Revolights, a revolutionary bicycle lighting system, made waves with its debut on Shark Tank. The brainchild of Kent Frankovich, Revolights promised enhanced safety for cyclists through a unique LED lighting system that served as both headlights and brake lights.
Garnering significant attention and securing funding during its run on the show, Revolights seemed poised to transform cycling safety. However, the aftermath told a different story. This article delves into the journey of Revolights post-Shark Tank, exploring its initial success, sudden disappearance, and the lingering questions surrounding this innovative product.
What Is Revolights?
How Does It Work?
The lights spring to life automatically the moment a cyclist commences pedaling, and they extinguish as soon as the pedaling halts. Furthermore, they’re equipped with supplementary sensors such as brake levers and ambient light detectors. Robert’s proposal encompassed the task of engineering prototype hardware and initiating its mass production.
Additionally, the sensors can discern when the bicycle comes to a standstill or significantly decelerates, dimming or deactivating the lights accordingly, thereby conserving the battery life for extended journeys.
The primary feature of Revolights is unparalleled visibility. Users have praised the product for providing excellent visibility on dark streets. If you’re using them for basic commuting, the Revolights will effectively light your way.
The product also boasts a unique design that adds an aesthetic appeal to your bicycle. The lights are attached to the bike wheels, creating a spectacular visual effect when the wheels are in motion. This not only enhances safety but also adds a cool factor to your ride.
In addition to being a lighting system, Revolights also act as brake lights. This is a significant safety feature, especially for night cyclists, as it gives clear signals to vehicles behind, reducing the risk of accidents .
Despite the promising features and benefits, Revolights has had its share of drawbacks. The main one being the company’s disappearance from the market. Their website went dark, their social media pages were abandoned, and their products were pulled from all retailers, including Amazon. This sudden disappearance left many customers in the lurch, particularly those who needed support or replacement parts for their products.
Another potential drawback is the price point. While the exact cost is hard to determine due to the product being pulled from retailers, high-tech cycling accessories tend to be on the higher end of the price spectrum, which could put it out of reach for some consumers .
Who May Benefit From Using Revolights:
- Urban Cyclists: Revolights were especially beneficial for urban cyclists who regularly navigate busy city streets. The 360-degree visibility greatly increased their safety during both day and nighttime riding;
- Nighttime Riders: For those who prefer or need to ride at night, the enhanced visibility provided by Revolights would have been a significant advantage, making them more visible to drivers, pedestrians, and other cyclists;
- Commuters: People who use their bikes to commute to work or school could have benefited from Revolights. The added safety features would have been particularly useful during early morning or late evening commutes when light conditions are often poor;
- Long-Distance Cyclists: For cyclists on long-distance rides or touring, the ability to be seen from all angles could have improved their safety, especially when riding on less familiar roads;
- Casual Cyclists: Even casual cyclists who ride for leisure or fitness could have found value in Revolights. The lights not only improved safety but also added an element of style and fun to any bike;
- Adventure Cyclists: Those who enjoy off-road or adventure cycling could have used Revolights to improve visibility in lower light conditions, such as heavily wooded trails or during dusk or dawn rides ;
About the Founders Of Revolights
With remarkable proactivity, a wealth of experience, and an exceptional product, Kent Frankovich’s Kickstarter campaign garnered an impressive $ 200,000 in 2011. This early success paved the way for Kent to enter the online market, where he achieved rapid and substantial success.
Revolights, Kent Frankovich’s brainchild, took center stage in the Shark Tank during episodes 5 and 19. This ingenious bicycle accessory boasts both a brake light and headlight, powered by an LED battery illumination system cleverly mounted on the bike’s wheels. The lights are securely held in place on the spokes using magnets, while the wheel hub features a power pack that charges the batteries via a portable USB charger.
Kent Frankovich’s venture was fueled by the capital raised from two successful Kickstarter campaigns. The initial campaign in 2011 raised a total of $ 215,000, and by May 2013, a second campaign had brought in over $ 941,000 . These funds provided the foundation for the establishment of the company.
As of now, bicycle wheels equipped with Revolights, boasting an impressive 27 rims, are exclusively available through the company. However, they have plans to expand their product range to accommodate various wheel sizes and explore self-charging battery systems in the future.
Revolights can also be found on the Amazon online marketplace and in select REI bicycle stores, indicating a growing presence in the cycling accessories market. Likely, they are actively seeking additional funding to further their product development and distribution efforts.
The Pitch Of Revolights At Shark Tank
Kent entered the Shark Tank seeking an investment of $ 150,000 in exchange for a 10% stake in his company . He began his pitch by highlighting the common bicycle lights found on the front and back of bikes but stressed that these lights often failed to provide sufficient side visibility, which was a major factor in nighttime bike accidents.
Kent introduced his innovative solution, Revolights, which were designed to be mounted on a bike’s wheel, ensuring visibility from all angles. To illustrate the impact of Revolights, he showcased a video of the product in action during a nighttime ride.
Daymond expressed his interest by testing the product on a bike, and Kent shared the story of how the idea originated during a late-night ride home from Stanford University. Impressed by the concept, all the Sharks approached to get a closer look at the LED lights while Kent provided additional descriptions of the product.
