How Roominate’s Net Worth Soared After Shark Tank!

Roominate is an engineering toy for young girls. Founders Bettina Chen and Alice Brooks created the company to get more women into engineering. The two entrepreneurs landed a deal on Shark Tank with Lori Greiner and Mark Cuban. As of 2024, Roominate is valued at $15 million.


Bettina Chen and Alice Brooks are from San Francisco. Bettina graduated from MIT and Alice from Caltech.

The two met while studying for their master’s degrees at Stanford University in 2010. Since they were the only women in the course, they quickly became friends.

A year later, they interned at different companies. Brooks worked at Nest Labs, while Chen worked at Discera. In 2012, they graduated from college and became fellows at StartX, a nonprofit organization that helps early-stage startups.

Founding Roominet

Alice and Bettina began developing a toy line called Roominate while attending Stanford University. In 2012, they founded Maykah Inc. with a line of construction toys designed to promote science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

The product features building blocks and circuits that can be connected to create unstructured models. The founders launched a Kickstarter campaign asking for $25,000 but managed to raise $85,964 from more than 1,100 backers.

They partnered with Education Forward DC, StartX, and the UC Davis School of Education to promote their product to their target audience (girls ages 6 to 10). After 18 months of operation, their revenue reached $1.7 million. Before participating in the show, the girls had raised $850,000 from other investors.

Shark Tank Appearance

Roominate was featured on the sixth season premiere of Shark Tank in 2014. Chen and Brooks went on the show hoping to receive $500,000 for a 5% stake in their toy line.

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The entrepreneurs expressed their desire to cooperate with a large toy retail brand. This business for girls immediately attracted the attention of Sharks female players Lori Greiner and Barbara Corcoran. Surprisingly, Barbara was not interested and gave a strange reason for not accepting it.

The boys soon joined in. Finally, Lori and Mark Cuban teamed up to offer $500,000 for a 5% stake. Cuban especially wanted to invest because he wanted to set an example for his two daughters.

After Shark Tank

The two investors’ money allowed Roominate to flourish. In 2015, Mark and Lori helped the toy company enter more than 800 physical stores and online stores in the United States. They increased the number of employees and moved to a formal headquarters.

This expansion brought them to $4.5 million in sales a year after their appearance on Shark Tank. In 2016, Roominate was acquired by toymaker PlayMonster (formerly Patch Products) for an undisclosed sum. Given the strength of the brand and sales, the acquisition was a great return for the founders.

Alice Brooks then served as a brand advisor to PlayMonster until 2018. Alice now works at Khosla Ventures and Bettina is an engineering program manager at Apple. Although the original founders sold the business, Roominate is still doing well under PlayMonster and is valued at $15 million.

Categories: Shark Tank

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