The guitar is arguably the most popular instrument in the world, but learning how to play can be challenging. Chord Buddy was made to make guitar lessons easier by helping beginners learn the four essential chords to play almost any song. Founder Travis Perry took the product to Shark Tank and got a deal with Robert Herjavec. As of 2023, Chord Buddy is worth $6 million.
Travis Perry’s Background
Travis Perry is a music instructor from Dothan, Alabama. He went to Troy University, but information about his bachelor’s degree is not known but he did work in real estate but left when the economic crisis hit.
Perry revealed that he has been teaching people how to play the guitar for over a decade. In fact, he’s reportedly had thousands of clients sign up for his personal training program. As a result, Travis has witnessed some of his customers quit from frustration and finger pain.
The Idea Behind Chord Buddy
Travis is also a loving dad, when he decided to teach his daughter to play the guitar, he wanted her to have a fun learning experience. This gave him the idea to make a device that made learning more effortless.
He created a simple device that can be attached to the neck of a guitar. When hooked up, you can press four coloured buttons that automatically play chords G, D, C, and E minor. These are enough to play thousands of songs.
When the users learn to play any of the chords on their own, they can remove the respective button on the device. Chord Buddy was launched in 2010 and it came with an instructional DVD and book. In 18 months, the business made over $150,000 in revenue.
Chord Buddy’s Pitch
By 2012, Chord Buddy was making small waves in the music industry but the company was close to declaring bankruptcy. He appeared on season three of Shark Tank, seeking $125,000 for a 10% equity stake.
The founder’s passion for music and his invention were very evident in his pitch. After introducing his product, Robert Herjavec joined Travis on stage to play some songs using the ingenious device. Travis came across as a very likeable person and had some great one liners to keep the Sharks laughing.
Kevin O’Leary and Daymond John were the first to make an offer. However, they were overshadowed when Barbara Corcoran and Robert joined in the fun. Travis ultimately chose Robert and his offer of $125,000 for 20%.
Success After Shark Tank
As part of the deal, Robert Herjavec paid $125,000 upfront with the remaining $50,000 to be used for an infomercial. When the cameras stopped rolling, Chord Buddy signed a three-year deal with QVC and Lori to increase their exposure.
Country singer John Rich and Jimmy Fallon have endorsed the product, which is now available on Amazon, Walmart, and ChordBuddy.com. Apart from television, they had success using online marketing to grow their customer base. By 2013, the Chord Buddy had $3 million in sales.
The guitar attachment has a 4.3-star rating from 291 Amazon reviews. This inspired Travis to continue focusing his efforts on the growing business. Currently, the company makes over $1 million in annual revenue and is valued at $6 million.