No matter how small they seem, bad habits like nail-biting and smoking can have a big impact on your life. Pavlok is a smart wristband designed to prevent this by gently zapping users if they’re about to perform a bad habit. The device’s creator, Maneesh Sethi, pitched it on the Shark Tank but didn’t get a deal. As of 2022, Pavlok is worth $2 million.
About the Founder
Maneesh Sethi is from Miami, Florida. He was passionate about entrepreneurship and programming. At 16 years old, he published a book titled “Game Programming for Teens.”
He went to Stanford University, where he studied society, technology, and computer science. After graduating, he became the editor-in-chief of a blog called Hack the System.
Sethi was also a web designer, but he decided to try something new after getting tired of his initial career path. He also had trouble focusing because of his ADHD.
Establishing the Company
Maneesh’s addiction to social media was the thing that sparked the idea for Pavlok. Trying to tackle his problem, he hired someone to watch him work and slap him if he browsed social media. This method worked for him but it was an usual method to solve a problem.
In 2013, he invented the Pavlok wrist device, which creates different levels of shock when users try to indulge in a specific bad habit. Users can set up which habit they want to break in the gadget’s companion app. It is considered a type of aversion therapy.
Sethi officially launched the company in 2014 after raising $283,827 from an IndieGoGo campaign. Then, he reportedly got a whopping $800,000 in sales. But to grow into a household brand, Pavlok needed the help of a big-name investor.
Shark Tank Appearance
In 2015, Maneesh Sethi presented Pavlok to Shark Tank and offered 3.14% of his company in exchange for $500,000. Unfortunately, his pitch did not leave a good impression on most of the show’s cast.
The Pavlok developer had no reputable studies demonstrating that his technology actually worked. Therefore, the Sharks came out to attack and they were also skeptical about the firm’s sales. Robert Herjavec then pointed out that Sethi’s valuation was way too high.
However, Kevin O’Leary showed an interest as he had some experience with aversion therapy. Thus, he proposed $500,000 in return for 3.14% equity, as a two-year loan at a 7% interest rate. Sethi rudely rejected the offer and stated he would “take an offer from anyone but Mr. Wonderful.”
After Shark Tank
Even though Maneesh didn’t get a deal from Shark Tank, his company gained more than 10,000 new users after appearing on national television. This helped him turn to new investors to raise capital.
He was able to raise $200,000 in three funding rounds, with the primary investors being IncWell and MassChallenge. This money was used to develop more physical and digital products. They released a Chrome browser extension to boost productivity and launched the ‘Shock Clock’, an alarm clock that shocks you awake.
Sales at Pavlok have steadily grown, while monthly expenses have been reduced by more than $100,000. Its current revenue is around 300,000 per year, and the company is valued at $2 million.