entrepreneurshipShark Tank

RETOLD Recycling – Shark Tank – When business trumps mission

Name & brand: RETOLD Recycling
Logo: Bad logo and branding, gives the impression of a video related product, or a media company.

Company offer: Postage-paid envelopes for shipping unwanted clothes to recycle.

The Problem that needs solving: 12 million tons of textiles thrown every year

The ask: $300 k for 15% of the company.
Valuation: $2 million.
Defensibly: – no info provided.
Sales: 2021: $175k , 2022: on track to make $500k.
Cost:  few cents to produce bag (but 80% of revenue goes to shipping) Sells:  $14.50
Marketing: – no info provided.
Competitors: – no info provided.
Business model: Middleman, they get the textile from consumer and sell them to recyclers.
Needs the money: – no info provided.
The Sharks offers / deals: Mark Cuban : 300k for 25%, offer accepted.

Retold Recycling is a company that is committed to helping people recycle their unwanted clothes and household textiles in a convenient way. The founders, Alan Yeoh and Amelia Trumble, were inspired to start the company when they learned that Americans throw away nearly 12 million tons of textiles every year. They wanted to provide an alternative to this wasteful practice by offering a mail-in recycling service.

On Shark Tank Season 14, Alan and Amelia pitched their business to the sharks in the hopes of securing an investment. They asked for $300,000 in exchange for 15% equity in their company. They explained that their business model involved sending postage-paid envelopes to customers who would fill them with up to 5 pounds of textiles and then drop them in the mailbox. The clothes would then be sorted and sold to thrift stores, upcyclers, and recyclers.

The sharks were initially skeptical about the business, with Kevin O’Leary dropping out early on because he didn’t think he would get a return on his investment. Guest shark Emma Grede respected the mission but didn’t see it as a viable business. Lori Greiner and Robert Herjavec also dropped out for similar reasons.

However, Mark Cuban saw potential in the company and offered $300,000 for 25% equity. Alan and Amelia accepted the offer, and their business has continued to grow since then.

Retold Recycling has since partnered with many brands to offer their recycling service to customers. Customers can purchase Retold Recycling bags on the company’s website for $14.50 each.

The company has also continued to see steady growth in sales. In 2020, their first year of operation, they generated $12,000 in sales. In the following year, sales jumped to $175,000. By the time of filming Shark Tank, they were projecting $500,000 in sales.

The success of Retold Recycling is a testament to the growing demand for sustainable and eco-friendly practices. People are becoming more aware of the impact that their actions have on the environment, and they are seeking out ways to reduce waste and minimize their carbon footprint. Retold Recycling offers a simple and convenient solution to this problem, and it is clear that the company has struck a chord with consumers.

My opinion:

When you want to fight climate change and pollution, you need to do it in an optimal way. I do not see Retold recycling as the optimal way. It is a good business, a business surfing on the eco-friendly wave, but not a business that wants to solve a problem. Ideally they should pivot into something that require minimal shipping. Instead of bags and individual postage shipping, which creates even more pollution, they should opt for partnerships with companies and management of recycling bins. Explained it in a video:

Share if you care

Abdallah Alaili

I'm a serial entrepreneur (mostly tech) and micro-investor (tiny), this is a blog to learn from other entrepreneurs and spread the wisdom to many more. You can find me on: Instagram - Twitter - Linkedin - more about me