NEW YORK (MainStreet) – Few entrepreneurs who appear on ABC's Shark Tank are lucky enough to receive an offer from someone on the show’s angel investor panel, but recently Josh and Sara Margulis had to choose from three proposals. The married entrepreneurs co-founded Honeyfund, an online honeymoon registry, in 2006. Although the company wasn’t brand new when the two appeared on the show in 2014, they wanted the experience and capital to grow their business.
Even though people who work on Shark Tank actually used Honeyfund and invited the Margulises to apply to be contestants, nothing was certain. “We had a little bit of a leg up, but when you walk into the shark tank, all bets are off,” Sara said.
Prior to appearing on Shark Tank, the Margulises also created Plumfund, a crowd-gifting platform where individuals can give and receive money for special occasions like birthdays or graduation. “We felt like we had a good value proposition with the success of Honeyfund, and because of our users’ feedback, we had a second site we could promote to the sharks,” Sara said.
Ultimately, they decided to work with Kevin O’Leary (a.k.a ‘Mr. Wonderful’), a decision that has served their company well. “We think he might have been looking for a crowdfunding play, so he jumped on it,” Sara explained. According to an update on the company's website, traffic and customer volume has increased over 250% for both Honeyfund and Plumfund since appearing on Shark Tank.
The Margulises encourage aspiring entrepreneurs to get started in growing their business, rather than waiting for their product to be perfect. “If you’re building something online, I would put it out there before you’re comfortable,” Josh said. "It’s going to feel painful to put it out there, but it’s better to get it out there and get some feedback.”
The Margulises make a good team, but starting a business with a spouse may seem challenging to some. Having complementary skills has helped contribute to the Margulises’ success. “In our case it was great that I don’t do anything with software development, so I can defer to him and vice versa when it comes to marketing,” Sara said. “I give Josh all the credit for being the most patient person I know.”