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Whatever Happened To UniKey After Shark Tank?

For many, it's difficult to imagine how intimidating it must be to take your own invention/idea and present it in front the panel on ABC's "Shark Tank." It already takes an incredible amount of confidence to invest in your own business plan, let alone ask the toothy-moguls to fork over their own cash to help it grow. What takes the difficulty to another level is trying to convince the Sharks to invest in an alternative take on an existing product that has gone unchanged for centuries. That was exactly what Phil Dumas did when he stepped in front of the row of carnivores.

In Season 3, Episode 15 of the long running reality series, Phil Dumas presented his invention, the UniKey, to the panel of "Shark Tank." Dumas explained to the judges that it was time to toss the conventional door key away, and make room for today's technology. The UniKey allows you to unlock/lock door bolts with the use of your smartphone. The technology also allows users to temporarily give other people access, using the same function, eliminating the need to exchange those pesky little metal keys. And based on the Sharks' reactions, this was an idea worth exploring.

When Dumas presented his UniKey, he asked for a $500,000 investment in exchange for 33% ownership in his company. Shark Kevin O'Leary was the first to chime in, expressing interest in the business, which eventually set off a feeding frenzy throughout the panel. Eventually, Mark Cuban and O'Leary teamed up to strike a deal, accepting Dumas's counter offer, which was the cash for 40% of the company. Dumas walked off the stage with what he believed was his new route to success. However, what actually happened with the UniKey after it was featured on the show?

The UniKey continues to lock up the profits

Plenty "Shark Tank" fans believe that once a deal is struck on the show, each satisfied entrepreneur walks off that stage, headed toward a successful joint business venture. Unfortunately, the reality is, plenty of these deals end up falling through before they even get off the ground, and that was the case for Phil Dumas, who probably thought he had locked up all the money he needed to get his UniKey business off the ground and running. However, soon after his episode aired, Dumas ended up going in a different direction.

After being on "Shark Tank" and striking a verbal deal with Sharks Mark Cuban and Kevin O'Leary, Dumas ended up finding even more funding from a different investor, who shelled over more cash for less ownership of the company (via Shark Tank Blog). The UniKey was then licensed under the already established brand name KwikSet. According to the UniKey website, the two companies linked up at the perfect time as KwikSet "had to find a partner who could combine leading-edge technology with the reliability their customers had come to expect from their brand."

Today, under the KwikSet brand, UniKey continues to expand its business. According to Shark Tank Tales, the company has brought in at least eighteen new partners in 65 countries, worldwide. Dumas continues to grow his initial idea by snagging many additional patents using the UniKey technology, and has brought in more than $25 million in additional funding. Based on the product's website, the UniKey can be used not only in residential situations, but for commercial use and automobiles, as well.