What do you miss the most when you go on a camping trip? Yes, you are guessing right, it’s having a comfortable mattress that inflates with minimal effort. Well, Windcatcher has made this possible with its innovative and most popular product Windcatcher Air Pad. Being a first-ever air-catching mattress, it inflates super quickly.
Along with this, the company has a great product line that comes with travel gear and inflatable outdoors so the customer wouldn’t have any problem inflating. Windcatcher is brilliant with using innovative and eye-opening technology for inflation in its products. That brings us to the main content of this article. So, let’s get started with it!
The mastermind behind this innovation
The mastermind behind this innovation is Ryan Frayne, founder of Windcatcher. He graduated from the University of South Florida with a marketing degree in 2008. To start his own business, he invented a brilliant device- Windcatcher which prevents the users from shortness of breath in the first place.
The idea of inflating a mattress came to him when he went on a family trip to a beach where his brother was troubling to inflate a bed. After returning, he began working on a simpler method to do so, then he discovered the air entrainment phenomenon which could improve the method of inflating objects. He invented a prototype of an inflation toy and called it Air Bag, which inflate very easily through a valve that entrained air. With this approach, he went to Kickstarter to start a campaign in 2013. And within no time, he raised $150,000 from over 1,472 Kickstarter backers. This covered the ground setup costs and later in September 2014, Ryan raised an additional $42, 500 for the Air Pakk Self Inflating Backpack.
Windcatcher at Shark Tank
When Ryan successfully raised the funding of $242,000 through the campaigns, he gained the motivation to apply to k Tank to find a prominent business partner. Ryan Frayne went to seek $200k in exchange for an 8% stake in his company. And as suited, the sharks loved his pitch and Kevin offered a venture loan of $200,000 for 6% of all his sales until he raised $800,000. Lori and Sacca offered a deal of $200,000 for 15% ownership. Another Shark, Mark offered $200,000 for 10%.
After a long discussion, when Lori offered $200,000 for 5%, plus a loan. This closed the deal between Lori and Ryan.
Windcatcher after Shark Tank
After the deal between Lori and Ryan, it was never actually completed. And within a short period, Ryan was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer which cost him his life and he died on June 20, 2018, at the age of 34.
After his death, his wife and best friend took over the company and with their new IndieGoGo campaign, raised $6,572.
Windcatcher Net Worth
As of today, Windcatcher’s net worth is estimated to be around $6 million. The company started with just a $200,00 investment and successfully reached the valuation of $6 million.
Is the company still in business?
After a series of unfortunate events between the legal battle with Cascade designs and terminal cancer, WindCatcher is not functional currently. Although their product is still available on Amazon. The investors are working on a new product line using this technology of Ryan. But still, it’s a long run for the company and is in no way possible now.