|SEASON 7 EPISODE 2|
|Pitch||touch screen mini wall-mounted vending machines|
|Entrepreneur||Brian Shimmerlik and Steven Bofill|
|Asked For||$2 million for 12.5%|
|Deal||$2 million for 3% to be repaid over 36 months at 7% interest|
|Shark||Kevin O’Leary and Lori Greiner|
What is Vengo?
When you think of a typical vending machine you may think of a huge, bulky machine with off-brand potato chips or candy that gets bunched up and stuck in the spiral spring and won’t actually vend you the snack you paid for.
Or you may think of someone yelling and hitting the machine in frustration. Or you may think of a bad-tasting coffee or even old cigarette vending machines reminiscent of a Willie Nelson-style dive bar in Oklahoma.
Vengo would rather make all of that a thing of the past, as retro as Brady Bunch fashion. Vengo creates much more efficient and effective vending machines of the future. Instead of being half the size of a car, Vengo’s machines are compact, touch screen models that only take up a few feet of wall space and zero floor space.
Who are the Founders of Vengo?
Brian Shimmerlik started with a degree in finance and accounting, worked for a few big banks before deciding to venture out and make Vengo his full-time gig. He is now the CEO. Steve Bofill is now the Chief of Design at Vengo. Bofill’s experience with sophisticated aerospace research and design really sets Vengo’s offerings apart from the competition.
Co-founders Brian Shimmerlik and Steve Bofill teamed up in 2011 to make this innovative solution a reality. Shimmerlik, a grad student at NYU at the time, and Bofill, an aerospace engineer, wanted to find a way to put items that they needed where and when they needed them.
Brian has a passion for finance and business and digging into advanced metrics of business operations. Steve has a very detailed desire to make an innovative and long-lasting, durable design and product. They were inspired by searching for a better design and a new way to approach what a vending machine could be.
The duo re-engineered the bulky and old vending machine and transformed it into a sleeker and more profitable device. Vengo handles both advertisements and consumer packaged goods, thus bringing about the convenience of online shopping. This enables easy access to products of brick-and-mortar retail. Brian says their priority is creating a frictionless experience for all their consumers.
A big challenge facing the founders when starting out was finding the right partners to take a chance on the idea and finding and working with all the possible locations. The nature of the machines also took much work to work out all the technological kinks within the early prototypes.
They eventually decided to take their chances on Shark Tank with the hopes of getting the support they would need to take Vengo to market.
What Happened After Shark Tank Update
Is Vengo Still in Business?
Shortly after appearing on Shark Tank, the New York-based company garnered $7 million in venture capital from Gary Vaynerchuk, Arcade Beauty, the Foundry Group, among others and has now reached a over $14 million in funding with a valuation that is reported to be around the $50 million mark.
Currently, Vengo has over 500 Vengo devices installed in hotels, gyms, and college campuses across twenty –four states. The machines cost $3,100 each and includes a $15 monthly software charge.
Vengo has also fostered a partnership with ViaTouch Media to acquire and sell user details to help advertisers get better prospective clients.
Other Vengo participants are Spins, Kensington Capital Ventures, and Bill Apfelbaum. Vengo has reached 45 college campuses. The partnership with the Blackstone LaunchPad brought digital kiosks to schools such as Syracuse University, New York University, and Central Florida University.
With installations in various Hyatt Hotels and multiple New York City locations, Vengo machines currently engage over 300,000 customers each month.
Brian said although product sales and advertising equally profit the company, he expects the marketing aspect of Vengo gadgets to be their future highest-selling point. Vengo’s ability to remotely adjust advertising and content to create targeted messages will become a more significant asset.