Most people travel with one suitcase and at least one bag. But this means you have to carry and secure more things during your trip. The Cincha travel belt lets you strap a smaller piece of baggage onto your main luggage, so you only have one thing to worry about. Founders Ash Sharma and James Baker pitched their product on Shark Tank and got a deal with Barbara Corcoran. As of 2023, Cincha Travel is worth an estimated $2 million.
About the Founders
Ashley Sharma and James Baker are San Francisco natives and are currently based in Oakland, California. Apart from being entrepreneurs, the two still have full-time jobs.
James is a civil rights lawyer and Ashley is a marketing director. She has been in the industry for over a decade, serving a number of firms. Ashley currently works at a packed goods company.
Founding the Company
Ashley traveled a lot as a youngster because her father was an airline pilot. She continued to enjoy long-distance flights as an adult, and her fiancée was her main vacation partner. The pair loved to travel, but Ashley tended to overpack and struggled carrying her bags.
They were not lightweight travelers, so they decided to do something about their habits. This was how Cincha was born. The business was set up in 2019 as a part-time hustle for Ash and James. Their flagship product is a handy travel belt to connect smaller bags to a luggage handle.
Getting on Shark Tank
In the beginning, they donated three meals for every belt sold, but in 2021, they decided to help migrants reunite with their families again. They partnered with Miles4Migrants, agreeing to donate 100 frequent flyer miles for every unit sold.
In the first year, they gave away over 500,000 airline miles to the non-profit organization. Now, they have gone past one million miles. In 2022, Ash and James went through Shark Tank’s rigorous casting process and got accepted out of thousands of applications.
After Shark Tank
Pitching on Shark Tank was a dream come true for Sharma and Baker. So far season 14 is pulling in just under four million live viewers per episode, this is the type of publicity Cincha couldn’t afford to buy. Most likely Cincha will sell out quickly over the next month.
Putting aside the charity aspect, Cincha has strong potential as a business. However, it is still too early to tell how far they can go after experiencing the “Shark Tank effect”. The real challenge will be maintaining strong sales when the hype fades. It also appears Ash and James are still working full-time which makes it more challenging.
If you want to get your hands on their products, you can visit Amazon or CinchaTravel.com. Apart from their main product, their website also has a souvenir shop with different kinds of gifts available. Shark Tank fans will get a 10% discount on their first order.
On Amazon, the travel belt has an average rating of 4.4 stars from 33 reviews and retails for $36. Later this year, they will be launching 60 new products. Currently, Cincha is valued at $2 million.