In the high-stakes world of entrepreneurship, Qeepsake emerged on Shark Tank with a mission to revolutionize how parents capture and preserve precious family memories. Founded by Jeff McNeil, a father of five, Qeepsake utilized innovative text messaging prompts to simplify the journaling process. As the Sharks deliberated, a deal unfolded, setting the stage for Qeepsake’s post-Shark Tank journey.
This article delves into the captivating story of Qeepsake, exploring the pivotal moments, strategic decisions, and noteworthy achievements that unfolded after the critical spotlight of the Shark Tank stage faded away.
What Is Qeepsake?
Qeepsake, the brainchild of husband-and-wife team Jeff and Stephanie McNeil, made its debut on Shark Tank, capturing the attention of both the investors and the audience. This innovative platform aimed to revolutionize the way parents document and cherish their children’s milestones .
How Does It Work?
Amid today’s hectic and fast-paced lifestyles, the challenge of tracking and preserving memories becomes increasingly daunting, and at times, nearly impossible. Qeepsake steps in to simplify the process of recording significant moments in a child’s life, ensuring that no precious memory goes unnoticed.
The entries logged in the journal find their digital residence on Qeepsake’s website. Subsequently, these digital chronicles are artfully compiled into a printed book, presenting a tangible and cherished keepsake for the parent. This integration of modern technology and tangible mementos not only streamlines the memory-recording process but also provides a lasting and physical representation of the invaluable moments in a child’s journey.
- Effortless Journaling: Qeepsake eliminates the hassle of traditional journaling by providing an easy and convenient way for parents to capture and preserve precious moments in their child’s life. Through a series of prompts sent via text messages, Qeepsake gently nudges parents to document memories without the need for dedicated journaling time;
- Memory Preservation: One of the standout features of Qeepsake is its commitment to preserving memories in a tangible format. Users can transform their digital entries into a physical book, creating a timeless keepsake that can be cherished for years to come. This feature adds a unique dimension to the platform, distinguishing it from other digital journaling tools;
- User-Friendly Interface: Qeepsake boasts a user-friendly interface that is easy to navigate, even for individuals who may not be tech-savvy. The simplicity of the platform encourages consistent use, ensuring that parents can effortlessly capture and relive their child’s milestones;
- Customization Options: Users have the flexibility to customize their entries by adding photos, tags, and additional details. This not only enhances the storytelling aspect but also allows parents to create a more personalized and visually appealing record of their child’s journey;
- Collaborative Features: Qeepsake offers a collaborative option, allowing both parents to contribute to and share in the joy of documenting their child’s memories. This collaborative feature fosters a sense of connection and shared responsibility in preserving their family’s history;
- Digital Security: Given the sensitive and personal nature of the content, Qeepsake prioritizes the security of user data. The platform employs encryption and other security measures to safeguard the memories entrusted to it, addressing concerns about privacy and data protection;
- Subscription-Based Service. Qeepsake operates as a subscription-based service. This model ensures that the service is continuously updated and improved. It also means that the cost is spread out over time, making it more affordable for some users ;
- Subscription Costs. While the subscription model has its advantages, it also means that you’ll need to keep paying to use the service. Over time, these costs can add up, and some parents may find the expense too high for their budget;
- Dependence on Text Messages. Qeepsake’s reliance on text messages could also be a potential drawback. If you’re someone who doesn’t regularly check or respond to texts, you might find yourself missing prompts and not utilizing the service to its full potential;
- Lack of Physical Interaction. While Qeepsake’s digital format makes it easy to record memories, it lacks the physical interaction that comes with traditional baby books. Some parents may miss the tactile experience of writing down memories and sticking photos into a book;
- Limited Offline Access: Qeepsake’s reliance on text messages for prompts may pose a challenge for users who find themselves without internet access or who prefer to document memories offline. The platform could benefit from an offline mode to cater to a broader audience;
- Limited Integration: Qeepsake currently has limited integration with other platforms and services. Expanding integration capabilities, such as syncing with photo storage or social media accounts, could streamline the process of adding multimedia content;
Who May Benefit From Using?
