theft or misuse of umbrellas. As a result, BrellaBox eventually ceased operations and is no longer in business.
What Is BrellaBox?
Brellabox offered umbrella rentals to metropolitan residents and college students. The company intended to rent umbrellas for $1.50 per 12-hour period.
This service aimed to reduce the practice of purchasing cheap umbrellas and throwing them away when they break. The Brellabox was the ideal solution for umbrellas with a short shelf life.
BrellaBox works well in urban parks, public attractions, commercial districts, and colleges. BrellaBox presents an incredible opportunity for public service, branding, and a unique revenue stream.
|Entrepreneur||John O’Connor and Anusha Kambhampaty|
|Product||A system and app for sharing umbrellas|
|Investment Asking For||$400,000 For 20% equity in BrellaBox|
|Final Deal||No Deal|
|Episode||Season 7 Episode 26|
|Business Status||Out Of Business|
Who Is The Founder Of BrellaBox?
John O’Connor and Anusha Kambhampaty are the founders of Brellabox. John O’Connor continues to operate JSO Digital in Austin, Texas, to this day.
The company he founded is dedicated to assisting individuals who want their diets and lifestyles customized based on their genetic makeup.
Anusha Kambhampaty and John O’Connor started BrellaBox as a more environmentally friendly alternative to purchasing poorly made umbrellas from street vendors or using flimsy disposable umbrellas.
Their answer is a simplified umbrella rental service with self-service umbrella vending machines.
The umbrellas in BrellaBox are built to last and returned after use; they prevent the vast majority of umbrellas from ending up in landfills. You may even use the BrellaBox machine to return a broken umbrella.
Anusha Kambhampaty graduated from New York University and is currently the Director of Business Development at Progenics Pharmaceuticals.
BrellaBox Before Shark Tank
John O’Connor and Anusha Kambhampaty lived in New York City when they learned about the problem. The city was designed for walking, and they lived in a very wet climate, so they frequently had to contend with rainstorms without umbrellas.
Brellabox was designed to offer an environmentally friendly alternative to mass-produced umbrellas. An umbrella would be delivered to customers for up to 12 hours through the vending machine.
One benefit to renting an umbrella at the vending machine was the ability to return a broken umbrella. An umbrella vending machine was strategically deployed everywhere to facilitate access. The primary target audience was college students and city dwellers.
BrellaBox rented umbrellas and offered to buy and own the product. The entrepreneurs cooperated with universities for test runs, and as a result, their product was already in sale before appearing on Shark Tank, but they remained hopeful.
The pair addressed this issue by creating an eco-friendly umbrella rental service. What do the Sharks think about the latest installment of the “sharing economy”?
How Was The Shark Tank Pitch Of BrellaBox?
John and Anusha appeared on the Shark Tank seeking an investment of $400,000 in exchange for a 20% stake in BrellaBox. BrellaBox appeared on Season 7, Episode 26 of Shark Tank, which aired on April 29, 2016.
The founders, Anusha Kambhampaty and John O’Connor pitched their umbrella rental business idea to the panel of investors, or “sharks.”
During the pitch, Anusha and John explained the concept behind BrellaBox: a network of automated kiosks in high-traffic urban areas where people could rent umbrellas on a pay-per-use basis.
They highlighted the environmental benefits of reducing disposable umbrella waste and the convenience offered to users caught in the rain unexpectedly.
The founders asked the sharks for $500,000 in exchange for a 10% equity stake in their company, valuing BrellaBox at $5 million.
The sharks expressed concerns about the viability of the business model, the high valuation, and the challenges associated with maintaining and expanding the kiosk network.
Ultimately, none of the sharks decided to invest in BrellaBox. They believed the business model had too many potential issues, such as theft or damage to the umbrellas, the cost of maintaining the kiosks, and the relatively small target market for umbrella rentals.
As a result, Anusha and John left the Shark Tank without securing a deal. John and Anusha could not convince the Sharks and left the Shark Tank stage without securing any deal for BrellaBox.
Final Deal: No deal between Sharks and BrellaBox.
What Happened To BrellaBox After Shark Tank?
BrellaBox has developed into a larger pilot program in New York City after appearing on Shark Tank. Additionally, they released the fifth iteration of the Brellabox and are pursuing patent protection for its design.
It is possible that Mr. Wonderful would have been more receptive to the idea if he had believed it could be patented.
BrellaBox has recently signed a new agreement with another prominent university, Penn State. Several additional universities are also in contract negotiations, according to the website.
BrellaBox Shark Tank Update
John writes a blog post following the episode of Shark Tank in which he defends the position of BrellaBox but overlooks the most important component in demonstrating that their approach is successful.
BrellBox has not yet begun deploying its boxes; thus, they do so in forecasts when discussing its plans. Additionally, BrellBox is unable to take orders for their umbrella rental box. Therefore, the Sharks are correct in their assumptions until John can prove them incorrect.
BrellaBox has lowered the price and shortened the footprint of its box due to its appearance on Shark Tank, allowing cities and institutions to purchase it for a lower price.
BrellaBox still has to see whether they will have sunny days or be rained out. BrellaBox ceased operating in 2018 and is out of business as of 2023.
Is BrellaBox Still In Business?
After its appearance on Shark Tank, BrellaBox faced numerous challenges, and the company did not achieve the level of success it had hoped for.
Following the concerns raised by the sharks, the founders attempted to overcome the issues surrounding their business models, such as the high cost of manufacturing and maintaining kiosks, the potential for theft or misuse of umbrellas, and the limited target market for umbrella rentals.
Despite their efforts, BrellaBox struggled to gain the necessary traction, funding, and widespread adoption to sustain their business. The company could not establish a large-scale network of kiosks or generate significant revenue from umbrella rentals.
Eventually, BrellaBox ceased operations and is no longer in business. The concept of an umbrella-sharing service had potential, but the challenges associated with implementing and maintaining such a system proved too difficult for the company to overcome.
John defends Brellabox in a blog post following Shark Tank but overlooks a critical aspect of proving their business works. The boxes have not yet been deployed, so they speak in projections.
The umbrella rental box is also not available for orders. John will not disprove the Sharks’ claims until this issue is resolved. BrellaBox went out of business in 2023.
What Is the Net Worth Of BrellaBox?
The valuation of BrellaBox was $2 million when it appeared on Shark Tank. The net worth of BrellaBox is unknown as of 2023 since the company went out of business.