You don’t want to end your birthday without making a wish. But by blowing out the candles, you cover your cake with bacteria. Founded by Mark Apelt and Mark Lareau, Blowzee is a fun device you can blow through without worrying about germs. It was featured on Shark Tank but didn’t get a deal. As of 2024, Blowzee is worth an estimated $300,000.
Meet the Founders
Mark Apelt and Mark Lareau are hard-working dads from Henrico, Virginia. Apelt is an environmental science graduate from the University of Virginia, he also has experience as an engineer and a teacher. Not much is known about Lareau’s educational background, he worked in supply chain management and logistics as a consultant.
The two Marks know each other because their sons are friends. One day, they attended the birthday party of another child. Because the lighting was right, they witnessed how much spit went into the cake when the kid blew his candles.
Apelt with the help of his son Jake spent 15 months designing a device with a sensor and a type of fan to get rid of saliva and germs when you blow through it.
The Apelt family partnered with Mark Lareau for his business knowledge and experience in logistics. They were able to manufacture the product cheaply overseas. Together, they invested $32,000 to start the business and launched it in early 2020. Five months later, they generated $12,000 in sales.
Shark Tank Appearance
The guys appeared on season 13 of Shark Tank, seeking $100,000 in exchange for 20% equity. A $500,000 valuation was quite high considering how low their sales were. They made a professional pitch and handed out samples to the Sharks.
Once the duo revealed their sales, it was clear they wouldn’t get a deal. Kevin O’Leary thought $12,000 is nothing when it comes to revenue. All the Sharks liked the product but it wasn’t at a stage where it was investible. Also, Robert believed they would need to develop more products to become a feasible business.
Post-Shark Tank Success
Before getting onto Shark Tank, Apelt and Lareau had already got their product featured in several publications such as the New York Post and Real Simple. It also got praise from television host Jimmy Fallon.
After their episode aired, the founders revealed they sold out of inventory within 2 and a half hours. They wouldn’t reveal how much revenue they made but it was more than 1,200 units they sold in five months.
Today, the company is still selling through its website, Amazon, and some local stores in Richmond. Over 158 customers purchased the product on Amazon and rated it four stars on average. Currently, the product is out of stock on their website and on Amazon.
Many people believe it’s a party necessity given the pandemic. Although Blowzee is yet to release any sales numbers, the company is worth an estimated $300,000. The next challenge for the company will be driving consistent sales after the hype has died down from Shark Tank.