- Parents and Expecting Parents: Qeepsake is tailor-made for parents who want to effortlessly document and cherish the milestones in their child’s life. Expecting parents can start using the platform to create a digital record even before their child is born, making it a valuable tool throughout the parenting journey;
- Busy Professionals: Individuals with demanding schedules may struggle to find time for traditional journaling. Qeepsake’s text message prompts offer a convenient and time-efficient way for busy professionals to capture meaningful moments without dedicating extensive time to the process;
- Extended Family Members: Grandparents, aunts, uncles, and other extended family members who play a significant role in a child’s life can also benefit from Qeepsake. The collaborative features allow multiple family members to contribute to the journal, fostering a collective effort to preserve memories;
- Tech-Savvy Individuals: Qeepsake’s user-friendly interface and digital nature make it particularly appealing to those comfortable with technology. Individuals who enjoy the convenience of managing memories digitally and sharing them with others through an online platform may find Qeepsake to be an ideal fit;
- Individuals Living Abroad: For families separated by geographical distances, Qeepsake provides a digital space to share and celebrate a child’s milestones in real-time. This can be especially meaningful for parents or family members who may be living in different parts of the world;
- Gift-Givers: Qeepsake’s option to transform digital entries into physical books makes it a thoughtful and sentimental gift. Friends or family members looking for a unique present for baby showers, birthdays, or other special occasions may find Qeepsake to be a heartfelt and enduring gift ;
About the Founders Of Qeepsake
Jeff, with a design and development background since his graduation from Hampshire College in 2004, swiftly translated his idea into action. Within two days of conceptualizing the platform, he had two developers working on it, and a comprehensive specification was crafted. Stephanie, a registered nurse, joined forces with Jeff to co-found the business, sharing the vision of helping parents create baby journals, a desire often hindered by time constraints, particularly for parents with multiple children, as in Jeff’s case.
Qeepsake revolutionizes the journaling process by leveraging the widespread use of text messaging. The platform sends two daily questions about a child’s development directly to the parents’ phones. Responding to these prompts and uploading a corresponding photo prompts the Qeepsake AI to generate a customizable digital notepad. The culmination of this digital journey results in the option to print a personalized book.
Qeepsake offers two subscription options to cater to different preferences and needs. The first, priced at $ 40 per year, delivers two questions daily, while the second, at $ 90 per year, increases the frequency to four questions each day . Importantly, users are not confined to prompted entries; they can spontaneously share milestone moments by sending photos and messages to the platform, ensuring a comprehensive and personalized record of their child’s journey.
The Pitch Of Qeepsake At Shark Tank
When Jeff McNeil entered the Shark Tank to present Qeepsake, he sought a $ 350,000 investment in exchange for a 10% equity stake in his company . As the founder and a father of five residing in Auburndale, Massachusetts, Jeff introduced the product as a solution to the challenge of parents missing out on memories. He highlighted the common scenario where traditional baby books often end up with blank pages due to the busy lifestyles of parents, resulting in lost memories and unrecorded milestones.
To emphasize the need for a more practical solution, Jeff tossed a standard baby book aside and introduced the Sharks to Qeepsake’s innovative approach. He envisioned a system where parents could effortlessly track memories using simple text messages, circumventing the limitations of traditional baby books. Jeff, a skilled web designer and developer since his graduation in 2004, had two developers working on the idea within two days of its inception.
Qeepsake, as presented by Jeff, operates by sending two daily text message prompts to parents about their child’s development. By responding to these prompts and attaching a photo, Qeepsake’s AI generates a digital notepad that users can customize. The entries are stored on the website, and once a sufficient amount of memories is recorded, users can order a personalized keepsake book.
Jeff’s demonstration included sharing a recent question about his daughter Annabel, showcasing the real-time interaction with Qeepsake. He further illustrated the system’s versatility by incorporating pictures of the Sharks, injecting a humorous element into the presentation.
As the Sharks engaged in the discussion, various questions and concerns emerged. Lori expressed curiosity about the customization options for each page in the keepsake book, while Kevin inquired about the subscription fee and the potential competition from existing note-taking apps. Jeff clarified that Qeepsake operates as a subscription-based service, with an average plan price of $ 40 per year, and highlighted the platform’s distinctive use of text message prompts for memory tracking.
