Cricket is such a big industry in India, that everyone tries to make a business around it.
This is 2023 and ICC World Cup 2023 is happening. At the time I’m writing this content India is playing the World Cup final with Australia. I don’t know whether India will win this match or not, but 1 thing I know for sure, India is a country known for its cricket around the world and India has the most cricket spectators.
UPDATE: Australia won the match by 6 wickets. India, better luck next time.
Everyone wants to bat while playing cricket, but the issue is, there aren’t enough bowlers. So a large number of batsmen can’t practice properly because manually it’s impossible to practice on so many balls. That’s where Freebowler comes in.
Pratheek Palanethra & Vishwanath HK are the founders of Freebowler. They are from Bangalore. It’s a bowling machine that works on spring and battery. The machine is currently available on their own website, people can easily purchase it and start practicing with it.
They’ve sold the machine in 15 countries. They’ve sold almost 1000 units. Their customers are individual cricketers, schools, colleges, and cricket academies.
But among 1000 units sold, most are from individual cricketers (75%), and cricket academies were 20%. They are using social media to make these sales.
|Fiscal Year||Annual Sales|
|2018 – 2019||₹26 Lakhs|
|2019 – 2020||₹70 Lakhs|
|2020 – 2021||₹53 Lakhs|
|2021 – 2022||₹55 Lakhs|
They want to provide every aspiring cricketer a chance to train like the professionals do. They made a machine which is not that expensive. They came to the Shark Tank India seeking ₹75 Lakhs for 7.5% equity of the company. Which gives the company a valuation of ₹10 Crores.
Both the founders have played cricket in their early life. Vishwanath is a qualified coach and umpire. And Pratheek happens to be the cousin of KL Rahul. That gives him great marketing power.
Pratheek takes care of product development, business development, and marketing.
Vishwanath takes care of finance, logistics, customer service, and operations.
The equity split of the company is
- Pratheek – 32.6%
- Pratheek’s father 32.6%
- Vishwanath 21.74%
- Ashwin – 13.04%
Ashwin is the brand ambassador of the company.
Freebowler is pretty easy to move around. Currently, they have two machines under their belt. One is manual and the other one is automatic. The manual machine can throw a bowl at 130 mph.
The manual machine cost 20k and the electric one cost 40k.
The unit economics is:
|Return & repairs||500|
|Gross Margin (45%)||9300|
They are not yet profitable. They are currently experiencing losses.
Their real competition is Leverage Bowling Machines. They charge each machine ₹1.5 ~ ₹5 Lakhs. They have many products.
The sharks asked the founder what the sales of the Leverage Bowling Machines are, but they couldn’t answer.
Anupam Mittal was out because he thought the founders didn’t have any solid idea about the business and they didn’t know the market size they were dealing with.
Aman Gupta was out because he thought the manual machine was not up to the mark and there was not any business built yet.
Vineeta Singh was out because she thought that growing this business would be extremely difficult given there are already some big players in the market. And to compete with them with a cheaper version will be extremely challenging. That’s why it didn’t make sense to her to invest in the business.
Peyush Bansal thought raising funds wouldn’t solve the problem.
Namita Thapar was the only one left. She decided to take a bet and made an offer. She offered ₹50 Lakhs for 15% of the business. Which gives the business a valuation of ₹3.33 Crores. And there will be an additional debt of ₹25 Lakhs at 10% interest.
They made a counteroffer of ₹25 Lakhs for 7.5% equity of the business and ₹50 Lakhs debt at 10% interest.
|Founders||Pratheek Palanethra & Vishwanath HK|
|Asked Amount||₹75 Lakhs for 7.5%|
|Final Deal||₹25 Lakhs for 7.5% & ₹50 Lakhs debt at 10% interest|
|Current Net Worth||₹3.33 Crores|
|Company Status||In Business|
I’m surprised that they made that counteroffer. Given they are not making any money. However, it showed that they were confident with their business and didn’t want to give up much equity in the business.
Namita agreed & they closed the deal at ₹3.33 Crores valuation.