Kevin raised concerns about the potential theft of the lights, but Kent assured him that Revolights were solid rings that could be locked up along with the bike, deterring theft. When Kent mentioned having patents, Kevin inquired if he would consider licensing the technology. Kent was open to the idea but wanted to first prove the existence of a market.
Lori was keen on the financials and learned that Revolights had generated $ 600,000 in revenue in the ten months since its inception, all of which was through online sales. The individual sets were priced at $ 139, while the full set sold for $ 229. Kent explained that they were not yet profitable because he was reinvesting the earnings into the business.
Lori asked about competition, and Kent claimed that there was nothing as visible as Revolights in the market.
Daymond, impressed by the product and Kent’s background, made the first offer: $ 300,000 for a 30% stake. Kent was initially hesitant about the equity ask, but Daymond urged him to take a moment to consider it.
Kevin offered an alternative: $ 150,000 for a 7% royalty, with the royalty decreasing to 1% once the investment was repaid. Kent, however, promptly declined Kevin’s offer as he was seeking an equity investment.
Robert, greatly impressed by Kent’s background and the product, presented an astonishing offer: $ 300,000 for a 10% stake, doubling the valuation Kent initially proposed. Daymond and Lori were taken aback by the generous offer. Daymond, realizing he couldn’t engage in a bidding war, decided to bow out.
Kent expressed his gratitude to Robert for the offer but wanted to hear if any other offers were on the table.
Mark entered the fray, echoing Robert’s belief that Kent’s valuation was too low. Mark found Kent’s valuation insulting given his background and the company’s sales. He accused Kent of “messing with the Sharks” and stated that the deal would never close. Kent defended his valuation, emphasizing that he valued the connections and expertise the Sharks brought to the table.
However, Mark interrupted Kent with a blunt “You’re so full of crap!” He wondered why Kent didn’t show even a hint of a smile when Robert offered a deal worth twice what Kent had originally asked for and then decided to exit the deal.
Kent explained that capital was a pressing issue for his company, and he saw Shark Tank as an opportunity to partner with someone who could help grow the business using their connections, rather than seeking just publicity.
Mark disagreed, thinking Kent should have immediately accepted Robert’s offer if that was his genuine intention. Robert tried to defend Kent by stating that he didn’t perceive Kent as someone who wouldn’t close a deal. But Mark and Daymond were puzzled as to why Robert allowed Kent to entertain other offers after making such a generous proposal.
In the end, after considering all the concerns and criticisms, Kent decided to accept Robert’s offer. As Kent left the tank, Kevin confirmed that Mark accused him of seeking exposure, a claim to which Mark agreed. Robert, however, expressed his faith in the entrepreneurs who come on the show, showing his belief in their intentions.
Revolights After The Shark Tank
Shortly following the broadcast of their feature on television, the company received an additional $ 1 million in funding from Sierra Angels and various angel investors . This cash infusion allowed them to elevate their production capabilities, and in no time, their products graced the shelves of numerous sports equipment retailers, including the prominent REI. Their merchandise also found a home on the vast marketplace of Amazon.
Over the ensuing years, the company experienced substantial growth. By the year 2016, they had unveiled two novel offerings – the Revolights Eclipse and Revolights Coolidge, with the former brought to life through the support of backers on Indiegogo. Not only that, they extended their reach to international markets, making their mark in places like Singapore, South Africa, and Brazil.
Regrettably, this prosperous phase was short-lived. In January 2019, the company conveyed the disheartening news to their loyal customers and backers that they would be ceasing operations. Their email of closure expressed gratitude for the unwavering support received and cited both personal and professional reasons for their decision. They also made it clear that they would no longer be able to offer product support, a decision that left many customers disheartened.
Their once vibrant website went dark, their social media presence became deserted, and their products were unceremoniously removed from all retail outlets, including Amazon, where their lights had garnered a 3-star rating. While some customers were impressed with the visibility their products provided, others found fault in the time-consuming installation process and bemoaned the lights’ perceived lack of brightness.
Interestingly, signs of the company’s impending closure had been visible to some keen observers. On Reddit, one user revealed that they had reached out to customer support in June 2018 and were informed that the Eclipse+ would be restocked in August. However, this promise was never fulfilled, prompting them to inquire again in October. Their follow-up communication revealed that the lights were on backorder for seven months, ultimately leaving customers in the lurch as the company folded just a few months later.
Subsequently, many customers encountered issues with the batteries, but to their dismay, there was no recourse for replacement or repair, as the company had shuttered its operations.
As for Kent, he appears to have moved on from the business. His LinkedIn profile indicates that he commenced employment at Apple shortly after the company’s closure. He served as a Mechanical Design Engineer from February 2019 to October 2019, and since October 2019, he has held the position of Engineering Manager.
The Net Worth Of Revolights
The company made a significant impact when it appeared on Shark Tank in 2014, seeking a $ 150,000 investment for a 10% stake, thereby valuing the company at $ 1.5 million. After their appearance on the show, Revolights saw a steady increase in net worth, reaching $ 3 million in 2014, and continuing to rise in subsequent years, with a net worth between $ 10 M – $ 15 M by 2020.
