Goverre: Here's What Happened After Shark Tank

Entrepreneur moms Regan Kelaher and Shannon Zappala made a good impression on Shark Tank investors during the ABC show's eighth season in 2017 simply by pointing out the obvious: wine makes every event or activity better. No, they weren't selling wine, but rather new portable protected glasses that allow people to enjoy fine wines in parks, on picnics, and in other situations where traditional wine glasses are not a viable option.

This idea was the genesis for Kelaher and Zappala's company, Goverre, which produces stemless wine glasses protected by silicone covers and includes snap-on lids with drink-friendly openings so that the glasses can be taken anywhere with wine already in them. The two friends founded the company in 2015, and by 2017, when their Shark Tank episode aired, they had garnered $384,000 in sales for the year.

Booming sales for Goverre led Kelaher and Zappala, the company's owners, to ask for $200,000 on Shark Tank in return for 13% equity. Naturally, the sharks had plenty of questions since, as Kevin "Mr. Wonderful" O'Leary pointed out, this investment asking price suggested a valuation of the company in the range of $1.5 million. Goverre grew in sales despite the individual retail price for their glasses, $24, which at least one shark, Robert Herjavec, thought was a bit high. But this skepticism was mitigated by the mere $5.50 per glass cost to make them.

What happened to Goverre on Shark Tank

In addition to Herjavec and O'Leary, the investors on this Shark Tank episode — Season 8, Episode 22 — included regulars Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner, and Daymond John. Despite Herjavec's skepticism regarding retail pricing, O'Leary was by far the most critical of the sharks regarding Goverre's prospects. When told the company had netted $134,000 in profits for the year to date but that Kelaher and Zappala weren't drawing salaries, he congratulated the pair on what he derisively referred to as a hobby.

Despite these criticisms, however, O'Leary was the first shark to make an offer. After John, who isn't a wine drinker, declined to make an offer, O'Leary offered $200,000, but wanted a third of the company (33.3% equity) in return. The two entrepreneurs didn't seem overly impressed by this offer, and the counteroffer they received was exactly the same. The only difference was the sharks involved. Herjavec noted that he wanted to invest in Goverre, but he wanted Cuban and Greiner to partner with him on the venture. It was Greiner who suggested the same $200,000 funding for a 33.3% stake.

Kelaher and Zappala still seemed to waver, although they obviously liked the idea of three sharks in their corner. When Cuban warned that they shouldn't let this opportunity go, they quickly agreed, and a deal was made.

Goverre before and after Shark Tank

Kelaher and Zappala were working moms who decided to start a business after their kids reached school age. It took two Kickstarter campaigns to help get Goverre off the ground in 2015. However, the momentum and confidence they built by the time they filmed their Shark Tank episode in September 2016 — including an appearance in The Oprah Magazine — proved critical in helping them secure a deal. Of course, getting on the show wasn't easy either. It took half a dozen interviews and a pitch video to accomplish, but it turned out to be well worth the effort, despite the significant equity they had to give up.

The promotional value a Shark Tank appearance provides to businesses is enormous. It has been estimated by the show's producers as equivalent to a $9 million marketing effort. Goverre's owners can certainly attest to this promotional effect since, according to them, they logged $400,000 in sales during the week after the show aired, selling out all their inventory in the process. In fact, they had to take emergency measures to ensure they had enough inventory to meet surging demand.

Despite the marketing bump, as many as 50% of the deals agreed to on the show are never consummated. That wasn't the case for Goverre, however, which not only got its agreed-upon $200,000, but some great advice from one billionaire shark that helped them to scale up their business operation.

Is Goverre still in business?

Goverre is not only still open, but the company is also thriving. In 2019, two Shark Tank seasons after its founders appeared to make their pitch, the show revisited the pair to check up on their progress. As it turned out, Goverre's phenomenal sales post Shark Tank had led the duo to move their operations from Zappala's garage to a 1,500-square-foot warehouse facility. Cuban, an investor, visited this warehouse during the segment and noted that they would need to scale up if they wanted to reach, say, $20 million annually in sales. He recommended a fulfillment center he was associated with that could handle much greater volume.

Of course, by this time, sales had already reached record levels. By 2019, Cuban noted that Goverre had topped $2 million in annual sales, leading to nearly half a million dollars in shared profit for Kelaher and Zappala. In the years since the company has also expanded its inventory. The 17-ounce, silicone-sleeved wine glass is still Goverre's benchmark offering — and available in multiple colors — but other portable protected wine glass types like flutes are now being sold, as are portable cocktail glasses.

As a symbol of their success, Kelaher and Zappala were nominated for San Diego's Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2019. This was an appropriate honor, given they started their business in San Marcos, a city in San Diego County, and have kept their warehouse space there to handle specialty orders.

What's next for Goverre

What's next for Goverre is likely a continued expansion of mobile-friendly products geared towards outdoor use. In addition to their portable wine and cocktail glasses, for instance, the company had introduced portable charcuterie-made easy plates by 2021. This was a timely product launch, given that charcuterie boards became a social media phenomenon during the coronavirus pandemic. It was also perfectly in keeping with Goverre's brand identity.

The charcuterie plates — that's plural, as Goverre now offers them in rectangular and circular shapes, with five or six sections delineated, respectively, on the melamine platters — were a happy accident for the company. Just as the original portable wine glass was inspired by an outdoor event attended by Kelaher and Zappala, the charcuterie plate idea was also serendipitous. "Our 'aha!' moment came when I was prepping for a girls' night in at my house, Zappala recalled to Entertainment Tonight. "Regan came over early to help and as we were trying to put together a beautiful charcuterie board, we thought, 'Wouldn't it be so much easier if there were sections already created for each item?'"

The food and beverage-focused products are not only being offered on Goverre's website but through online retailers like Amazon. This appears to be another avenue of growth for the fast-growing company, whose portable wine glasses are aptly referred to on as "the classiest sippy cups ever."