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Travel Toothbrush Maker FunkkOff Lands ‘Shark Tank’ Funds

Firm receives $250k for 12% stake from investor

FunkkOff Inc., a Dana Point-based maker of reusable, pocket-sized toothbrushes, secured a deal with “Shark Tank” investor Robert Herjavec following a July taping of the entrepreneur showcase show.

In an episode which aired last month, founders and co-CEOs Joelle Flynn and Sonia Hounsell said their company generated $80,000 in sales since they started selling their TeethRefreshers in July 2021. The company ran out of inventory for a few months during that time as they faced logistical issues caused by the pandemic. After raising $675,000 in funding and putting in $325,000 together, they said on the episode that FunkkOff was down $130,000.

“Every year, I go home, and my beautiful wife, Kym, inevitably finds a product and says, ‘Why didn’t you invest in this?’” Herjavec said. “And I give her all these reasons and she listens to me, and then she says ‘It’s a great product. I would buy this.’”

He listened, following up with an offer of $250,000 for a 12% stake in FunkkOff, which Flynn and Hounsell accepted.

Flynn and Hounsell said they are still working out the details of the deal with Herjavec, which they cannot disclose.

Once complete, the deal will enable FunkkOff to increase its inventory and manufacturing capabilities.

“We definitely need inventory after this excellent weekend,” Flynn told the Business Journal four days after the episode aired on Feb. 18, adding that the exposure from the show led to an “exceptional boost” in sales.

Wine Aficionado

Flynn’s inspiration for the TeethRefresher sprung from her desire for a more convenient, portable toothbrush she could use during trips to wineries in Napa Valley.

“I would carry around a toothbrush and toothpaste with me because my teeth would stain purple from the red wine,” she said. “I’d go to the bathroom and brush my teeth and go to the next winery.”

When Flynn couldn’t find a product that met her need, she decided to invent it herself.

The TeethRefresher is a lipstick-sized toothbrush with a built-in toothpaste dispenser. It can be used about 30 times before disposal. It costs $22 per unit and is available for sale on FunkkOff’s site, Amazon, online retailer Uncommon Goods and in locations including spas, dental offices and hotel gift shops.

Flynn said the company is currently in talks with an oral care company to possibly expand overseas. The co-CEOs declined to disclose the names of their current and potential partners, but said that the startup has secured deals with beauty companies, online retailers and a firm that will allow them to sell its products on-air.

The co-CEOs said they expect to grow their location count over fortyfold to 3,000 sites by the end of this year.

Childhood Friends

Flynn enlisted Hounsell, who has been her friend since seventh grade, to help market the TeethRefresher. Hounsell, who counts 14 years of brand marketing experience, has worked with several established brands, including Trident, Dentyne and Coppertone.

Flynn, a former stockbroker at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, previously led mortgage software company LendersUnlimited, which was acquired by FinanceU.com.

The company previously raised finds via Kickstarter and Indiegogo campaigns. Other backers of the company include friends and an angel investor, officials said.

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Sonia Chung
Sonia Chung
Sonia Chung joined the Orange County Business Journal in 2021 as their Marketing Creative Director. In her role she creates all visual content as it relates to the marketing needs for the sales and events teams. Her responsibilities include the creation of marketing materials for six annual corporate events, weekly print advertisements, sales flyers in correspondence to the editorial calendar, social media graphics, PowerPoint presentation decks, e-blasts, and maintains the online presence for Orange County Business Journal’s corporate events.
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