In 2013, perennial inventor Jamie Siminoff went on Shark Tank to pitch his WiFi-enabled doorbell equipped with a camera that allowed users to see and talk to people at their front door.
The pitch was a bust—only one investor made an offer, which Siminoff considered unacceptable. The company, then called Doorbot, nearly went broke.
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Now, close to five years later, Amazon (AMZN) has agreed to purchase the company, since rebranded as Ring, in a reported $1 billion deal.
With Amazon’s planned new Key service, which allows deliverymen to leave packages within a consumer’s home, Ring’s smart security devices may leave users less wary. Ring is already compatible with Amazon’s Alexa, allowing users to ask Alexa to show them a live feed of the exterior of their house via Ring cameras.
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While the Amazon deal is undoubtedly sweet revenge for Siminoff, the inventor’s failed Shark Tank attempt was not entirely futile. Even without the Amazon acquisition, the company has expanded from eight people to over 1,000 and now counts 10 core products in its offering. The Shark Tank appearance reportedly caused Doorbots to sell “like crazy,” and sales grew to $3 million in 2013 alone.
Mark Cuban must rue the day he passed on Doorbot.