Manhattan Beach resident Adam Callinan and his cousin Matt Campbell have solved what they say is a worldwide epidemic: warm beer.
After too many brews went warm in flimsy red plastic cups, the duo created BottleKeeper in 2013. It's a stainless steel sleeve insulated with neoprene that slips right over a standard beer bottle. In one model, the cap doubles as a bottle opener.
And, now the five-person El Segundo company has some big-name financial backers.
On last night's airing of ABC's Shark Tank, Mark Cuban and Lori Greiner, each invested $500,000 in for a stake in the "life jacket for bottled beer." In exchange, the Sharks each receive 2.5% of the company which pays back a combined royalty of $1.50 per unit ($0.75 per unit for each Shark) until they each get $1 million back.
For founder Callinan, who said he was thrilled to participate, the Shark Tank appearance was about managing growth and about exposure.
“There are a couple of reasons why Shark Tank made sense to us, starting with the strategic input that the right shark might offer to us as we continue to grow BottleKeeper at a rapid rate,” said Callinan.
“The second reason was not for the investment—we're fortunate to be in a solid financial position—but for the exposure. As a largely direct-to-consumer business, we spend millions annually on direct response advertising on Facebook, Instagram, and TV, and having the chance to put BottleKeeper in front of such a large audience is extremely valuable.”
Callinan was originally in the medical field, but he’s solely devoted now as a product entrepreneur. BottleKeeper, he said, generates eight-figure revenues per year, sells more than 3 products per minute and is one of the largest direct-to-consumer retailers of specialty beverage accessories.
The company is dedicated to continuing expansion and Callinan said they're focusing on three areas:
First, BottleKeeper is offering innovative products for release in Spring 2019. He won’t yet reveal just what those are. “No spoilers,” he jokes.
Second, the company plans to branch out into physical retail outlets. After being dependent upon social marketing channels, they're looking forward to being seen in stores.
Lastly, Callinan and Campbell are continuing to expand international distribution to Canada, Australia, Europe, Indonesia and Japan.
Currently, BottleKeeper offers products including the Standard 2.0, made for the typical 12-ounce beer bottle; and The BottleKeeper X, which is double walled and vacuum-insulated to keep beer colder even longer, up to 6 hours. It, too, fits 12-ounce brews, and comes with a built-in bottle opener. The Bomber 2.0 fits 22-ounce beers.
Callinan said he loves what he's doing and has no plans to stop now.
“We're going to continue to develop the brand by creating innovative products that both supplement and enhance the lifestyle our consumer lives, which is largely casual, outdoors and active.”