- On "Shark Tank," Geoffrey Woo and Michael Brandt pitched their performance-enhancing chewable coffee cubes.
- The co-founders of HVMN asked for $2 million in exchange for a 5 percent stake in their company – making it a $40 million valuation.
Fasting has recently become a phenomenon in the dieting world but according to Geoffrey Woo, co-founder and CEO of HVMN (pronounced "human") – he and his business partner claim they were the first to start the trend. HVMN, formerly known as Nootrobox, is a company that focuses on fixing human health and performance through the ketogenic diet and fasting.
But before the company broadened its product line, Woo and Michael Brandt, co-founder and COO of HVMN, pitched a product called GO Cubes on "Shark Tank," which are chewable coffee cubes that claim to help improve focus and reduce jitters.
"We talked about fasting on ['Shark Tank'] way ahead of everyone," Woo told CNBC in an email. "Fast forward 2-3 years and now everyone from Lebron James to Hallie Berry to Kim Kardashian is talking about fasting and the ketogenic diet. We started the whole mega trend!"
Touting these chewable coffee cubes as "the future of coffee," Woo and Brandt asked for $2 million in exchange for a 5 percent stake in their business — a $40 million valuation.
"This is the highest valuation we've ever had on 'Shark Tank,'" Robert Herjavec said.
"For sugar cubes!" Kevin O'Leary added.
Woo and Brandt compared their business approach to Apple, claiming that investors invest in the company's approach to technology, rather than just one specific product. But aside from the whopping valuation, the Sharks weren't sold on the overall pitch, which was full of scientific jargon. Lori Greiner even went as far as suggesting they hire a salesperson to sell the product in simpler terms.
As far as Chris Sacca was concerned, the price didn't bother him. What did however were the potential health risks of performance-enhancing nootropics. "I'm worried about the long-term consequences."
"Safety & transparency are fundamental to what we do," Brandt said in an email to CNBC. HVMN products are made in "state-of-the-art FDA compliant facilities" and 100 percent of its ingredients are FDA GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe), according to Brandt. In addition, he said that "the ingredients and final product are 3rd party tested & certified at multiple steps in the supply chain."
Despite the Sharks' criticism, Woo said the show was still an amazing experience. "Any entrepreneur worth their salt should be leaping at the opportunity to speak to millions of Americans about their product, debate and battle-test the merits of their business with five experienced investors and businesspeople."
In terms of where HVMN stands today, Woo said the company is "absolutely crushing it." Both the business and team have more than doubled in size since being on "Shark Tank" and have also dipped into the keto sphere, offering an innovative range of products to dieters.
"Our ketone ester drink, HVMN Ketone, has since helped athletes win world championships and break world records," Woo said. "Our MCT Oil Powder and Keto Collagen products help our customers stay on a ketogenic diet and improve their metabolic health."
For future "Shark Tank" entrepreneurs, Brandt concluded with one piece of advice: "If you do go on the show, don't be afraid to be yourself. One of our most memorable moments from the show was when we did our 'power pose' right before going on stage. Don't take yourself too seriously and do what makes you and your team comfortable on the Sharks' home court."
Find out if Woo and Brandt made a deal on "Shark Tank," Friday at 9 p.m. ET on CNBC.
Disclosure: CNBC owns the exclusive off-network cable rights to "Shark Tank."