|SEASON 9 EPISODE 4|
|Pitch||Hybrid technology padlock that opens by key or fingerprint.|
|Asked For||$200,000 for 10%|
|Deal||$200,000 for 15%|
What is Benjilock?
Smart tech is ever-evolving. From smartphones, smart TVs. and even smart homes, it seems that just about everything is becoming smart these days. So, it was to Robbie Cabral’s surprise that, when he came up with the idea of a smart padlock, there was nothing like it on the market.
Combination locks aren’t easy for everyone to use, and Cabral noticed the struggles some people were having with them at his local gym. So, he thought, there must be a better way, like a lock that uses smart technology and recognizes fingerprints. The light bulb went off, and Cabral came up with Benjilock, a padlock that does just that.
Not only did Cabral come up with the lock, but the patent hybrid fingerprint technology that it uses. The lock uses that technology as a key. One scan of your fingerprints and the lock opens without a hassle. It recognizes up to four fingerprints and you can also use it in the traditional sense. It comes with an actual key, but chances are you won’t need to use it, considering the lock can hold its battery power for up to a year, depending on usage.
There was one major setback that Cabral had to overcome before he was able to get Benjilock up and running. He had zero tech experience, which is an important skill to have when trying to develop new smart tech. Thankfully, he got past this hurdle by convincing a local engineer to help him out with the project.
An immigrant from the Dominican Republic, Cabral’s lack of tech experience didn’t dissuade him, and with the help of the recruited engineer, he set out to create his lock. Over the next three years, Cabral exhausting most of his life savings before having a prototype that he was proud of.
Once that prototype was ready, a friend of Cabral suggested he take it to the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show to showcase it. Cabral admits that he had reservations about putting it on display at the show but eventually agreed to it. It would turn out to be one of the best decisions he made on the road to exposing his product. At the show, Benjilock won a CES Innovation Award.
From there, Benjilock began gaining some traction, and those same friends that encouraged him to go to Las Vegas started telling him he should go on Shark Tank. Knowing that his friends were right the first time, he followed their suggestions again and went to an open casting call. Weeks later, he found out he made the cut and landed a spot on the show.
Benjilock: On Shark Tank
Appearing on Episode 4 of Season 9, Cabral brought Benjilock to the show hoping for an investment of $200,000 for 10% of his business.
Cabral wastes no time getting right into his pitch, explaining that he frequents the gym, where he quickly notices the stress in the locker room; more specifically, people forget the combination to their locks.
He then shows the Sharks exactly how the lock works, telling them that it is the only one in the world that uses fingerprint technology, more specifically his fingerprint technology. The Sharks are impressed as he opens the lock and then explains that you can also open it with a key if the tech fails. The lock is passed around the panel, and Cabral explains that he is currently working on making the lock smaller.
The reaction to the lock is positive, and it gets even more so when he tells the Sharks that he has recently been granted a patent on the lock and the tech. He also tells them about the award he won at the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show.
The impressive pitch doesn’t come without questions, and Kevin O’Leary asks whether or not Benjilock can be used to replace the traditional locking cylinder in a door lock, to which Cabral says yes. Kevin then asks about licensing, and Cabral tells him he has already had a company approach him about it.
While Cabral brings Benjilock to the show with no sales numbers, he tells the Sharks that he plans on selling the product for more than $60 each and that his manufacturing costs would be about $20 per unit.
With tears in his eyes, Cabral explains how difficult it has been as an immigrant and that achieving the American dream is riding on this product. It is this final piece of the pitch that ultimately earns him a deal with Kevin, who offered $100,000 for 10% of his company.
What Happened After Shark Tank Update
Is Benjilock Still in Business?
As with many products that appear on Shark Tank, Benjilock exploded after the show’s airing. The website was overrun to the point that it crashed, and Cabral said that his email was full of fan mail in support of him and his company.
The deal that Cabral made with Kevin O’Leary has done what he had hoped it would, and not long after making the deal, Cabral made a licensing deal with Hampton Products, makers of Brinks Home Security Systems. Hampton now handles all of Benjilock’s online sales.
Aside from the website exploding, Benjilock also saw an influx of people on its Facebook page that now has tens of thousands of followers. Its popularity has also spread to Instagram and Twitter. The company has a huge presence on both platforms, with tens of thousands of followers. The internet has been Benjilock’s best friend.
Since the show, the line of locks has expanded from the single padlock that started it all to a travel version and door locks.
You can find the locks all over the country, in retail stores like Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Lowes, Ace, and Menards.