SEASON 7 EPISODE 6
innovative air catching mattress pad
$200,000 for 8%
$200,000 for 5%
A Windcatcher is an innovative air catching mattress pad. It uses ‘quick stream inflation’ to blow up an air mattress with just a few breaths. Ryan Frayne watched as his brother struggled and failed to inflate a mattress at the beach. He was sure there are other ways to inflate something, and he was determined to find them. After experimenting with different valves, he finally found out about the phenomenal air entertainment, which could be efficient in fast inflation.
No other company had applied this technology in their inflatables. Ryan went ahead with developing a prototype of an inflatable. He named his prototype ‘Air Bag’ which is easily inflated without the need for a mechanical or a battery-powered pump. With Ryan’s uniquely invented valve, deflating the airbag could also be done in seconds.
For his first production in 2013, Ryan called out for crowdfunding at Kickstarter, where he impressively tripled his goal amount. He raised a total of $149,405 on his $50,000 goal and officially launched the Windcatcher. It was sold at a retail price of $99 per piece. Ryan was dedicated to make something worth out of his project, and to do this; he needed all the help he could get-both financially and business-wise. He appeared on Shark Tank in October 2015, offering the Sharks 8% equity in return for $200,000 in funding.
Ryan demonstrated how easily and efficiently the airbag inflated. Even better, the bag could be neatly folded into three layers and transformed into a cozy seat. The Sharks were mesmerized by Ryan’s Windcatcher. Lori Greiner offered Ryan $200,000 for a 5% stake in the company. Additionally, Lori was willing to fund Ryan’s purchase orders. He accepted the offer and walked out of the tank with a deal.
Windcatcher Product Reviews
Most of the Windcatcher users loved its convenience in inflation and the fact that it could be transformed into a seat. For most hiking and camping enthusiasts, the product was by far the most comfortable pad they ever experienced. However, for others, the Windcatcher does not inflate completely and comes with extra weight compared to other inflatables. Some users also have a problem with the width, which, according to some users, is relatively smaller.
Where is Windcatcher Today?
Thanks to Shark Tank, the product gained a lot of attention. A month after the deal, Ryan reviewed his product prices and reduced it from $99 to $79 for marketing purposes. In 2015, an entrepreneurial website, Inc.com, was profoundly impressed by Ryan’s air entertainment technology use and featured him in the seven best Shark Tank pitches of 2015. However, a Seattle-based company made a product quite similar to the Windcatcher.
It led to a legal battle that nullified Ryan and Greiner’s deal. Worse still, he was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer, to which he succumbed in 2018. Before his death, he handed his business over to his wife and his best friend, Oren Hanson. The two are currently working towards producing a longer, wider mattress that inflates faster than the predecessor.