Shark Tank deal: Founders of prenup company land cash from Mr. Wonderful and Nextdoor founder

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HelloPrenup founders Julia Rodgers (left) and Sarabeth Jaffe. (Photo courtesy of Sarah Koppinger)

Sarabeth Jaffe And Julia Rogers chose a way to meet each other in person for the first time.

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after the co-founders of hello prenup Virtually launching their startup earlier this year, they finally got the chance to meet face-to-face. This happened just a day before the entrepreneurs pitched their idea on ABC’s Shark Tank in July.

And if their early personal experience is any indication of what’s to come, Jaffe and Rodgers have a promising future together as startup co-founders.

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His appearance on the hit show aired Friday nights as part of Episode 6, Season 13. After making their pitch and fielding questions from investors — aka the “sharks” — the entrepreneurs ended up landing $150,000 for their software platform that aims to help married couples get a prenuptial settlement.

Jaffe (left) and Rodgers make their pitch on the Shark Tank stage. (Photo courtesy of helloprenup/ABC/Christopher Willard)

Dressed in a white wedding dress and adorned with a bouquet, the founders of HelloPrenUp talk about how their solution saves couples time and money compared to getting prenups the traditional way.

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“Who Wants to Hire a Divorce Lawyer Before Getting Married?” said Rodgers, a Boston-based family law attorney who began working on the idea for HelloPrenUp last year.

Jaffe, a former Microsoft engineer based in the Seattle area, came to the site earlier this year as he looked for prenup options after getting engaged. She cold-called Rodgers and soon became a co-founder.

Helloprenup revealed on Shark Tank that it only has lifetime sales of $20,000. Some sharks didn’t bite, citing high customer acquisition costs or being “too early”.

But Nextdoor founder Nirav Tolia, who guest “sharks” this season, liked what he saw. The serial entrepreneur offered $150,000 for a 30% stake. This was much more than the 10% stake that HelloPrenup initially wanted to give up for that amount.

Jeff and Rodgers counter: $150,000 for a 20% stake. Tolia said he would meet for a 25% stake in the middle.

That’s when Kevin O’Leary – aka Mr. Wonderful – returned to the mix, saying he would be teaming up with Tolia. Will take a 15% stake for every $150,000 total invested.

It was a bigger chunk of equity than the founders, but Tolia and O’Leary — a wedding industry veteran — are certainly worth more than just a check on the cap table.

“You have to do that,” said Dallas Mavericks owner and longtime “shark” Mark Cuban.

Jeff and Rodgers at their Shark Tank watch party. (photo courtesy of Jaffe)

The founders agreed. His deal was done.

“It’s going to generate so much cash at no cost,” Tolia told other investors after the conversation. “You guys don’t know. That’s how people become millionaires.”

The experience was nerve-racking, Jaffe told GeekWire, but ultimately fun.

“The sharks appear so intimidating at the show, but we actually had a very pleasant time discussing our company with them,” she said. “We were in the tank for over an hour and it blew up.”

After the Shark Tank deal, the startup has no plans to raise additional capital. It forecasts $4.1 million in revenue next year. According to the company, the cost of the service is $599, while a traditional prenup agreement costs around $5,000.

HelloPrenup is the latest legal tech startup gaining traction and attention. The pandemic spurred growth for the sector, with hearings, proceedings and other work being done virtually.

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