Mark Cuban, anticipating potential competition and the absence of barriers to entry, expressed concerns and decided to bow out. Kevin, initially uninterested but progressively intrigued, offered Jeff $ 350,000 for a 20% equity stake. However, Mark’s concerns echoed in Kevin’s decision to invest, prompting him to question the sustainability and potential mass appeal of the product.
As Jeff contemplated the offer, he expressed reservations about the equity dilution and countered with a 12% equity stake. Kevin countered again by proposing a 20% equity stake for the $ 350,000 investment. Meanwhile, guest Shark Chris Sacca, intrigued by the product’s potential, expressed his interest in making an offer identical to Kevin’s.
Jeff, keen on preserving more equity for future rounds of investment, increased his equity offer to 14%. This prompted Kevin to exit the deal, citing Jeff’s hesitation as a cause for concern. Lori, recognizing the need for a rapid business escalation, also opted out.
As the negotiation continued, Chris, appreciating the problem-solving aspect of Qeepsake, offered the same terms as Kevin — $ 350,000 for a 20% equity stake. Jeff, aiming to strike a balance between equity and securing a deal, counteroffered with a 14% equity stake. Although Chris acknowledged the better terms, he hesitated due to concerns about the competitive landscape and the absence of a guarantee that no other competitors would emerge.
Jeff, unable to make assurances about competition, declined Chris’s offer. In the aftermath, Jeff expressed his belief that the Sharks had overlooked a significant opportunity with Qeepsake. Despite the outcome, he remained confident in the potential of his business and its ability to fill a unique niche in the market.
Qeepsake After The Shark Tank
Following its broadcast, Qeepsake secured $ 900,000 in funding, boasting a user base exceeding 100,000 . It’s worth noting that this occurred during the airing of Season 8 but was delayed until Season 9, introducing a temporal gap of at least a year and a few months between recording and broadcasting – a considerable span during which substantial developments could unfold. The company also innovatively crafted an application, streamlining user interactions.
The year 2021 marked a pivotal period for Qeepsake. In June of that year, the company garnered investment from Punchbowl, leading to the appointment of Matt Douglas, CEO, and Founder of Punchbowl, to the Qeepsake Board.
August 2021 witnessed a strategic alliance with prominent baby formula manufacturer Enfamil as part of their Premium Family Beginnings initiative, providing Enfamil clientele with exclusive offers on infant products. Further collaborations included a partnership with Project Sweet Peas, a September 2021 initiative dedicated to raising awareness about premature births.
In February 2022, Qeepsake expanded its features by introducing a video functionality. This enhancement, exclusively available to Premium Members, allows seamless uploading of unlimited videos directly through the app, enriching the digital Qeepsake Journal experience.
By August 2022, Tracy Cho assumed the role of CEO, succeeding Jeff McNeil. Tracy promptly secured $ 2 million in funding from LaunchCapital, with plans to establish a Content Marketing team and execute a rebranding strategy aimed at aligning the brand with contemporary parental sensibilities. The leadership transition saw Jeff McNeil assuming the role of CEO .
As of October 2023, Qeepsake has cultivated a user base of approximately 700,000, translating to an annual revenue surpassing $ 60 million. This remarkable growth underscores Qeepsake’s sustained success and widespread appeal among users.
The Net Worth Of Qeepsake
One of the reasons behind this growth could be the company’s innovative approach to memory preservation. By leveraging the convenience of text messaging, Qeepsake offers busy parents an easy way to journal their children’s milestones and experiences.
Despite not securing a deal with the Sharks, Qeepsake has managed to carve out a niche for itself in the market. It pulls in a reported $ 2 million in annual revenue1, which is quite impressive. However, there seems to be some discrepancy in the reports, as another source states that Qeepsake’s revenue hit $ 128.5K in 2023.
Regardless of the exact figures, it’s clear that Qeepsake has been successful in its endeavors since its appearance on Shark Tank. The company has also raised considerable funding, with $ 10.3M raised in 2021, and its latest deal amounting to $ 7.59M.
