Season 5 | Episode 508 | EP508
In Season 5, Episode 8 of Shark Tank, Curtis Williams and Matt von Waaden approached the Sharks seeking an investment of $500,000 in exchange for 12.5% equity in ‘Belly Buds’. The baby audio company is currently based in Los Angeles, California.
Research has indicated that playing music and sound to a fetus can actually benefit the child once they are born when it comes to recognizing speech patterns. Belly Buds has been designed to capitalize upon this idea. Belly Buds are a set of speakers that attached directly to the stomach. This allows the mother to play prenatal music to their unborn child at ‘safe’ sound levels. It is a completely portable system which means the adult is able to wear it no matter what they are doing.
Belly Buds is not a new product. Before its appearance on Shark Tank it had been featured rather prominently on ‘Modern Family’ and ‘Keeping Up with the Kardashians’. Both of these appearances led to a lot of talk about the baby speakers online and a small amount of sales. The duo is seeking investment in BellyBuds in a bid to boost distribution of the pregnancy sound system.
The Sharks were intrigued at the amount of the attention that the product had received in the national media however they were concerned about the long-term marketability of the product. They believed that it would be far too difficult to convince people that they would actually require a product like the Belly Buds. They believed that the market would be far too niche and it would unlikely be able to generate the amount of sales that the duo predicated at the start. The sharks believed that Belly Buds was a fairly decent product but were concerned that it might fall into the novelty category.
Curtis Williams and Matt von Waaden were unable to attract any offers from the Sharks for their baby speakers and had little choice but to walk away from the Shark Tank empty handed.
The Sharks were not interested in the BellyBuds product because they didn’t believe that the market was big enough for them to recoup their investment quickly enough.