Avid Shark Tank viewers might remember Roominate, the STEM-friendly toy line that entrepreneurs Alice Brooks and Bettina Chen pitched to the “sharks” back in a 2014 episode, during the ABC series’ sixth season.
Mark Cuban and Lori Greiner took the bait and offered the duo $500,000 in exchange for a 5-percent equity stake in the company, which made smart toys designed to get children—and young girls in particular—interested in building and engineering.
The toys seem to have been discontinued in the years since Roominate was acquired by PlayMonster—a search on the PlayMonster website doesn't yield any Roominate-branded results. However, Roominate did make the Society of Women Engineers’ 2020 list of best STEM toys, as chosen by the group’s Engineering Working Moms Facebook group.
Roominate’s net worth
Roominate’s net worth isn’t public knowledge, but Business 2 Community surmises that if Cuban and Greiner offered a $500,000 investment for a 5-percent equity stake, then Roominate’s valuation is an estimated $10 million.
Cuban made that offer with one condition—that his daughters, Alexis and Alyssa, then 10 and 7 years old, would be able to spend time with Brooks and Chen. “You know, I try to put them in a position where they’ve got good role models,” he told the duo. “Because of all the things in life I can buy, that’s something I can’t buy.”
Roominate's success after ‘Shark Tank’
In a Shark Tank update in 2015, Brooks and Chen revealed that Cuban had helped them expanded their retail presence and land a major deal with Walmart that would sell Roominate products in 800 stores and online.
“With our expansion into retail, our sales have really surged,” Chen told viewers. “Before Shark Tank, our sales were $1.7 million dollars in a year and a half. It’s been a year since we appeared on Shark Tank, and we’ve done over $4.5 million in sales.”
The creators also said in the clip that they had expanded into an eight-person operation and moved into their own headquarters. “It’s always been our mission to empower girls to become builders and maybe one day engineers,” Brooks said. “Because of Mark and Shark Tank, we’ve been able to spread our message and get our toys to girls who will one day build our future.”
Roominate’s acquired price
Roominate was acquired by toy manufacturer Patch Products in 2016, but the terms of the deal—including the sale price—weren't disclosed.
“Patch’s entrepreneurial spirit and innovative culture is exactly what we were looking for to help grow Roominate,” Brooks said in a press release at the time. “We’re happy about this significant development and look forward to working with the Patch team to continue to inspire the next generation of innovators.”
Patch Products, now called PlayMonster, echoed that enthusiasm. “We are excited and honored to take on a concept that gets girls excited about engineering through play,” CEO Bob Wann said at the time.
These days, Brooks is a principal at Khosla Ventures, according to her online bio, while Chen says on LinkedIn that she’s an engineering program manager at Apple.