- Eric Webb American-Statesman Staff
Austin fans of ABC’s “Shark Tank” might have noticed a familiar name on Sunday night’s episode. Local company EverlyWell, which sells at-home health test kits, scored a deal with one of the show’s investors (excuse us, “sharks”).
The deal wasn’t just notable for the company’s bottom line. According to EverlyWell, it was a milestone for “Shark Tank” – the largest valuation deal for a solo female entrepreneur ever on the show. EverlyWell CEO and founder Julia Cheek walked away from her TV appearance with a $1 million line of credit from investor Lori Greiner, in exchange for 5 percent equity.
Cheek, who founded EverlyWell in Dallas before heading to Austin, was turned down by the other four sharks on the show before Greiner offered the deal. According to technology news site Silicon Hills, the investor saw timely potential in EverlyWell’s product:
“But Greiner thinks because of the state of healthcare in the country right now is so precarious that EverlyWell has the right product at the right time. She vowed to use her QVC connections to market EverlyWell nationwide.”
EverlyWell offers 19 different health tests, including food sensitivity and fertility options, according to the company.
"You get one shot to tell your story to the sharks and to America,” Cheek said in a statement. “We know that our brand and consumer education is incredibly important to our growth, so it was really a once in a lifetime opportunity to get to pitch the sharks for an investment."
The company said it is planning more than 12 new tests next year and is now available in its first retail locations.
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