Season two of Shark Tank Malta just wrapped up – after a ten episode run with a fitting grand total of ten deals made.
Shark Tank is a global TV phenomenon. With regional variations of the show airing across 45 different countries, the format markets itself as “without any doubt the most successful business themed format in the world”.
Though Malta’s local market is small, the vast majority of this season’s successful pitches were made by entrepreneurs who aspire to take the product or services beyond Maltese shores – after using Sharks’ investments, and Maltese consumers, as incubating tanks for their ideas to flourish.
Speculating on the eventual success or failure of businesses is far from my area of expertise – and is something which should probably be left up to the Sharks. However, across ten episodes from this season, money was invested in businesses working to supply demand from across a fairly broad spectrum of industries.
Interestingly, the three main areas for investment ended up being Sport, AI and Sustainability.
Without further ado, here’s a list of all ten deals made on Shark Tank Malta this season:
1. Happy Pot – €135,000 for 22.5%
This startup pot (no, not the yet to be properly legalised kind) company has already planted hundreds of trees around the world – in line with their commitment to plant a tree for every pot sold.
Happy Pot organises clean-ups in Malta and supports local tree-planting NGOs – as well as using biodegradable elements and recycled plastics to produce their pots.
Theirs was the first deal on this season of Shark Tank Malta – and already one of the best initiatives.
2. Gozo In The House – €33,900 for 30%
This “Gozo Guide with high vibes” (no, seriously, not that kind of “high”) is a digital platform seeking to bring together a restaurant guide, booking service, trip planning portal and a repository for events taking place in Gozo – with an emphasis on promoting wellness tourism in Gozo.
Andrea Britton – an entrepreneur and former singer-songwriter – impressed the Sharks with her pitch and knowhow, and managed to attract investment for a business promising to bring Gozo more tourism from a clientele looking to kick back, relax and treat themselves to some R&R.
3. Comfort Life – €100,000 for 20%
Alexey Gayduk was the first of this season’s entrepreneurs to approach the Sharks with a business pitch somehow integrating AI technology. His AI-driven heated gloves could change lives.
The idea behind Comfort Life is fairly simple, though the final product will be difficult to engineer. If the company is successful, people suffering from Raynaud’s Disease may be keenly interested in the product.
This disease affects around 75 million of people worldwide, which causes sensitive blood vessels in the extremities to overreact to cold temperatures, become narrower than usual, and cause extreme pain.
Alexey was forced to pause his business’ development when Russia invaded Ukraine – but managed to get it back on its feet in Malta.
With the Sharks’ help, he’ll now be seeing if his dreams of serving the Raynaud’s community to fruition – while also seeking to help out all of those who suffer from cold extremities.
4. SLIPZ – €50,000 for 25%
SLIPZ is a digital receipts app seeking to “eradicate the printing of paper receipts and save the planet”.
Though hoping to save the planet from the climate crisis by no longer printing receipts is a lofty goal, when paired with all of the other sustainable initiatives on this list, SLIPZ might have a shot at doing some real good.
Prior to receiving investment from the Sharks, SLIPZ was growing its customer base and expanding, but not yet turning a profit.
Over the coming months and years, within a trend towards paperless business – also on display later in this list – the company could become a hub helping you manage your expenditures, save a couple forests, and save accountants a whole lot of sifting through faded, wrinkled receipts.
5. Handing Up – €50,000 for 50%
This business was founded by Swiss-Iranian Salomé Bucher to connect consumers with peer-reviewed cleaners – without charging a commission. Her business is distinct from cleaning agencies in that it will not charge commission fees. Instead Handing Up profits by charging customers an introduction fee of €9 when they are connected to a new cleaner.
Bucher lives in Malta – where she intends to incubate and test this product – before internationalising her business once she has conquered the Maltese cleaning space.
This pitch was particularly interesting to development tycoon Chris Vassallo, who saw opportunity to integrate the product with services offered by real estate companies to which is already connected.
Although this is by no means unique to Shark Tank Malta – the way this deal was made highlighted just how small Malta’s market is – and how this television show could be so effective in building essential networks between aspiring entrepreneurs and people who already have a foot in the door, or a vice grip, over particular industries.
6. Leet – Walked away with a board of advisors
Leet was the only successful pitch not to walk away with a briefcase full of cash. This was because what they were looking for was “sweat equity” (see below).
Leet is an app which brings together everything needed to organise amateur sports. This includes community building tools which allow players to put out a call for athletic reinforcements – such as an ever elusive goalkeeper.
While Leet aims to facilitate amateur athletes’ pursuit of robust sporting communities – they also intend to profit by introducing aspects of gamification and in-app purchases to their platform – before taking the product to an international space.
7. Cheap Trolley – €150,000 for 50%
The Sharks have faith in Cheap Trolley to become a central platform which will become a one-stop-shop for all your grocery needs, saving consumers up to 50%.
This idea is a fairly simple one, but one which simply hasn’t been done yet.
By bringing together a catalogue of products and deals from across a range of supermarkets – and eventually offering deliveries of those products regardless of whether they were sourced from a single market or not – the company will be able to cut grocery costs signficantly.
As a current Maltese resident – and victim of what sometimes feels like grocery store price gouging (I know I’m taking it too personally) – I can’t wait for this one to pan out.
8. Star Scout – €50,000 for €50%
Star Scout is going to be a football-based TV show inspired by a dream for the sport to change people’s circumstances and lives for the better.
The TV show – which received a shared investment from all five Sharks – is going to bring together up and coming young football players, starting with women, and giving them the opportunity to show out on the world stage.
Those who are most successful throughout the show’s initial run, which will air from October, will have the opportunity to sign professional contracts with European clubs.
The show intends to seek revenue by associating itself with those players as their career develops and advertising – but also by creating blockchain-based NFTs associated with star players – which they hope will increase in value over the course of professional careers.
What was inspiring about this pitch, in particular, was when the founder asked the Sharks for an additional €1,000 donation to the company’s social fund – to which they all agreed before he’d even finished his sentence.
9. The Cloth Nappy Company – €10,000 for 5%
This fledgling diaper company secured investment for what is just a straight up great idea. Apparently, every second, three hundred disposable nappies are thrown away. Most of them contain plastics which can take thousands of years to decompose, which means that the first disposable diaper thrown away is almost certainly still out there.
Because the average baby will go through around 6,000 nappies before they are potty trained – the notion of having washable nappies is a simple but essential one.
Particularly if we intend to avoid a literal crap-load of baby waste walling us in for all of eternity.
These diapers can even be reused by multiple babies (not simultaneously) and will save parents a lot of money – as well as saving the next generations from having to collect them during what is likely to become a mandatory routine of tri-weekly beach cleanups.
10. Stekair – €100,000 for 30%
Stekair is a digital inventory management system which is primarily going to target Malta’s vending and cigarette machines. It will allow operators to monitor their sales and inventory in real time – and by going paperless – the company hopes to operate more sustainably and efficiently than other operators in the field.
The company is looking into implementing a large language model into their system.
Their in house version of Chat GPT – Sens AI – will be responsible for customer service, which means that vending machine operators could very soon be interacting with a complex predictive text model when we have concerns about their customers’ vending experiences.
With all of this season’s investments in the books – and a clear leading investor – it remains to be seen which (if any) of these businesses will thrive in Malta before taking over on the international stage.
Until we find out, we wish them luck.
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