How is Scholly Doing After Appearing on Shark Tank?

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How is Scholly Doing After Appearing on Shark Tank?

How is Scholly Doing After Appearing on Shark Tank?

Many businesses have received a boost by appearing on ‘Shark Tank’, not only in terms of receiving investment but also from raising their profile. The businesses that have appeared on this television series are wide-ranging and while some of the businesses have been turned down by the Sharks, there are others that have impressed them and led to the Sharks making huge investments. One such business that Sharks were impressed with enough to invest was Scholly.

Christopher Gray needed money to attend college and he found the process of applying for sponsorship money tortuous, so he created an app that streamlined the process of searching for college scholarships. He called his app Scholly. To put himself through college, he had already managed to raise $1.3 million in school aid from a variety of sources.

Within months of the app’s launch in 2014, it had managed to help students raise over $9 million. Gray and his co-founders then began raising a series A round for their Philadelphia-based business. They also formed several partnerships and launched their own website before they even faced the Sharks with their pitch.

Viewers of Shark Tank saw Gray deliver a pitch in an episode that aired in 2015. His pitch seemed to last just minutes, although Gray said that it was actually 45 minutes in length prior to editing. The Sharks found his concept very interesting and Lori Greiner and Daymond John agreed to team up to give Gray exactly what he had asked for, which was $40,000 for a 15% stake in his business. According to Gray, the reason that the Sharks were so keen to get on board was that they were intrigued by his own life story and were impressed by the company’s social mission.

However, his deal agreement with Greiner and John led to a furor. The other Sharks thought that a deal had been made too quickly without proper questioning about the business. Robert Herjavec even walked out of the studio in a huff.

The episode was filmed in June 2014, but the deal was not official until the fall of that year and the episode did not air for eight months after filming. This was a difficult period for Gray as he wasn’t allowed to talk about the outcome of his pitch.

Once the episode had aired, it instantly impacted on his business. For the two weeks that followed, his app was the number one seller on the App Store. Their site was also achieving approximately 8,000 hits per second. Fortunately, his co-founders, Nick Pirollo and Bryson Alef, are both computer whizzes. This meant they could take steps to prevent their website from crashing as a result of the huge surge in visitors.

Following Shark Tank, the co-founders also embarked on a round of funding and they feel that their appearance on the series helped them to achieve this. Since then, Gray has formed several corporate partnerships that will help them to sell the Scholly app in bulk, For example, he has an agreement with both Saxby’s Coffee and Philadelphia’ Science Leadership Academy. Both these organizations have agreed to provide the Scholly app to free to the current and future seniors at the school. Furthermore, Gray has negotiated deals with several city governments.

Although the company was already showing the potential for a bright future prior to their appearance on Shark Tank, delivering a winning pitch on the series certainly helped their company to grow. They are now achieving a level of success that they could have only dreamed of before. Much of this is because the profile of the company was raised by their Shark Tank appearance and from the investment made by the Sharks.

Of course, when a Shark makes an investment in a company that appears on the show it is rarely just about investing money. In most cases, the Sharks are offering to invest their time, knowledge, and experience to help a company to grow. This has certainly been the case with Scholly as Gray has said they have been very hands-on with his company. He has said that both John and Greiner are in touch with himself or his co-founders at least three times a week to keep track of how things are going in the business, to suggest ideas or just to have a catch-up about how things are going. This continues support will go a long way towards ensuring the company continues on the path to success.

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