Breathometer: What Happened After Shark Tank?

Breathometer is a device introduced as the ‘Smartphone-Breath-Analyser’ to measure the alcohol conception level in the blood. It is a pocket-friendly tool which connected to the smartphone’s audio jack and requires special software (Application) to operate.

The idea behind this is to analyze the Blood-Alcohol Content (BAC). After analyzing the alcohol level if the person’s Alcohol level,(BAC) level was over the legal limit, the app displayed one-click calls to local taxi services, friends, or relatives from contact lists who are living closer to the area, or local hotels.

After its introduction, the sales of the products increases massively. The company made 30 million in sales over the next few years. But the product disappointed many as it did not give accurate data about the alcohol level. After the inquiry by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), it found that the product underreported the (BAC) level and knowingly made false marketing claims of accuracy. The Federal Trade Commission charged the company with fraud.

In 2017 the application was shut down as the result of a settlement with the FTC.

Breathometer at a glance:

Episode NoSeason 5, Episode 2
Business IdeaSmartphone-Breath-Analyser
FounderCharles Michael Yim
Asked for$250,000 for 10%
Accepted offer$1,000,000 for 30%
SharksMr. Kevin O’Leary, Daymond Jhon, Robert Herjavec, and Mrs. Barbara Corcoran
Business statusIn business (other product)
WebsiteBreathometer

Index:

Founder Story:

Breathometer was founded by ‘Charles Michael Yim’, in 2012 a serial entrepreneur who had earlier founded three start-ups including Chatterfly, a mobile loyalty platform for businesses that was acquired by Plum District in December 2011.

Charles lives in Los Angeles, California. Charles is a young entrepreneur and an angel investor from Silicon Valley. They gain popularity by coming into ABC’s reality TV show “Shark Tank”.

By introducing its product “Breathometer”. After that, he was interviewed by Forbes, Fortune, CNBC’s show Squawk Box, Dr. Oz, GMA, ABC News, CNN, BBC, and MSNBC Inc. Magazine, 500 Start-ups, TechCrunch, Mashable, Venture Beat, Buzzfeed, USA Today, NY Times, Fox Business News, HuffPost, Wall Street Journal, etc.

Charles met President Obama in the White House for nomination for Forbes’s top 30 under 30 for technology and a champion of change for crowd-funding Entrepreneurs. Charles graduated with a B.S. in Business Economics from UC Riverside and Stanford Graduate School of Business. Charles has multiple patents for designing various breath-analyzing gadgets.

Did Breathometer get a deal on Shark Tank?

Breathometer was introduced as an alcohol reading tool in ABC’s famous reality show Shark Tank in the 2nd episode of the 5th Season. The founder asked for 250,000$ for 10% of their Business. But the company raised $1 million that it got from all the five ‘sharks’ on  Shark Tank Show.

How did Breathometer do after Shark Tank?

After the show, the company recodes a massive hike in the demand for their product. In a few years the company made 30 million in sales and serve the market till 2015. In a survey conducted by (FTC) ‘Federal Trade Commission,’ it is found that it represents underreported data of (BAC) Blood-Alcohol Content’ which turns it into a massive failure, FTC charged the company with fraud as they falsely represented the accuracy of the device.

The company shut down its software as a result of the settlement with FTC and is liable to refund in full to their customers which leads to a huge loss for the company and its investors.

  • The company pitches 1 million in sales in a few months after the Shark Tank show.
  • Charles asked for $250,000 at a total company valuation of $25 M.
  • Sharks offer him $1,000,000 at a total company valuation of $33.33 M approx.
  • In 2017 after the “BRETHOMETER” company introduces a new product called “MINT” used to check oral hygiene.
See also  Top Indian Startups that made to YCombinator (YC)

Who invested in Breathometer?

At Shark Tank, Mr. Kevin O’Leary, Daymond Jhon, Robert Herjavec, and Mrs. Barbara Corcoran invested about $1 million for 30%. Since Breathometer Inc. was formed in September-2012, it has participated in 2 funding rounds. In total, the company raised $1.0M in its 1st round. After that, in its 2nd  funding round in Oct 2013, it raised “another million”  for a total of $2.0M.

Competitor’s Analysis of Breathometer:

Breathometer Inc.’s top competitors include Vertisense and BACtrack.

  1. Vertisense is seen as one of Breathometer Inc.’s top competitors. Vertisense was founded in New York, New York} in 2011. Vertisense is in the Health Care Technology industry. Compared to Breathometer Inc., Vertisense generates $10.4M more revenue.
  • BACtrack is Breathometer Inc.’s #2 competitor. BACtrack was founded in 2001, and its headquarters is in San Francisco, California. BACtrack is in the Computers, Peripherals, Networking, and Electronic Equipment field. BACtrack has 226 fewer employees than Breathometer Inc.

The following table shows the difference between funding employees and the revenue of different companies.

CompanyFund-RaisedEmployeesRevenue
Braethometer$2 Million250-300App. $2.7 M
Vertisense$875 Thousand94-100App.$13 M
BACtrack$350 Thousand35-50App.$7.5 M

What’s the net worth of Brethometer?

At the time of the Shark tank appearance, they were valued at $3.33 million. In the year 2013 (at the time of introducing the product) the company receives a massive demand for its product. In the very next year, it made sales of over $5 million and the valuation of the company initially increased by  $2 million as it raised it from investors.

After receiving huge demand for the product the company started selling it to different regions of the country. They make money by selling their product in different regions. After in few more years, it reached $30 million in sales.

Is Breathometer still in business?

The company is not profitable because the idea and invention about the problem segment are quite good and interesting which gives a boost to the sales. But the ultimate problem solver (the product) does not satisfy the customers which creates a bad impression about the company. Which in turn creates a huge loss and ends the product. Also today its competitors can perform much better as ‘Breathometer’.

Did the Sharks lost money on Breathometer?

In 2017, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charged Breathometer with making false and unsupported claims about the accuracy of its breathalyzer devices.

As a result of the FTC charges, Breathometer agreed to offer refunds to its customers and discontinue sales of its breathalyzer products. The company later filed for bankruptcy in 2018.

While it is not clear how much money the investors ultimately lost on Breathometer, it is likely that they did not see a return on their investment. The case serves as a reminder that investing in startups is risky and that investors should thoroughly research companies and their products before investing.

Do Share Your Thoughts:

Do tell us all your thoughts in the comments section below, we look forward to reading all the comments in the section below.

Also, do check our Startup Resources section, and don’t forget to join our weekly newsletter 📰 which contains pure startup and business wisdom and no bullshit!!

Related Articles:

What is Brethometer?

Breathometer is a device introduced as the ‘Smartphone-Breath-Analyser’ to measure the alcohol conception level in the blood. It is a pocket-friendly tool which connected to the smartphone’s audio jack and requires special software (Application) to operate.

Who founded Brethometer?

Breathometer was founded by ‘Charles Michael Yim’, in 2012 a serial entrepreneur who had earlier founded three start-ups including Chatterfly, a mobile loyalty platform for businesses that was acquired by Plum District in December 2011.

Leave a Comment

You cannot copy content of this page

Scroll to Top