ABC's Shark Tank, a television show where entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to investors that host the show, may have a larger impact on what other investors choose to back than was previously expected. Apps are currently a hot target for investors to back because they can reach very high returns, which is why the investors on Shark Tank leapt at the Egos Ventures “Cycloramic” app.
Cycloramic is an alternative camera app that takes 360 degree panoramic photos on iPhones, without any assistance from the user. Instead, users simply stand the phone upright, then initiate the app. It takes hands-free panoramic photos by utilizing the motors that normally make the phone vibrate. These motors rotate the phone incrementally, and the phone automatically snaps a photo each time the device stops, eliminating any chance for motion-blur or other user errors. Simply put, there are no other apps like it.
However, the app has been out since 2012, and up until the appearance on Shark Tank only had around 600,000 total downloads. Yet once they showed the investors on Shark Tank how easily the device took panoramic photos, the hosts leaped at the opportunity and sealed a $500,000 investment in the product.
Yet the story doesn't end there, because within a day of airing the device started flying to the top of the list in the iPhone's app store, selling over 100,000 copies of the app per hour. By now, over 8 million devices have downloaded and installed cycloramic, raking in close to sixteen million dollars.
This phenomenon makes it clear that appearing on shows like SharkTank is an excellent way to build publicity for new apps, or for ones that are under-performing. According to Bruno Francois, one of the developers who appeared on Shark Tank, was quoted saying that “I would have never imagined the immediate impact the Shark Tank had on the download and the website. We saw a little increase in activity shortly before the show as the companies and preview were announced. As soon as our segment started, the downloads skyrocketed... we went from overall ranking #220 to #1 for the Cycloramic Studio.” Even if an app is not selected by the investors on the show, it still bears a good chance of being picked up by an investor that was watching.
Edited by Cassandra Tucker