Alternatives To Qeepsake:
1) Day One:
- Focus: Day One is a versatile journaling app suitable for a wide range of users;
- Features: It offers multimedia integration, including photos and audio recordings. Users can create multiple journals and customize entries with tags and location data;
- Platforms: Available on iOS and Android;
- Focus: Geared towards parents looking to document and share their children’s milestones;
- Features: Tinybeans allows users to create a timeline of their child’s life, add photos, and share updates with family and friends. It includes options for printing photo books;
- Platforms: Available on iOS and Android;
- Focus: A versatile journaling app suitable for personal reflection and life documentation;
- Features: Journey supports multimedia entries, including photos and location data. It offers cloud syncing for access across multiple devices;
- Platforms: Available on Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and as a web app;
- Focus: A platform that encourages storytelling and family connections;
- Features: StoryWorth sends weekly story prompts via email to help users document their life stories. Family members can contribute their stories, and the platform compiles them into a book;
- Platforms: Web-based;
5) Moments – Private Diary/Journal:
- Focus: An app designed for personal journaling and reflection;
- Features: Moments allows users to create text entries and attach photos. It emphasizes privacy, offering passcode protection for entries;
- Platforms: Available on iOS and Android;
- Focus: A secure and private journaling platform;
- Features: Penzu emphasizes privacy with its encrypted journal entries. It offers customization options and the ability to add images;
- Platforms: Web-based with mobile apps for iOS and Android;
- Focus: A comprehensive note-taking app suitable for a variety of purposes, including journaling;
- Features: Evernote allows users to create multimedia notes, organize content, and sync across multiple devices. It offers flexibility for personal and professional use;
- Platforms: Available on Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and as a web app;
- Focus: A digital notebook app suitable for handwritten journaling and note-taking;
- Features: GoodNotes supports handwriting with a stylus or finger. Users can create notebooks, add images, and customize entries;
- Platforms: Primarily available on iOS;
- How does Qeepsake work with twins or multiples?
Qeepsake accommodates families with twins or multiples seamlessly. The platform allows parents to create separate entries for each child, ensuring a personalized and comprehensive record of each individual’s milestones and memories.
- Is Qeepsake private and secure?
Yes, Qeepsake prioritizes the privacy and security of its users. The platform employs robust security measures to safeguard personal data and memories. Users can trust that their information is kept confidential and secure.
- What is the annual revenue of Qeepsake?
Qeepsake’s annual revenue is reported to be $ 2 million. The company has demonstrated strong financial performance, reflecting its popularity and success in the market.
- Who is the owner of Qeepsake?
Jeff McNeil is the founder and owner of Qeepsake. As a father of five, he conceptualized and developed the platform to address the challenges busy parents face in recording and preserving memories.
- What is the highest-grossing company after Shark Tank?
The highest-grossing company after appearing on Shark Tank is a dynamic and evolving list. As of the last available information, Scrub Daddy holds the title of the highest-grossing Shark Tank success story, with revenues exceeding $ 209 million.
- Which Shark Tank investor is the most successful?
While success can be measured in various ways, Kevin O’Leary (Mr. Wonderful) is often regarded as one of the most successful Shark Tank investors. His diverse investment portfolio and strategic business acumen contribute to his reputation as a prominent figure in the business world.
- Do the investors get paid on Shark Tank?
The Shark Tank investors do not receive salaries for their participation in the show. Instead, they invest their own money in the businesses they choose to back, taking an equity stake in return. Their earnings come from the success of the businesses they invest in.
- How many Shark Tank deals actually close?
While many deals are negotiated on Shark Tank, not all of them ultimately close. The closing of a deal depends on various factors, including due diligence, successful negotiations, and the ability of the entrepreneurs and investors to reach mutually agreeable terms.
- What was the worst deal on Shark Tank?
Determining the “worst” deal is subjective, but one notable example is the ReadeREST, a magnetic eyeglass holder. Despite initial success, the deal fell apart post-show, and the entrepreneurs faced challenges with the product’s distribution and sales.
- Why does Barbara never invest?
Barbara Corcoran, one of the Shark Tank investors, has her investment criteria and preferences. She often avoids deals in industries or products where she lacks expertise or passion. Additionally, Barbara tends to prioritize businesses with the potential for substantial growth and scalability.
- How real is Shark Tank?
Shark Tank is a reality television show, and while the pitches and negotiations are genuine, the process is condensed for television. Entrepreneurs undergo a thorough vetting process before appearing on the show, and not all aspects of the negotiations are shown in the final edit.
Useful Video: How Qeepsake Works?