Everyone’s talking about bitcoin and cryptocurrency (even NFL star Richard Sherman’s grandmother). Still, investing in it can be more than a little confusing. On Sunday’s episode of ABC’s “Shark Tank,” one entrepreneur found a way to simplify the process — and got Kevin O’Leary to invest six figures.
Dmitri Love walked into the Tank Sunday seeking $100,000 in exchange for a 10 percent stake in his company, Bundil, a platform that lets people turn their spare change into crypto.
But Love’s story started nearly three years ago when he was studying biochemistry at the University of Arkansas. After a serious knee injury (he was an avid soccer player) sidelined him for a long recovery, Love taught himself to code and became a software engineer.
Then inspiration for Bundil struck.
“I’m a web developer myself, and I wanted to invest in cryptocurrency, and my family also wanted to invest,” Love explained to the sharks.
“So they came to me and were like, ‘Dmitri, how do we buy this? What do we do?’ So I thought, ‘Man, you know, anyone that’s trying to invest in cryptocurrency has to go through all these steps to try to figure out how to buy it. And I thought there could be an easier way for it to be done.”
Love’s “Shark Tank” pitch was far from perfect; he stumbled over his words more than once, losing his place and stopping to collect himself. But instead of sinking their teeth into him, the Sharks encouraged him to keep going and he did.
Bundil is an app that allows consumers to automatically invest spare change from credit or debit card purchases into various forms of cryptocurrency, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, LiteCoin and BitcoinCash. The platform rounds up every day transactions — like when you buy coffee or lunch — to the nearest dollar, and then invests the resulting spare change into crypto.
Most of the sharks had concerns and dropped out: Lori Greiner wasn’t sold on the idea of cryptocurrency in general; Mark Cuban was already invested in a comparable company; Daymond John didn’t like the volatility of the digital currency space; guest judge and CEO of RSE Ventures, Matt Higgins, also opted out.
O’Leary, though, was interested. While he was unsure about the app’s viability — noting that the lifespan of many apps is not very long — he still offered Love $100,000 in exchange for 50 percent of the company.
“Fifty percent is quite a bit,” Love replied, but struck the deal with O’Leary, despite looking a bit dejected.
“He doesn’t look too happy,” Daymond John says, doubled over laughing. “He looks miserable.”
It reminded John of another seemingly greedy royalty-based offer O’Leary gave to Tracey Noonan for Wicked Good Cupcakes on season 4 of the show, causing the entrepreneur’s daughter Dani Vilagie to start crying.
Love should hope his deal turns out as well as that one, though: “And today, she’s a millionaire,” says O’Leary.