What Really Came Of CertifiKID Family Activities From Shark Tank?

If you have kids, you know how hard it can be to come up with activities to keep them entertained during the summer break and holidays, especially on a budget. That's where CertifiKID comes in. Jamie and Brian Ratner came on "Shark Tank" to pitch a Groupon look-a-like that offers deals on activities and events specifically for families. CertifiKID makes money by receiving commission on everything sold through its website. This resulted in $700k in net income in one year of business even before appearing on "Shark Tank."

This piqued the interest of a few Sharks right off the bat since — not to mention the human roller coaster that played a part in their pitch.

You might remember this episode as the one where the toughest Shark on the block, Kevin O'Leary (aka, Mr. Wonderful), may have finally met his match with Brian. His over-the-top negotiating skills impressed Kevin so much that he could hardly stop complimenting Brian as they argued over mere percentage points in equity. Eventually, they finally came to a decision that would decide the fate of CertifiKID.

What happened to CertifiKID on Shark Tank?

Like many moms, Jamie Ratner was constantly looking for activities for her family while trying not to break the bank. Even after pouring over the few internet resources that existed, she often came up empty-handed. This is how she came up with CertifiKID.

Jamie and her husband Brian came on "Shark Tank" with a pitch that made Mark Cuban purse his lips and Daymond John say, "This is uncomfortable." They wanted $600,000 for 8% equity in their company, a whopping $7.5 million evaluation. The Ratner's had incredible confidence walking into the tank and were ready to negotiate hard. After they finished their family fun pitch, Kevin cut straight to the chase, "I want to make sure that whatever happens, I get three times my money on the exit." In short, Kevin offered $600k for a 20% stake contingent on a three times return on his investment if there's an exit.

Other Sharks bowed out, and Daymond and Barbara Corcoran threw in offers; but ultimately, the pair were there for Kevin. So, Brian got to work mentally crunching the numbers and flexing his master negotiator skills, which Kevin noticed immediately, saying "I love you! I'm loving you!" Kevin and Brian went back and forth until they finally settled on $600k for 19% equity and zero contingency. Jaime gave the final okay, and the trio shook hands on the deal.

CertifiKID after Shark Tank

Shortly after the episode aired and the deal between CertifiKID and Kevin O'Leary closed, the business skyrocketed. Within two months, the website made over $1.2 million, compared to the $1 million CertifiKID made in the entire year prior. Those are some pretty impressive numbers and definitely make the case that "Shark Tank" promotion alone can be a huge boost for businesses.

CertifiKID was able to continue expanding and growing up until early 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. As with many businesses at that time, the website took a significant hit when in-person activities were halted via lockdowns and safety measures, which is primarily what the platform ran its discounts on. The company did make an effort to adjust its offerings to accommodate the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations; but ultimately, it took until 2021 to fully recover. Today, the platform is stronger than ever.

Is CertifiKID still in business?

CertifiKID's success after "Shark Tank" has only continued to increase. It's safe to say it is still around and clearly going nowhere any time soon. Instead of being in a handful of cities, CertifiKID is now a national platform supporting parents across the country with deals on activities for kids and families. As a result, it is incredibly popular and has a strong following of fans on a variety of platforms. On Instagram, the company has over 12k followers, with another 58k on Facebook. On the Reddit thread r/sharktank, one user wrote, "My wife and I use Certifikid all the time. I agree with the other person, it's great for local coupons/deals, and also a resource to find new things in our area."

As of 2022, the company is making $6 million in revenue each year. Looks like Brian was right, and Mr. Wonderful got a steal of a deal by only investing $600k. At this point, we're pretty sure that the contingency he wanted was also unnecessary, too.

What's next for CertifiKID?

CertifiKID is continuing to grow, currently looking to fill roles on its marketing and sales teams as well as hire a developer to improve its digital experience. The CertifiKID platform has become so successful that the company has been able to acquire two other businesses: MacaroniKID and Hulafrog.

Macaroni KID is a digital publishing platform that promotes local, kid-friendly activities. Each city has its own independent Macaroni KID community curated by a local publisher who posts events and promotions going on at that location. The publishers also host their own events through this platform, too.

On the other hand, Hulafrog is a publication that caters to the interests of moms "beyond diapers and dinner," since there's more to life than just the kids. The website features a variety of articles on topics including mental health, fitness, fashion, travel, and food. The website also has a "Hot Lists" section that condenses the most popular listicles into one location. It's a one-stop shop for daily mom-spiration.