PittMoss Valuation – The Aftermath of Shark Tank

Peat moss is an essential ingredient in potting soil and seed germination medium. However, peat moss is harvested from wetlands and can harm animal habitats. Mont Handley’s PittMoss is different because it is made primarily from recycled paper. This environmentally friendly solution landed him a deal with three investors on Shark Tank. As of 2024, PittMoss is valued at $4.5 million.

Background of Mont Handley

Monte Handley is a resident of Chicago, Illinois. He volunteered for the U.S. Army as a clerk and military policeman before pursuing a bachelor’s degree in history at Purdue University.

He started out working at a daycare center and was named director of planning and environmental services for the City of Portage, Indiana, in 1998. Two years later, he joined the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority as a senior sales manager.

In 2005, Monte was hired as the National Sales Director for the travel agency VisitPITTSBURGH. His job was to recruit people for regional seminars, conferences, symposiums and conventions.

Founding of PittMoss

The Chicago native first came up with the idea for a peat moss alternative back in 1994. It started as a simple kitchen experiment while working at a local nursery.

While working there, he realised some issues with traditional peat moss and the harm it caused to the environment. So he embarked on a long-term project to address this problem, and in 2011 he finally came up with PittMoss.

PittMoss is a low-cost product that uses recycled paper and several other organic materials. After shipping the first batch of products, Monte saw the potential of the invention and quit his job to focus full-time on the business.

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Shark Tank Appearance

In 2015, Mont Handley was having trouble increasing revenue due to insufficient factory capacity. To solve this problem, he needed to invest heavily to address production issues. Mont appeared on Shark Tank Season 6 and asked for $600,000 for a 25% stake.

While most of the sharks were initially attracted to the green product, they also saw some issues with the business strategy. In addition, the valuation was quite high for a startup with just $22,000 in sales.

Nevertheless, Kevin O’Leary offered $600,000 for 40% of the shares, but he was unwilling to go it alone. He invited other Sharks members to participate in the transaction, and Robert Herjavec and Mark Cuban also joined in. After some negotiations, the three investors reached an agreement to acquire 35% of the shares for $600,000.

After Shark Tank

After the Shark Tank episode, the deal with the three Sharks closed, but PittMoss ran into some manufacturing issues. Given Cuban’s interest in environmentally friendly businesses, it’s no surprise that he was more engaged than Kevin and Robert.

Founder Mont Handley stepped down as CEO in 2016, replaced by Brian Scott. Although Mont no longer runs the company, he still has a seat on the board of directors.

The company raised an additional $1.2 million in funding from Sinovation Ventures, Blue Tree Allied Angels, and Idea Foundry. With this funding, the startup is finally fulfilling its potential and generating a large number of orders through its website PittMoss.com.

The product is currently available on Amazon, where it has a 4.2-star rating from 21 users. Now, PittMoss is planning global expansion to boost its $3 million in annual revenue, which is currently valued at $4.5 million.

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Categories: Shark Tank
Source: svlsf.edu.vn

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