Business

Will the Sharks bite on AquaVault?

ndahlberg@miamiherald.com

The AquaVault, created by an Anentura startup, can lock to the back of a beach chair.
The AquaVault, created by an Anentura startup, can lock to the back of a beach chair.

The entrepreneurs behind AquaVault, a portable beach safe, will take the plunge on ABC’s Shark Tank on Friday.

During the show, entrepreneurs pitch their companies for potential funding to the celebrity investors: Mark Cuban, Barbara Corcoran, Lori Greiner, Robert Herjavec, Daymond John and Kevin O'Leary. Will the Sharks tear apart the beach product or will they taste opportunity? The Shark Tank episode, which airs at 9 p.m., was taped months ago and the team is sworn to secrecy.

“The inception of this idea occurred while we were staying at one of the finest resorts in South Beach and had all of our valuables stolen from our lounge chairs while swimming in the pool,” said Avin Samtani, who developed the product with Jonathan Kinas and Robert Peck. The three left careers in finance and construction and have been selling the product they created since last spring. The safes can be locked onto the back of a beach chair.

Samtani said the Aventura company has sold “thousands” of the safes to hotels and online, without giving specific sales numbers. Hotels such as Fontainbleau, Loews, Delano Miami, SNS, The James, Eden Roc and Ritz Carlton provide them free or rent them to guests. Online at theaquavault.com, the safes retail for $39.99 for consumers, but the founders believe the biggest opportunity is selling to hotels.

UPDATE FROM SHARK TANK: AquaVault asked for $75,000 for a 12 percent stake but made a deal with Daymond John: $75,000 for 25 percent of the company. And, oh yes, AquaVault's website briefly crashed right after the appearance, according to online comments from people trying to take advantage of the Shark Tank special of 20 percent off.

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