LARQ Self Cleaning Water Bottle

Justin Wang is an avid hiker and camper, and knows very well the need for clean drinking water while engaging in physical activity. He is also concerned with the environment and very aware of the horrendous amount of plastic waste that is created every year. Wang did purchase reusable water bottles, but experienced problems with them. They get dirty easily and are often hard to clean. In particular this is because most of them are either not dishwasher safe, or their shape makes it difficult to place in a dishwasher in a way that will get it clean. Concern for the environment and his frustration with the standard reusables led him to invent a water bottle that is reusable and self-cleaning and purifies water as well.

Larq Self Cleaning Bottle Shark Tank 2

Ultra violet light is ideal to eradicate germs and is widely used today in hospitals to sterilize patient room surfaces. When UV light is absorbed, it breaks the DNA’s chemical bonds and kills bacteria or virus. The PureVisTM UV-C LED technology used in the LARQ bottle is proprietary and patented and according to the website, the most advanced in the world. The bottle cap contains the rechargeable UV-C LED technology, which can eradicate almost 100% of viruses and bacteria. The battery charge lasts approximately one month and is charged through a USB charger cord. The bottle itself is double-wall vacuum insulated and made of food grade stainless steel. It is BPA and phthalates free. The bottle and the USB port are waterproof and no filter is needed. Various colors and designs are available.

Larq Self Cleaning Bottle Shark Tank 3

In 2017, during the early stages of development, Wang sought funding through a Kickstarter Campaign, with an initial goal of $30,000. The campaign was unbelievably successful, raising $1,374,021 from 12,758 backers! Through Crunchbase, a venture funding round was initiated in 2019 and a Series A round in 2020. Between the two rounds, a total of $10.7M was raised.

In 2018, the Wall Street Journal listed the LARQ bottle as one of “50 Winning Presents – From Understated to Over-the-Top.” The company recently collaborated with Draymond Green, a three-time NBA champion, to create a new variation on the bottle that combines 90’s nostalgia with the LARQ technology.

Francesca Rea of Business Insider tested the LARQ bottle in November of 2019. In her review she noted that the bottle is capable of keeping water cold for up to 24 hours and hot for up to 12.

LARQ is a proud member of the 1% for the Planet network. Through this partnership, a portion of the purchase price is dedicated to fund environmental nonprofits around the world. They also contribute to efforts to bring safe drinking water to billions of people worldwide–because they believe access to clean drinkable water is not a privilege, it’s a right.

Larq in the Shark Tank

Justin Wang, the founder of Larq, appeared on Season 12, Episode 21 of Shark Tank, seeking a $500,000 investment for 1% equity in his company, implying a $50 million valuation. During his pitch, Wang highlighted the company’s impressive sales figures, including $5.5 million in 2019 and over $9 million in the last 12 months before the show. He also noted a plan to reach $14 million by the end of 2020. The company had previously raised $6.7 million in funding at a $31.7 million valuation and had $6.5 million in cash.

The Sharks were initially skeptical about the valuation, leading to a series of negotiations. Kevin O’Leary made the first offer of $500k for 4% equity, valuing the company at $12.5 million. Lori Greiner offered $500k for 5% equity at a $10 million valuation. Robert Herjavec proposed $500k for 3% equity plus 2% in advisory shares, valuing the company at $16.7 million. Justin countered with $1.5 million for a 4.5% equity plus 1% in advisory shares at a $33 million valuation. The Sharks then offered $1.5 million for 6% equity at a $25 million valuation. Justin’s next counteroffer was $1.5 million for 4.5% equity plus 1.5% in advisory shares, again at a $33 million valuation. Eventually, Kevin and Lori jointly countered with $1 million for 4% equity, which Justin accepted​​​​.

Initial Ask $500k for 1% equity (Valuation: $50 million)
Sales Figures $5.5 million in 2019, over $9 million in last 12 months
Previous Funding $6.7 million at a $31.7 million valuation
Final Deal $1 million for 4% equity (Valuation: $25 million)
Sharks Involved Kevin O’Leary and Lori Greiner

Larq After Shark Tank

After appearing on Shark Tank, Larq has experienced significant growth and development. The company’s estimated annual revenue now exceeds $30 million, and its products are available in major retailers like Best Buy, Bloomingdale, and Williams Sonoma​​. Larq had secured $11 million in Series A funding before the Shark Tank appearance, and the show played a pivotal role in enhancing the company’s profile and expanding its audience reach. The company anticipated its revenue to hit $30 million in 2022​​.

Larq introduced the Larq Pitcher in 2021, utilizing the same UV technology as their original water bottles. This new product positioned Larq as a direct competitor to established brands like Brita in the home water filtration market. Before the full launch of the Larq Pitcher, 20,000 units had already been pre-sold. Larq’s product range, including accessories like new filters and a water bottle travel sleeve, is available through various retailers, including Nordstrom, Revolve, and Amazon. The Museum of Modern Art’s Design Store also sells Larq water bottles, emphasizing their stylish design​​.

Despite its success and growing product range, Larq remains a relatively small company with about 30 employees. The company has received favorable press coverage and positive reviews, with 73% of Amazon reviews rating the Larq water bottle at five stars. These reviews often highlight customer satisfaction with the product​​.

Larq has more than $6.5 million in the bank and is committed to social responsibility, donating 1% of all revenue to charitable partners that help provide access to clean water globally. This aspect of their business model further enhances their appeal to a socially conscious consumer base​​.

Shark Tank Air Date: 4/16/2021 – Season 12 – Episode 21




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