Coin Out entered the Shark Tank with their app that serves as a digital wallet. When customers pay with cash, their change will digitally return to them.
We interviewed Jeff Witten, who earned both law and business degrees, and said Shark Tank inspired him to start his own business. He realized there was a much needed solution to cash-based transactions, and used his experience working at Apple in their payments space to learn about payment trends and the systems retailers were adopting.
To date, the app has thousands of users and hundreds of merchant partners. Although he’s done soft launches over the last year, he’s using Shark Tank as a platform for a re-launch. As for nerves in the Tank, Witten said his extreme focus melted away all his anxiety and he felt like a “gallon of Adrenaline was injected directly into my bloodstream.”
Here’s what else he told us about…
How It Works
The core product as seen on the show allows cash paying customers to save their cash change digitally. At these locations, customers pay with cash, decide to Coin Out and then enter their phone number onto the register or customers can choose to receive a receipt and scan it with the Coin Out app. We have a growing number of locations and expect to have it nationwide this year.
Their Cash Back Product
We also have a cash back product that is incredibly easy to use. Customers can take a picture of receipts from any retailers (i.e. Pizza Hut, Burger King, McDonald’s, etc) and earn a small amount of cash back. You don’t need a credit card, debit card or bank account. All you need is a phone number and the app. We have varying limits we change per day to make it a fun app to engage with and earn a little bit of money! Some of our retail partners have implemented a slightly different version where customers can scan a QR code on the bottom of the receipt to earn even more cash back.
Their Merchant Partners
For the cash back product, customers can take a picture from any retailer. We also have direct merchant partners. We started in the New York area, where we are based, doing door-to-door sales in Manhattan and the other boroughs. We found some local businesses through Clover, but also went directly to franchise owners we wanted to work with. Now, the offering is available nationwide through the Clover POS platform (over 500K merchants have Clover) as well as through an Epson printer set up. We have several Subway franchises using the product in New York via Epson, and are expanding that every day. With the printer set up, a merchant can simply order a new printer through the Coin Out app and be up and running in short order.
Advice to Future ‘Tank’ Contestants
Practice. Looking back, we practiced a tremendous amount. We identified where we were vulnerable or weak and got in front of those items before the Sharks could bring it up in an attempt to disarm them. I wanted to make sure we had a succinct and compelling story to tell the Sharks. But more importantly, we wanted to tell a story that the audience would want to learn more about. We achieved this by doing hundreds of drafts of question and answers in addition to soliciting questions and feedback from our advisors and friends who knew varying degrees about our business. Live presentation practice was the best possible prep work. Second, I would say make sure to get your personality out there and be prepared for a dog fight. I went in with the mentality that I was literally fighting for my company’s survival and I was going to do whatever I could to get my points and emotions across.
Other Shark Tank products: