Water is a resource that we all take for granted, however, clean drinking water is not as plentiful as is should be, and not all treated water tastes nice.
For this reason, there has been increased use of water jugs that include a filter in them to help remove the unwanted taste from tap water. Up until recently, if you wanted to take this water with you, you had to decant it into a water bottle.
New innovations have led to new designs in water bottles that have a built-in filter so that it can be filled at any point without needing to be pre-filtered. One such bottle is the Gobie H2O which has a variety of design features that not only filtered the water but also makes it easy to use and carry around.
What was the Gobie H2O
In an attempt to make water bottles both functional and environmentally friendly, industrial designer Rusty Allen created the Gobie H2O.
The bottle itself was made from BPA Free Tritan material and it features an ergonomic grip and mouthpiece. Unlike some other bottles, it was also designed to fit into a standard cupholder to make it easier to use in a car or on a bike.
The bottle contained a carbon-based filter that could remove chlorine, minerals, and any odors from the water. Each filter was capable of filtering up to 100 gallons before it needed to be replaced. This filter was made from charred coconut shells which made it fully combustible.
Gobie Water Bottle on Shark Tank
Rusty Allen wanted to go to the Shark Tank TV program to ask for an investment of $300,000 in exchange for 10% of his company. During the development of the bottle, Rusty realized that the upgraded filter was capable of more than just filtering clean water. He wanted to demonstrate this to the people on Shark Tank.
To do this, he decided to take some fine potting soil put it into the bottle with water, and shake it up. He then squeezed the water through the filter into a wine glass to show that the dirty water was now completely clean.
The panel on Shark Tank examine samples given by Rusty and comment that these types of water bottle are not new and that there are other filters on the market that can filter in the same way. Rusty told them that while the idea isn’t a new one, the bottle design with the durable squeezable section was innovative, and improved the power of the filter to remove contamination.
Ultimately, all but one of the panel on Shark Tank do not want to offer Rusty any money, because they feel that he is not marketing the bottle in the right way. They also believe that there are other bottles that can do the same job.
When asked what he intended to do with the $300,000 investment, Rusty told them that he would use it for inventory and operating costs, as he was working on the project full time.
However, Daymond, the last person on the panel, offers Rusty $300,000 in return for a 40% stake in the company. This offer was conditional upon the Gobie getting into one big box company immediately.
Rusty tried to negotiate 20% of the company, but Daymond is firm that this is what the deal will be. After talking with his business advisor, Rusty accepts the deal.
It seems clear from the responses from the panel, that they don’t think this idea will be able to compete with the other water bottle manufacturers.
Before going on the Shark Tank show, Rusty Allen had been selling his bottles through online sales.
Rusty had tried to sell his bottle to major retail companies such as Bed Bath and Beyond, Target, and J.C Penny’s.
All three of the companies said that they would need to have more colors apart from blue. However, Lori on Shark Tank supposed that if this bottle was so original to these companies, they would have bought them and then asked for more colors.
However, the bottles were on sale on Amazon, and sold quite well in the beginning.
Sales and Net Worth
In the period leading up to Rusty Allen’s appearance on Shark Tank, he had been selling the Gobie H2O online.
He had sold 10,000 bottles along with 15,000 replacement filters, which generated $285,000 in revenue for over 17 months.
The company had been selling the bottles for $30 online, and each unit cost around $10 to make.
It was this price point that worried some of the panel on Shark Tank, as they knew there were other similar products available at a cheaper price.
Gobie Water Bottle Update – Out of Business
Following on from Rusty Allen’s experience with Daymond, there were some disappointing developments for the Gobie H2O company. The bottles had been selling on Amazon, but there were some negative comments being left on the review page that left the product with an average rating of only 2.3 stars.
Many of the complaints that were left mentioned the design of the Gobie including leaking, air bubbles flowing through the mouthpiece, and that it could not be placed on its side.
It appears that there is no longer any of the Gobie H2O bottles on sale, with the last known social media activity happening in 2016.
It seems that the Gobie H2O was trying to compete with larger companies that were offering cheaper alternatives to the Gobie. These other products were also able to offer a better design that was less problematic yet still as effective.