In just a handful of years, AquaVault has gone from a few quickly drawn sketches of a portable beach chair safe, to securing a deal on Shark Tank, to nearly $10M in revenue. AquaVault recently launched an equity crowdfunding campaign on StartEngine to help fuel their continued expansion.
Aventura, Fla., February 15, 2021 – The whirlwind really began on the set of Shark Tank.The year was 2016, and the three founders of AquaVault, Inc. – Avin Samtani, Robert Peck, and Jonathan Kinas – while a little nervous about being on TV, felt very confident about their pitch. They weren’t sure what to expect from the panel of judges, but they had prepared for this appearance for months, and they knew their company offered a product that solved a real problem.
In 2014, the three friends were at a beach resort for a friend’s wedding weekend. Relaxing by the pool, they decided to cool off in the water, shoving their phones and wallets in a bag left on their lounge chairs. When they returned a few minutes later, they realized that they had been robbed, and their celebratory weekend suddenly took a frustrating turn. Peck, AquaVault's Chief Executive Officer, recalls that day: “When we asked the cops how often this happens, they said, ‘You have no idea how many calls we get a day for this same type of incident,’ and we instantly recognized the magnitude of this problem, and the need for a solution.”
Before the weekend was over, the friends had developed the concept – complete with preliminary sketches – for the AquaVault Portable Beach Chair Safe, a sturdy device that locks onto fixed objects, such as lounge chairs, and protects travelers’ valuables from would-be thieves.
Less than two years later, under the gaze of the Shark Tank panel of judges and the TV cameras, the AquaVault founders made their pitch. While each segment is edited down to just a few minutes for the episode’s airing, in reality the Shark Tank judges spend a considerable amount of time grilling the entrepreneurs, asking tough questions and gauging the reliability of the answers. Fortunately, the AquaVault founders were ready. "We knew our numbers inside and out," recalls Samtani, AquaVault's Chief Operations Officer, "and we were realistic in our valuation. The Sharks asked really good questions, and we had the answers."
In the end, Daymond John recognized a good fit with AquaVault and offered them a deal, which they happily accepted. “Daymond is a branding expert and a manufacturing king,” says Samtani, “the two areas where we needed the most support. So it really could not have worked out better.” The years that followed have been a blur of new product development, a rapidly expanding list of retail and hospitality partners, and strong, steady growth.
Starting with local Florida beach resorts and expanding from there, AquaVault pitched its flagship portable safe to hotels, casinos, cruise lines, and theme parks, persuading them of the value of offering their customers the peace of mind that comes with knowing their valuables were safeguarded. The initial product was soon followed by the FlexSafe Portable Travel Safe, a smaller, flexible version of the Portable Beach Chair Safe. Continuing in the vein of convenience and protection for travelers, AquaVault next released the 100% Waterproof Floating Phone Case.
Soon, the company’s list of hospitality partners had grown to hundreds of resorts, casinos, cruise lines, and amusement parks, including major hotel chains like Hyatt, Hilton, and Marriott, as well as Las Vegas casinos, Walt Disney resorts, the Disney Cruise line, and Norwegian Cruise Line. Their retail business expanded, with AquaVault products carried by Bed Bath and Beyond, Disney, Bass Pro Shops, Ace Hardware, and numerous independent retailers located in beach towns.
At the same time, AquaVault’s direct-to-consumer e-commerce business thrived, due in part to significant coverage from major media outlets, including Forbes, Entrepreneur, Good Morning America, The Today Show, CNBC, Fox News, the Los Angeles Times, Inc., GQ, and the Miami Herald. In 2018, the company passed $6.5M in revenue, and in 2019, AquaVault launched an equity crowdfunding campaign on the StartEngine platform, raising over $1M from more than 1400 investors in an oversubscribed offering.
And then, 2020 happened.
Of the many industries hit hard by the global pandemic, travel and hospitality were among those most devastated by the months of lockdowns and restrictions. The events of the past several months could have been disastrous for a company like AquaVault, and they did press pause on some of their plans. But AquaVault quickly pivoted to deal with the reality of the moment. “We really didn’t slow down at all in 2020,” says Peck. “We released three new products with funds generated from our StartEngine raise, secured new patents, and began a retail partnership with Daymond John and CVS.”
AquaVault’s new product releases include the PhoneVault Personal Safe, a smaller version of the FlexSafe; the ChargeCard, a phone charger small enough to fit in a wallet; and the Biometric Fingerprint Lock with Interchangeable Cables, which can be used to secure bikes, skis, golf clubs, gym lockers, and more, with no need to keep track of keys or a combination. AquaVault also recently announced a new program in which territorial distributors will market the product line to local resorts, manage rental kiosk activity, and sell advertising space on AquaVault units.
In just a handful of years, AquaVault has gone from a few quickly drawn sketches of a portable beach chair safe to nearly $10M in revenue. AquaVault’s executives don’t spend much time looking back, however. With a buzzy product line and multiple revenue streams – and with a hoped-for return to normalcy that will accompany widespread vaccinations against Covid-19 – AquaVault is poised for even greater success in the years to come. "We're very proud of what we've built," says Samtani. "Nothing is more rewarding than seeing our products in hotels and airports, and hearing from customers that AquaVault has helped them have a great vacation."
AquaVault recently launched an equity crowdfunding campaign on StartEngine to help fuel their continued expansion. For more information, visit their StartEngine page.
Company Name: AquaVault
Contact Person: Rob Peck
Address: 20533 Biscayne Blvd Ste 4947
State: FL 33180
Country: United States