SEASON 10 EPISODE 5
travel app that helps users redeem airmiles and hotel travel points
$200,000 for 5%
$320,000 for 10% + 1% advisory shares
Jon Hayes grew up in Raleigh, NC, attended education at Leesville Road High School, and later proceeded for his higher education degree in North Carolina School of Science and Math. In 2007, Hayes started his career as a wall street investment banker and used to travel a lot on business trips.
At the time, he didn’t pay attention to frequent flier numbers and didn’t use them when flying on his business trips. The RewardStock CEO always thought that the use of reward point programs was a waste of his time, until when they used them while flying with his brother to South Africa.
From the experience, he realized that they could secure massive miles and points through these reward programs. That trip served as an eye-opener and he realized he could create computer software that could help travelers take advantage of reward programs by strategic use of credit cards.
In 2014, he founded a company known as RewardStock with one purpose in mind, to help travelers execute travel plans by use of reward points and saving them money on the process.
And in 2018, he decided to apply to present his innovation on ABC’s popular reality TV show, Shark Tank. This platform allows entrepreneurs to pitch their business ideas to investors and potential funders.
On November 18, 2019, his dream to pitch in the show became a reality, and he made a presentation that afterwards helped his company land $320,000 funding from Mark Cuban, who would have a stake of 10% in RewardStock.
The funding and appearance on the show gave the company a lot of publicity and more funding from other investors in the process. And by the end of January 2019, the company had funding of over $970,000 and growing fast.
Now the company has its headquarters in Cary, North Carolina.
But, Has the Company Lived to its Expectations?
RewardStock was meant to be an online platform that provided travelers with a way to track and earn points when booking for trips. The idea on the paper seemed so appealing that Mark Cuban agreed to put $320,000, but it appears the deal with Mark did not close. As of 2020, Rewardstock is not listed as one of Mark’s Shark Tank companies
The website featured:
- Algorithm-powered award flight search results
- Complete guidance to strategic rewards earnings
- Seeking expert advice on reward-earning at a fee of $10
- Tailored plans to help members earn points and credits quickly
Even though this idea was brilliant, the company has faced so many challenges in implementing the practicability of the business plan. First, the process of learning the ins and outs of reward plans is quite daunting making the website less user-friendly.
More importantly, the travel point industry is not black and white. Many factors come into play when booking for flights using reward points. The idea of Jon of solving the problem through computerized algorithms, was not bound to be a dry cut formula.
And while many people having paid the $29 members subscription due to the publicity caused by the Shark Tank and other media outlets, the website has to undergo major changes to be the leading brand in the market.Visit the Rewardstock website