Africa is a diverse continent brimming with different cultures and deep-rooted histories of exceptional workmanship. Using weaving traditions that have been handed down through generations, Expedition Subsahara crafts African baskets and home décor ranging from large storage baskets to vases and coasters. Their handcrafted products are functional and durable works of art.
Expedition Subsahara Before Shark Tank
Sofi Seck, the founder of Expedition Subsahara, was born in Senegal, in West Africa. In Senegal, weaving is a foundational skill that girls are taught at an early age. The techniques are passed down through generations, from grandmothers and mothers to daughters and granddaughters. In addition to being an important skill for creating useful objects, basket weaving is also a cherished social activity in West African culture.
Sofi immigrated to the US when she was a young girl in order to pursue her higher education. When she arrived in the United States, she was astounded to learn that a lot of people’s perceptions of Africa and its inhabitants were so tightly entwined with deprivation and poverty. However, this was a dramatic misunderstanding of her childhood home, which is full of color, joy, laughter, and vitality. Senegal is overflowing with bounty.
With her 120 Senegalese weavers, Sofi hopes to retell the tale of African craftsmanship while showcasing their extraordinary talent and knowledge. In addition, Sofi wants to give young girls and women the education they need to become tomorrow’s leaders. To give future generations the opportunity to improve the world, however they see fit. This goal will be achieved by creating a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) school for girls. Once the company is established and able to sustain operations, a percentage of its sales will be used to construct and run a school in Senegal.
Expedition Subsahara in the Shark Tank
|Shark Tank Air Date||10/14/2022|
|Season||Season 14 Episode 4|
|Pitch||$500,000 for 10% equity|
|On-air Deal*||No deal|
Entrepreneur Sofi Seck entered the Shark Tank with a bold proposition, seeking a $500,000 investment for a 10% equity stake in her business, Expedition Subsahara. However, the valuation presented a formidable challenge for the Sharks, as both Mark Cuban and Robert Herjavec failed to envision a clear pathway to achieve a satisfactory return on their investment. Consequently, they opted to withdraw from the negotiations, effectively extinguishing the prospects of a deal.
Daymond John, too, decided to abstain from extending an offer, leaving Sofi with no choice but to exit the Shark Tank without securing an investment. The overarching issue appeared to be the perceived difficulty in generating a compelling financial return within the proposed terms, highlighting the formidable scrutiny that businesses face when seeking investment in Shark Tank.