Due to wildfires and virus outbreaks, it’s now more crucial than ever to monitor your home’s air quality. Woosh is the perfect appliance for that. It’s a smart air filter that measures air quality in real-time and sends notifications via a mobile app. Winston Mok appeared on season 14 of Shark Tank and got a deal with Kevin O’Leary. As of 2023, Woosh is worth an estimated $5 million.
Winston Mok’s Background
Winston Mok is an ambitious entrepreneur hailing from San Francisco. He has a degree in Engineering, Computer and Mechatronics from the University of Waterloo, Canada.
Given his engineering background, Winston has worked in technical roles at Blackberry and served as CEO at Simply Good Technologies and Level One Analytics. Prior to founding Woosh Air, Mok was a Senior Product Manager at Google for over five years. He left a high-paying role at the tech giant to focus on a passion project.
Founding Woosh Air
In 2019, a wildfire in California polluted the air so much that Google had to tactically seal its offices to keep employees safe. Mok’s workplace was safe, but his home was not. So, he decided to build his own HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system.
In a year, he developed a smart HVAC device that helps users monitor air quality. It also lets them know when the air filter needs to be replaced. The data is transmitted via WiFi to a mobile app. Winston launched Woosh in 2020 and left Google the following year.
Mok got a $1.3 million investment in a pre-seed round in April 2022. The round was funded by executives from Google, TI Platform, Life360 and Quiet Capital. The entrepreneur also ran a Kickstarter campaign that raised $62,817 from 336 backers.
Shark Tank Appearance
Wok had a strong start to the pitch and clearly explained how his product works. The Sharks all groaned when he revealed the company had no revenue but they recently signed a promising partnership with Emerson.
Kevin O’Leary was the first to make an offer once he sniffed out a royalty deal was in play. He offered $500,000 for 12.5% but wanted a 0.50c royalty on every filter sold in perpetuity. After the remaining Sharks dropped out, Kevin greedily raised his offer to 15%.
Winston didn’t like how royalty was forever as it would impact the cash flow of the business in the long-term. After some back and forth, Kevin accepted Winston’s counter of 10% equity with the royalty deal still in place.
After Shark Tank
When the episode aired in October 2022, the positive PR from Shark Tank gave them a nice spike in orders. The company already has more than 330 Kickstarter backers waiting for delivery, which was expected to come in the fourth quarter of 2022.
The only place to buy Woosh products is through their website, WooshAir.com. Currently, they are only accepting pre-orders. The Smart Filter sells for $99 and Smart Filter + Air Quality Monitor Bundle retails for $149.
Several customers have already received their purchases and rated them 5 stars on the Woosh website. Appearing on Shark Tank with a product still in beta will put a lot of pressure on shipping. Customers could be waiting at least 3 months to receive orders. Woosh Air has 16 employees and is looking to hire more talent to help with scaling.
Woosh is now ramping up manufacturing and is finalizing components for the electronics. Despite being an early-stage startup, Woosh is already valued at $5 million. It wouldn’t be surprising if the deal with Kevin doesn’t close because of the royalty aspect. Woosh could use the publicity to raise money from a venture capital firm.
Winston has big plans for his company. He confidently stated, “what Nest did for the home thermostat is what we want to do for HVAC air filters.”