Shark Tank episode 823 featured Savannah Cowley and Samuel Agboola, looking for investment in Flag, a free photo printing application.
The app provides “clients” with free, high-quality photo prints, but the photos contain advertisements printed on their backs.
There are still no fees associated with using the photo paper, and it is of superior quality to what is available elsewhere.
Flag’s crowdfunding campaign went live in February 2014 with a total of $169,187 raised.
Over the past few months, the completion of the final product has encountered significant setbacks. Following a successful Kickstarter campaign, releasing the app took more than two years.
They required advertisements for the model to be successful. At this point, they have more than 1,500 paid advertising, including companies such as Squarespace and Visa.
The consumer must place a promotional advertisement on the back of their photo to receive free photo prints. It’s an advertisement that will not be thrown away.
The EXIF data from your photo, the zip code, and the contents of your photo, are shared with advertisers by Flag.
However, the company does not sell user information, such as names or addresses, but it does share their EXIF data.
Your income, interests, and where you spend your spare time should enable them to make educated guesses about you.
They will very certainly want additional funds to expand their launch. Will a Shark be interested in investing in this venture?
What Is Flag?
The flag is an incredibly creative solution that elevates ad support to new heights. You will not see sponsored advertisements on their app, nor will you receive spam emails from newsletters you subscribed to when you signed up.
They instead used your complimentary prints as roaming advertisements, which you should keep.
All twenty of your free prints also include an advertisement for a company that helps you keep your photos free.
Flag relied on approximately 1,500 paid advertisers to operate the app at its introduction in 2016.
It operates in a rather easy manner. The flag is supported by advertisements, which enable the photos to be printed for free. The printing procedure is slightly more involved, but only on the back end.
Each Flag print uses a ten-layer process, including two anti-scratch layers, a resin coating, and a laminate to ensure the print is museum-quality.
The quality of the image produced is superior to any print available today, with a lifespan of 300 years.
The flag uses seven distinct ink colors to produce the most vibrant, true-to-life graphics possible. Even with the bizarre photo forms accessible on today’s smartphones, square, panorama, and super-close selfies, Flag’s printers will not force you to crop your image.
Images may be stretched or cropped on the edges when printing photos from your phone at Walgreens to fit typical proportions.
Flag’s photo printers operate oppositely by operating with the original size of the image. This means the images will appear exactly as you took them-which is precisely why you loved them so much in the first place.
The flag has an interesting business model that appears to be working for them. When Cowley and Agboola launched their Kickstarter campaign in the fall of 2016, they received the support of about 5,000 subscribers for about $330,000.
This may be due to the omnipresence of advertising, and how many people seek ways to print the stunning selfies they snap every day on their cell phones?
TechCrunch reports that Flag is not the first app of its kind, but it is the first that distributes photos for free. It does not charge a subscription fee, ship to customers, or charge shipping and handling fees.
|Entrepreneur||Samuel Agboola and Savannah Cowley|
|Product||Free Photo Printing App|
|Investment Asking For||$375,000 for 5% equity in Flag|
|Final Deal||No Deal|
|Episode||Season 8 Episode 21|
|Business Status||Out of business|
Who Is The Founder Of Flag?
Flag Photo was developed by Santa Clarita, California natives Savannah Cowley and Samuel Agboola.
Prints from the software will be displayed at museums and will “last up to 300 years without fading” – and won’t cost you a penny.
You can download the app from the iTunes store for $9.99, but printing and shipping up to 20 images per month will cost you $9.99.
The company plans to earn revenue from the sale of each photograph by putting an advertisement on its back.
Flag Before Shark Tank
The flag got off to a good start in this game. A crowdfunding platform called Kickstarter helped them raise funds back in 2014.
They set their goal at $10,000 but ended up raising an incredible $169,187 from more than 5,000 individual backers, well beyond their expectations.
While it was repeatedly delayed, the product launched in summer 2016 – just three months before it appeared on Shark Tank.
Would this release demonstrate the model’s viability enough to secure an agreement with the Sharks? Let’s have a look at this.
How Was The Shark Tank Pitch Of Flag?
Samuel and Savannah appeared on Shark Tank seeking an investment of $375,000 for 5% equity in Flag. They give a brief explanation of their company and distribute example photographs.
The question is, why haven’t companies like Shutterfly implemented it yet if it’s such a brilliant idea.
Sam explained that this is because Shutterfly does not use laser printers, while he does.
Savannah claims that they have sold $150,000 in advertising to Visa and other major corporations in the last three months.
They have also sent out over 800,000 images in that time. Sam informs the sharks that he has raised $1.6 million, shocked.
Kevin and Mark disagree that it is proprietary, and Mark wonders why they require $375,000 since they have already raised $1.6 million.
Sam tells the group they’re raising an additional $3 million and everything comes crashing down. Barbara leaves.
Kevin is concerned about whether sponsors would return and decides to leave.
Then Lori explained that a similar product had burned her in the past and that this was the last time she would use it.
Mark complains that too many balls are in the air, and he’s been ejected from the game. Sam informs Chris that he will only give consumers the first 20 prints for free, which leads to Chris losing his cool.
The man walks out of the door while emphasizing that he does not do business with companies that do “out-of-touch advertising and waste money.”
Finally, Samuel and Savannah left the Shark Tank stage without any deal.
Final Deal: No deal between Sharks and Flag.
What Happened To Flag After Shark Tank?
Following its failure to close a deal with Shark Tank, Flag has removed its iOS app from the app store. They raised an additional $331,949 with a brand-new Kickstarter, exceeding their goal by more than 300%.
The campaign was successfully funded on October 26th, 2016, and the entrepreneurs expect to deliver the products by March 2017.
However, their supporters are furious due to their mysterious disappearance from the internet.
The Kickstarter page states that the app received too many subscribers and could not maintain the requested production level.
An update available to backers stated that Flag would pull everything offline until they reorganized and regained control.
That occurred in April 2017, and supporters are growing impatient. Many of them, naturally, are demanding refunds.
You cannot sign up for the app on your own. Those interested in Flag should watch but don’t expect too much.
Flag Shark Tank Update
A few days after appearing on the episode, they launched a second Kickstarter campaign and raised $331,949. Shortly after that, the company went out of business, leading to the app’s removal from app stores.
The Kickstarter website currently has almost 1500 angry comments, although they haven’t delivered anything.
People call this a scam, and I am inclined to agree with their assessment. Most of them ask, “Are we close to undoing the money theft?”
Is Flag Still In Business?
On the Kickstarter page, many super backers expressed frustration and anger at the project, despite Cowley and Agboola raising more than $330,000 through the campaign and pitching the firm on Shark Tank in April 14.
Some are astonished to hear that they, too, must pay $10 for the app as a backer. Others express their patience and well-wishes.
The comments range from “do not surrender and continue working!” to “I want my money back!” Kickstarter’s dangers.
And now the Shark Tank’s perils! Thus far, the answer to “what happened to” remains a matter of speculation. Shark Tank airs on ABC on Fridays at 9 p.m.