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‘Shark Tank’ Showdown: How AI Startup Bot-It Ruled the Battle of the Billionaires

Bot-It, with its innovative approach to automating various online tasks, sparked a lively debate about the role of bots in modern consumer culture. 
Cover Image Source: YouTube | Shark Tank
Cover Image Source: YouTube | Shark Tank

In a thrilling turn of events on the latest episode of ABC's "Shark Tank," Maurice Bachelor, the lead software engineer behind the Los Angeles-based company Bot-It found himself at the center of a heated bidding war between two industry heavyweights, Mark Cuban and Michael Rubin. The AI-powered startup, with its innovative approach to automating various online tasks, sparked a lively debate about the role of bots in modern consumer culture. 

Sharks on Shark Tank | Youtube
Sharks on Shark Tank | Youtube

The episode unfolded with Bachelor and his founding partner Joel Griffith presenting the Bot-It website and mobile app, emphasizing its AI capabilities that enable users to streamline online tasks ranging from scheduling appointments to securing elusive concert tickets. The duo addressed the elephant in the room, acknowledging the controversial nature of their business, particularly in the context of how bots have disrupted the sneaker and live events industries. Michael Rubin, the CEO of sports retailer Fanatics, underscored the severity of the issue, highlighting the massive financial impact of bots attempting to snatch up sought-after products. He expressed his concern, stating, "We have probably billions of dollars of products that bots try to buy from us each year... Bots come to get everything." Kevin O'Leary chimed in, raising a poignant question about the moral implications of supporting such endeavors.

Kevin O'Leary | Getty Images
Kevin O'Leary | Getty Images

Maurice Bachelor and Joel Griffith, co-founders of Bot-It, were quick to address the skepticism surrounding bots. In their pitch, they emphasized that their technology aims to combat cheaters and give real people an advantage against faceless bot armies. Griffith explained, "We want to help change the perception of bots amongst consumers. Bots aren’t always the bad guys. You can have one too."

Their argument struck a chord with Michael Rubin, who highlighted that most bots on Fanatics' platform are large-scale operations aimed at acquiring new products for resale at a premium on third-party platforms. Empowering consumers with bots could level the playing field, making sought-after items more accessible and affordable. Rubin declared, "I’d rather disrupt myself than have someone else disrupt me."

Pexels | Photo by Tara Winstead
Pexels | Photo by Tara Winstead

The 'Shark Tank' investors were keenly interested in the potential of Bot-It. Mark Cuban, always quick to spot an opportunity, was the first to make an offer. He was particularly intrigued by Bot-It's artificial intelligence platform which could carry out tasks in a matter of seconds. Cuban put forth an offer of $150,000 in exchange for a 20% equity stake. However, Michael Rubin wasn't about to let this opportunity slip away. He approached Cuban and inquired, "Would you have me as your partner?" Cuban responded with a resounding, "No, I like this. I want these guys all to myself."

Mark Cuban | Getty Images
Shark Mark Cuban | Getty Images

As Kevin O'Leary aptly put it, a "Shark fight" was underway. Rubin decided to make his move offering $50,000 for a 15% stake in Bot-It, valuing the startup higher than Cuban's initial offer. Caught amid this billionaire bidding war, Maurice Bachelor and Joel Griffith made an unexpected plea. They urged Cuban and Rubin to join forces and create a joint deal. In a surprising turn of events, the billionaires agreed to collaborate, offering a substantial $300,000 for a 30% ownership stake in the company. After some hesitation regarding the equity share, the Bot-It duo accepted the offer, sealing the deal.

The elated Bot-It team expressed their enthusiasm, recognizing the immense potential of having two industry giants on their side. "This is the most important day of the Bot-It life," Bachelor exclaimed. "To have both of those Sharks on our team right now is going to take us to the next level." The electrifying battle between the titans of business underscored not only the growing significance of AI in the tech landscape but also the critical role of startups like Bot-It in reshaping the narrative around the use of bots in the modern world. As the company sets its sights on the future, it is clear that the "Shark Tank" showdown has only marked the beginning of an exciting journey for Bot-It.