CordaRoy's owner swaps over half of business for ‘Shark Tank' investment

In this Feb. 21, 2002 file photo, Byron Young, president of CordaRoy's, poses with some of his beanbag chairs.

Doug Finger/The Gainesville Sun
Published: Monday, March 11, 2013 at 12:12 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, March 11, 2013 at 12:12 p.m.

Three of the five "sharks" on ABC's "Shark Tank" had already passed on Byron Young's offer seeking a $200,000 investment for a 20 percent stake in CordaRoy's, his Gainesville-based bed-in-a-beanbag company.

Robert Herjavec asked for 40 percent during Friday's airing as long as retail maven Lori Greiner put in half of the $200,000.

Greiner said she didn't want a partner. She prefaced her offer by warning that it would be tough, but would be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Sixty percent.

"I can't give you control of the company. I just can't do that," Young said, countering with 40 percent.

"I think I can make you millions," Greiner said, returning with 58 percent, "... take it or leave it."

CordaRoy's had $1.4 million in sales last year, but should be at $5 million, Young said, and netted $100,000 in profit. Greiner said it would take an "enormous" amount of her time, energy and connections to take it to the next level.

"I came here to make a deal," said Young of his 15-year-old company. "Let's do it."

With 7.45 million people watching the show, CordaRoy's website went from 23 visitors to 25,000 before crashing while Young was hosting a watch party at Cymplify Central and CYM Coffee Co.

"I definitely felt like I lost a child that night at my own party," he said on Monday.

The site was back up after 24 hours and taking orders "by the hundreds."

While the show aired Friday, Young and Greiner have been working together since it filmed in November.

Young is preparing for an appearance on Greiner's QVC show later in the year, and they are in talks to go in Bed Bath & Beyond, with 1,400 stores.

Young said they have tweaked the deal a little but that he can't talk about it.

"The deal we arrived at was a good deal for both of us," he said.

"Knowing what I know now, I'd have taken less because she's that great."

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