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Whatever Happened To SoaPen After Shark Tank?

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There have been a whole bunch of products dedicated to keeping kids clean and healthy presented on "Shark Tank" throughout its extensive run. From newfangled kid-friendly liquid bandages to super-fresh and organic baby food, making parents' lives easier can be a goldmine for creative entrepreneurs with the right idea. 

So it was with Amanat Anand and Shubham Issar, inventors of the SoaPen. The duo teamed up after meeting at the Parsons School of Design in New York. Following college graduation, they created SoaPen in 2015 for UNICEF's Wearables for Good Challenge. They were inspired to make something to encourage kids to wash their hands for the universally recommended amount of time after learning that poor child mortality rates worldwide are connected to simple bacteria and viruses that can be eradicated with washing up. Thus, the SoaPen team created what's essentially a long-lasting soap crayon. It lets kids doodle on themselves, and the formula won't wash off until the correct amount of time has lapsed, leaving nothing behind but clean hands and a fresh, pleasant smell.

Issar and Anand were ultimately victorious in the Wearables for Good Challenge; they were one of two successful finalists in a field of 250 competitors. Winning netted them a $15,000 grant, which they used to launch a beta version of SoaPen in 2019. A magazine article and a fundraiser later, they felt they needed an investor to take the brand to the next level and hit up "Shark Tank" for extra funds. This ultimately gained them the interest of one shark who nearly passed on the product before jumping aboard. Here's how they've managed to keep cleaning up since their time on "Shark Tank."

What happened to SoaPen on Shark Tank?

Popping up in Episode 4 of Season 13 in February 2022, Amanat Anand and Shubham Issar explain that they've made $85,000 in sales during SoaPen's lifetime — all of this without a marketing budget or additional funding. Later, landing an article in Real Simple Magazine launched SoaPen into the limelight; subsequent fundraising on Kickstarter drew an extra $28,460. At the time of their episode's taping, they had only started to dip their toes into online advertising. SoaPens only cost $4 to make and retail for $14.99 for a pack of three. Each pen gives the user 100 trips to the sink or tub. The SoaPen team wants $100,00 for a 10% stake in the company.

Mark Cuban, Robert Herjavec, and Kevin O'Leary are bemused by Anand and Issar's lack of advertising and marketing know-how, which causes them to leave the table. However, Cuban encourages them to hammer the social media world to get their names out there. Lori Greiner likes the idea of SoaPen but feels the company's too young for her to jump aboard. That leaves SoaPen with guest shark Nirav Tolia. He admits he sees something of himself in them and likes the product but believes they need more time in a mentorship situation, so he's also out. Just as Anand and Issar leave the room for their post-appearance interviews, thinking they're departing without a deal, Tolia begins having second thoughts. He seeks out Anand and Issar, offering up the help and expertise of his wife. He's willing to give them what they're offering but requests a $1 royalty on every unit sold until he earns back his investment. Team SoaPen takes the deal.

SoaPen after Shark Tank

Amanat Anand and Shubham Issar definitely benefitted from the "Shark Tank" effect. SoaPen sold out of its in-stock products the night the episode aired but bounced back with restocks. It looks like being on the show provided the company with a springboard for further growth. A successful Amazon storefront opened in 2022 and continues to operate to this day. Buying options were expanded to include bulk wholesalers and offer an educator's discount program for teachers on their official website. SoaPen has also begun offering a blog through its website, giving out parenting tips.

Taking Mark Cuban's advice, SoaPen has established itself as a force to be reckoned with on social media; the TikTok account has 3 million likes and over 21,000 followers, and its Instagram has over 10,000 followers. A reel created on Facebook in March gained 2 million views, and it has over 1,000 followers there. SoaPen has also subsequently gotten press attention in Forbes Magazine and Parents Magazine.

There have been a few lumps and bumps along the way, as SoaPen has stopped selling its set of kid-friendly hand sanitizing gels since its time on "Shark Tank." However, the company has continued to expand over the past year and appears to be in good health.

Is SoaPen still in business?

The status of SoaPen's deal with Nirav Tolia remains unknown at press time, but with or without him, the company continues to move from strength to strength. As of 2023, SoaPen is still open and selling its wares. Consumers currently have a choice between three products on their official website; they can snag a three-pack of SoaPens at $19.99 plus shipping, a three-pack of seamless socks for $20.99, or a combination of the soap and socks at $32.99. The same options are available at its Amazon store, where its SoaPen set maintains a 4.1 rating with over 700 reviews. They are also currently the 37th most popular offering in Amazon's "Shark Tank" collection.

Besides their Instagram and TikTok accounts, SoaPen maintains a fairly regularly updated presence on X, formerly known as Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. All things considered, that means the company is thriving — and it looks like it's about to expand its offerings even further.

What's next for SoaPen?

SoaPen's victories haven't stopped in 2023. This year has brought a wave of good news for them as their reach continues to expand.

In October, it was announced on Instagram that pink and purple are being added to SoaPen's existing array of colors. There's no word as of press time as to what these varieties will smell like, but this gives buyers a choice between five versions. SoaPens are also now being sold in brick-and-mortar locations; you can buy them at the Whitney Museum gift shop in New York City, for instance. With all of that good news, the company will likely keep adding colors and scents — and perhaps new products — to the lineup as time goes on.

Though they've managed to charm a Shark, Amanat Anand and Shubham Issar clearly have the scientific and business acumen to keep their business humming. It will take time to see if SoaPen keeps succeeding. But so far, it looks like they're anything but all washed up.