Alternatives To Revolights:
- Lumos Kickstart Smart Bike Helmet. This smart helmet not only provides lighting for visibility but also includes indicators for signaling turns, thus enhancing safety;
- Flash. Flash is another alternative that offers safety features beyond just lighting. These include motion-activated alarms and location tracking, making it an all-around safety tool for cyclists;
- OnlineBikeLight.com. This platform provides a wide range of bike lighting solutions, offering plenty of alternatives to choose from based on personal preferences and needs;
- Light & Motion Urban 500. A compact, high-powered light that offers excellent visibility for urban riding. It’s waterproof and comes with a rechargeable battery;
- Ascher USB Rechargeable Bike Light Set. A budget-friendly option that does not compromise on brightness or quality. It’s easy to install and comes with a rechargeable battery;
- BrightRoad Rechargeable 800 Lumens Bike Light. A more powerful option for those who frequently ride in low-light conditions. It provides a broad, bright beam and is rechargeable;
- Nori Lights: Bicycle Illumination System. Nori Lights are a popular alternative to Revolights. They provide a unique and eye-catching light display on bicycle wheels, enhancing visibility and safety;
- Lattis.io. An innovative company that offers a smart bike lock with built-in alarms, lights, and tracking capabilities;
- GoAnimate. While not a bike light per se, GoAnimate offers a unique solution for those who want to make their bikes stand out with animated lighting;
- Who is the owner of Revolights?
The owner of Revolights is Kent Frankovich, who is also the founder of the company.
- What is the alternative to Revolights?
An alternative to Revolights could be other bicycle lighting systems or accessories that enhance visibility and safety for nighttime cycling. Some alternatives include traditional bike lights, reflectors, or other innovative lighting solutions available in the market.
- What is the difference between Revolights Free and Pro?
Revolights offers a free version and a pro version. The main difference between the two is the level of features and capabilities. The pro version likely includes additional features, higher performance, or enhanced functionality compared to the free version, which typically provides basic functionality.
- What is the most successful product sold from Shark Tank?
One of the most successful products sold on Shark Tank is the Scrub Daddy, a smiley-faced scrubbing material that changes texture based on water temperature.
- What companies failed after Shark Tank?
Several companies have faced challenges or failed after appearing on Shark Tank. Some examples include Groovebook, UroClub, and The Coop.
- How real is Shark Tank?
Shark Tank is a real television show where entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas to a panel of potential investors (the “Sharks”). While the show is edited for entertainment, the deals made on the show are real, and the businesses are subject to the agreements reached with the investors.
- Is Revolights made in Pakistan?
Revolights is not specifically made in Pakistan. The company’s manufacturing and production locations may vary, but they are not exclusively based in Pakistan.
- What is the starting price of Revolights?
The starting price of Revolights may vary based on the specific product and model, but typically, the individual sets sell for around $ 139, and the full set sells for approximately $ 229.
- What was the cost of Revolights?
The cost of Revolights may vary depending on the model and any additional features or accessories included. It’s essential to check the company’s website or a trusted retailer for current pricing information.
- What other investors were involved in Revolights?
The specific investors involved with Revolights may have changed over time, and the company’s ownership structure may have evolved.
- What were the safety implications of using Revolights?
Using Revolights can significantly enhance bicycle safety by increasing visibility, especially during nighttime rides. The LED lights mounted on the bike’s wheels provide a 360-degree illuminated presence, making it easier for other road users to see the cyclist. This can help reduce the risk of accidents caused by inadequate visibility.
- Is the Revolights bike lighting system waterproof?
Revolights is designed to be weather-resistant, but it’s not typically described as fully waterproof. It can withstand wet conditions, such as rain, but may not be suitable for submersion in water.
- How easily can Revolights be stolen?
Revolights are designed to be theft-resistant. The lights are held securely in place on the spokes with magnets, and the wheel hub houses a power pack, which is challenging for potential thieves to remove without damaging the product.
- How long does a battery charge last on the V4 design of Revolights?
The battery charge duration for the V4 design of Revolights can vary based on factors such as usage and settings. Typically, a single charge can last for several hours of cycling, providing ample illumination during nighttime or low-light rides.
- How does Revolights work?
Revolights work by mounting LED lights on a bicycle’s wheels, which create a continuous ring of illumination. These lights are powered by a battery system, and magnets hold them securely on the spokes. Sensors and accelerometers detect movement and activate the lights when the bike is in motion.
- How is Revolights different from other bicycle lighting systems?
Revolights differentiates itself from other bicycle lighting systems by offering a unique 360-degree illumination that enhances side visibility. Unlike traditional bike lights that provide front and rear lighting, Revolights ensures that the cyclist is visible from all angles, reducing the risk of accidents caused by inadequate side visibility.
- Where can they buy a Revolights bike light?
Revolights bike lights can be purchased directly from the company’s official website, and they may also be available through select online retailers and bicycle supply stores. It’s recommended to check their official website or authorized distributors for the most up-to-date purchasing options.
Useful Video: Revolights Shark Tank