Dakota Decker and Michael Burtov came up with a cutting-edge idea that could turn any bicycle into an electric bike. They can do this through switching the original front wheel with a GeoOrbital wheel, which has a battery that can last 12 miles on one charge. Their company featured on Shark Tank but didn’t get a deal. As of 2024, GeoOrbital is valued at $1 million.
Dakota Decker and Michael Burtov
Before meeting, Dakota Decker and Michael Burtov led very separate lives. Decker is from Culver City, California, and he was a physics student at Sonoma State University. His partner is a Miami, Florida native who studied psychology at Brandeis University.
Burtov also has a master’s degree in international economics. While working on his own master’s course for mechanical engineering, Dakota interned at the United States Air Force.
Michael was a program analyst before he turned into an entrepreneur, founding companies like Only Group, Hypercritical, and Cangrade. Meanwhile, Dakota was employed as a development engineer at SpaceX.
While watching the 1982 science fiction film Tron, Michael Burtov noticed how much space was wasted on the bikes featured in the movie. So, he teamed up with Dakota Decker to design a wheel with an electric motor and hub.
What’s more, it could be used to replace the front wheel of any existing bicycle to turn it completely electric. After launching in 2014, GeoOrbital caught the eye of websites like Irish Time, Huffington Post, and TechCrunch.
In 2016, the founders made a Kickstarter campaign, asking for $75,000. They got it in just 78 minutes and ended up getting $1,261,222 in pledges. Their early fundraising success gave them enough capital to grow the business.
GeoOrbital’s Shark Tank Pitch
GeoOrbital appeared on Shark Tank during season seven in 2017. They pitched their innovative invention and asked for $500,000 in exchange for 5% of the company.
They already made $200,000 in sales around this time through their website. Their revenue and crowdfunding efforts were amazing considering how young the business was. Plus, the futuristic wheels immediately grabbed the interest of the Sharks, who tried it out first-hand.
However, the celebrity investors were hesitant to put their money into the product. Mark Cuban raised concerns about how competitive the space is and the other Sharks believed it was too expensive.
In the end, none of them offered a deal, but Dakota and Michael didn’t leave empty-handed. They got two sales orders from Barbara and Kevin who liked the product but didn’t like the business.
Sales After Shark Tank
In the same year that they entered the Tank, the founders of GeoOrbital raised $150,000 from a group of angel investors. This helped them sell their products on Best Buy, Brookstone, and Amazon. After their episode aired, they started a crowdfunding campaign on StartEngine.
With this, they raised over $1 million. In 2018, they went back to StartEngine and got another $396,000. Unfortunately, a year later, Dakota Decker left the company to work at the biotech research firm Kernel. Not long after that, their online presence started to go silent. It appears that GeoOrbital wheels have stopped selling on Amazon and are sold out on Best Buy.
GeoOrbital is currently struggling and their $1 million valuation is lower than when they appeared on Shark Tank. While the product is a great idea, they are finding it difficult to compete because of their high prices.