BeSomebody was an experiential learning platform that started out as a blog. Founder Kash Shaikh pitched his business to Shark Tank but didn’t get a deal. Later on, the app shutdown and Kash focused on job placement services. As of 2023, BeSomebody is worth $15 million. The pitch doesn’t go as planned but the company has bounced back nicely!
About the Founder
Kash Shaikh is an entrepreneur from Cincinnati, Ohio. In 2002, he got a bachelor’s degree from The University of Texas at Austin. As a student he worked as the indirect sales team leader for the Southwest region of the telecommunications firm Sprint.
After graduating, he became a brand intern at Procter & Gamble and spent nine years there climbing the corporate ladder. The Cincinnati native held several senior roles at Procter & Gamble before transferring to GoPro. Eventually, he tried his hand as an executive officer at sports organizations like UILB, BSB Sports, and Baseball United.
Founding the Company
When Kash turned 30, he went through a bad breakup and it led him to question his purpose in life. He found comfort in the words “Be somebody” and started a personal blog as he traveled the world.
Three years later, he started a marketplace for experiences. Shaikh created a platform where users can share their passions and look for professionals who can give them hands-on experience.
The BeSomebody app was launched in 2014 and the startup raised $1 million from E.W. Scripps Company in the same year. They also got another million in 2015 from angel investors. Within two years, the firm organized 2,000 meet-ups, earning 20% from each sale.
Shark Tank Appearance
In 2016, BeSomebody relocated to Boston, Massachusetts, and needed more capital. Kash Shaikh applied for Shark Tank and got accepted out of thousands of applications. He appeared on season eight, seeking $1 million for a 10% equity stake. A crazy valuation!
Kash gave an energetic pitch and displayed some of the experts on his platform. This included American Ninja Warrior contestant Travis Brewer and soccer player Kristine Lilly. Things started off fine, but Mark Cuban soon got tired of Kash rambling.
When they finally got down to business, the platform was doing around $2,000 in bookings per month. The founder talked too much and didn’t listen to any feedback. All of the Sharks went out, for the first time in a while Barbara gave a legitimate reason for being out. Cuban hilariously muttered “go be somebody bro” in annoyance as Kash walked out.
After Shark Tank
The pitch was a disaster and the app shut down a few months after airing due to low sales and lack of capital. In 2017, Kash sold the app to Utivity Holdings, Inc. However, the businessman was not ready to give up his brand yet.
The business pivoted to focus on skills training and job placement. They also got partnerships with Microsoft, Kroger, and Mass Mutual to create over 2,000 jobs through the Besomebody Paths program. Within the first month, Besomebody was already profitable.
By 2019, Besomebody Inc was making nearly $20 million in annual revenue and was rated as one of the top private US companies by Entrepreneur Magazine. They used the cash to acquire an event company called Opening Minds. In 2019, they also bought Pixelbug Technologies.
As their businesses grew, Kash formed BSB Group International in 2020. No recent sales figures have been released but BeSomebody is estimated to make over $20 million per year. Kash also owns BSB Sports, a sports management and marketing agency.