Moberi: Here's What Happened After Shark Tank

Ryan Carpenter set out to do what many people only dream about — to make a living working at what he loved — and what he loved was living an active and healthy lifestyle. Inspired by the non-profit organization Maya Pedal, a group that converts old bicycles into machines able to power equipment in a Guatemalan village, he used $500, a vintage Schwinn stationary bike, and a battery to put together his own bike-generated power source ... and topped it with a blender. Simply pedal the bike to generate power for the blender, resulting in a perfectly mixed and delicious smoothie. In 2011, Carpenter loaded up a cooler full of fresh produce, took his bike out onto the sidewalks of Portland, Oregon, and debuted Moberi, the city's first bike-powered smoothie and juice cart.

Carpenter put his entire savings into growing the business, and his dream took off. People enjoyed pedaling for their smoothies, and the tasty beverages introduced them to healthy blends of tropical fruits, greens, and superfoods. For a city with the unofficial slogan of "Keep Portland Weird," Moberi was just the thing to attract attention and stand out from the crowd. In April 2013, a Kickstarter campaign successfully raised more than $6,000 within 30 days for mobile cart repairs and to add more bike blenders to the company's growing fleet. Having taken the business as far as his resources would allow him, Ryan Carpenter steered his tires towards the investors on "Shark Tank" for help getting to the next level.

What happened to Moberi on Shark Tank?

In 2014, Ryan Carpenter appeared on "Shark Tank" in Season 5, Episode 17. His pitch pointed out that the business combined three major trends — food trucks, bikes, and juice bars — into something fun, healthy, and delicious. He requested $50,000 for a 15% stake and invited them to try the bicycles. Daymond John and Mark Cuban were eager to pedal the blender bikes, then Cuban drank his smoothie straight from the pitcher. Drinks were then served to all the judges, featuring a green smoothie made with kale, pineapple, and mint. They all enjoyed the beverages but weren't too keen on the business model.

Kevin O'Leary asked, "Quick question... are you nuts?" and brought up capacity issues. Carpenter responded with sales figures, revealing $70,000 in sales that year to date, expected to close at $100,000, and netting 20%. He projected $150,000 for the following year, and with a Shark's investment, he could add two more carts, potentially earning an additional $150K each.

O'Leary remained doubtful, calling Carpenter "nuts" a few more times before declaring he was out. Robert Herjavec thought the idea was clever, but he didn't see it scaling up. Barbara Corcoran thought it didn't make any sense. Daymond John said it was cute and belonged on an island serving piña coladas, but it wasn't for him. Mark Cuban loved the innovation but would rather invest in the company manufacturing the bikes than the one using them for smoothies. Ultimately, no deal was struck.

Moberi after Shark Tank

Despite not getting a "Shark Tank" investment, Ryan Carpenter eventually pedaled his way into more mobile and brick-and-mortar locations. In May 2016, Moberi had its grand opening at PSU (Portland State University), and in November of the same year, opened a cart at PDX airport. The Division Street store opened in 2017, and in early 2018, a cafe opened its doors on Mississippi Avenue. Moberi's flagship Slabtown store opened in September 2018, and another cafe opened on Hawthorne Boulevard in 2019. After five years, the PSU shop closed in 2021, followed by the announcement of a new Cedar Hills store opening in 2022.

After "Shark Tank," Moberi greatly expanded its menu. Along with the original smoothies and juices, the offerings now include Brazilian-style acaí bowls. Some of the creatively named smoothies include the Fresh Prince of Brazil (acaí, strawberry, banana, goji berries, apple juice), the Juice Springsteen (pitaya aka dragon fruit, strawberry, mango, orange juice), and Captain Planet (kale, hemp seeds, banana, mango, blue spirulina, apple juice, almond milk).

The signature bowls are layered with an acaí base, house granola, and various fruits and toppings. The Uncle Jesse comes topped with peanut butter, banana, strawberry, blueberry, and coconut; the Purple Rain has pitaya, blue chia seeds, banana, strawberry, and coconut whip; and the Rainbowl Bright is colorful with mango, pitaya, banana, strawberry, blueberry, and goji berries. There are also limited seasonal specials and collaborations with other local businesses for treats like ice cream and milkshakes.

Is Moberi still in business?

In April of 2023, Moberi celebrated 12 years in business. Like many others, the company struggled during the pandemic lockdowns in 2020, experiencing changes and closures, but managed to stay open thanks to online ordering, pick-ups, and deliveries, along with support from a loyal clientele. A new Lake Oswego Moberi shop opened in August 2023, and the company now operates five permanent locations throughout the greater Portland area.

In June 2023, the company changed its acaí base recipe to make it allergen-free. The new formulation does not contain almond milk, making the products safe for those with nut allergies. That same menu update added orange juice as an available smoothie liquid option, and permanently brought mango back, by popular demand. September 2023 introduced the Sunny G, a citrus smoothie made with kale, mango, banana, and orange juice. The Moberi app was released in August 2023 to facilitate online ordering, as well as the brand's rewards program. The program offers exclusive discounts, birthday freebies, and points earned with every purchase, redeemable for free products.

Moberi's smoothies are no longer made using blender bikes; however, the original bicycles that started it all are still set up at some of the cafes, available as charging stations that allow guests to pedal and charge their phones, to highlight what can be created with people-powered energy. New menu displays were printed and installed in all the store locations in June 2023, designed to make ordering easier and feature new releases.

What's Next for Moberi?

The brand continues to expand and evolve. Its website mentions plans for more exciting things on the way, including new ingredients and bowls coming to the menu, along with more ways to customize them. It also hints at new take-home freezer items, which have yet to be announced.

At the time of publication, the company is currently hiring, which is a good indicator that it is growing and adding positions. Moberi remains committed to providing healthy foods to fuel the community, and to being a safe, diverse, and inclusive space. The brand supports the Black Lives Matter movement by donating profits to racial justice organizations and supporting Black-owned businesses. Environmental impact is noted as one reason that Moberi pivoted towards physical stores over food carts, in order to ease the amount of take-out packing waste it produces. The stores practice composting, recycling, local sourcing, and they give a percentage of all sales to environmental groups.

Regardless of his experience on "Shark Tank" up against judges who did not see the value in his concept, Ryan Carpenter has stayed true to his goal of running a successful business doing what he loves — all while promoting a healthier lifestyle.