THEMAGIC5 Founders Land Multi-MIllion Deal on ‘Shark Tank’ With Innovative Goggles Technology

Photo Courtesy: Christopher Willard

THEMAGIC5 founders Rasmus Barfred and Bo Haaber made the most of their appearance on Shark Tank, entering the studio for the TV show with big dreams and leaving with a big deal.

Barfred and Haaber, who lead the company along with former Danish professional swimmer Niklas Hedegaard, asked the Sharks for a $500,000 investment for 2.5 percent equity to open the segment, but after the duo explained that their robotics technology that creates custom-fitted swimming goggles could be applied to other types of sportswear, the Sharks were sold and began bidding on the investment opportunity.

Robert Herjavec had a personal connection to this product. His daughter is a competitive swimmer in Canada. He said he couldn’t let the deal slip away and offered $1 million for a 6.5 percent equity share. Barfred and Haaber accepted the offer, one of the biggest in the history of the show.

“It was crazy. I don’t know what we expected, we were taken into this massive hangar and my feeling was like there were 50-100 people on set and it looked like a set from a Hollywood movie. It was really something — making the pitch and seeing their reaction,” Rasmus Barfred told Swimming World. “We had a range of speaking attacks where we were ready to jump in and respond. They quickly saw that the core is the technology and how we have developed it.”

After the on-air portion of the show ended, Mark Cuban joined Herjavec as a partner in the deal. All of the Sharks bid on the product with some trying to combine with others to be part of the right deal.

“Shark Tank was an incredible experience, and we landed a deal beyond our expectations,” Haaber said. “Having Mark Cuban and Robert Herjavec invest in our company will help us grow and make the best strategic decisions for the future of THEMAGIC5. Because at our core we are a technology company, we had hoped to work with either Mark or Robert. We never dreamed of having them both, and are absolutely thrilled with the outcome.”

The company has sold more than 55,000 goggles so far and has signed deals with notable swimmers and triathletes.

“The next step is to sell more goggles,” Barfred said. “We believe we can sell 5,000 goggles a day in Europe and in the U.S. That is the target that we are running after. Then down the line, we think we have an amazing technology that we could try to use in other products and industries, it could be other sports products. That was the narrative that the Sharks fell into.”

Barfred and Haaber’s company, which began in 2017, is billed as the first and only system for custom-fitting swim goggles. Utilizing AI technology and robotic manufacturing, THEMAGIC5 performs facial scanning via its smartphone app to map the contours of a customer’s face. The data points allow them to construct uniquely fitted goggles, eschewing the traditional one-size-fits-most approach that limits nose bridge and gasket configurations.

THEMAGIC5 also uses anti-fog materials for the lenses, enhanced peripheral vision and UV protection. It promises, “a more comfortable goggle that does not leak water, distract, or leave red pressure marks around the eyes—a true game changer in an industry that has seen little to no innovation over the years.” Their mission is “to create swimming goggles that eliminate the distractions that prevent anyone from being at one with the water.”

“We basically came up with the idea because none of us could find goggles that fit and really worked for us,” Barfred said. “Goggles were uncomfortable and left rings around your eyes. We wanted a product that actually fit into people’s eye sockets instead of one size fits all. It came out of our own frustration. Two of us were triathletes and one was a swimmer. The first step is facial scanning. That gives us the data of what your face looks like. It gives us the distance between your eyes and the curvature of your face. After that, it is the fitting technology. That data of algorithms puts together something that fits to your face. The third step is producing the product efficiently and accurately.”

Among the proponents of THEMAGIC5 are Olympic swimmers Matt Grevers, Jeanette Ottesen and Jordan Wilimovsky, and triathlete Jan Frodeno. The product is based on the founders’ experience in the pool and in completing triathlons. The product has been featured in Men’s Health, the New York Times and on the Today Show.

“Getting Matt was massive. Matt was one of the significant milestones,” Barfred said. “We had different steps along the way with kickstarting campaigns. He was the last big check mark, getting a top U.S. swimmer who knows everything about swimming. To get him excited about the company so much so that he wanted to invest was something that made us really proud.”

Grevers said once he learned about the company, it was something he wanted to pursue. He wore them when he competed at U.S. Olympic Trials in 2021.

“Trials was the first time I wore them. It was nice doing a backstroke start without worrying about them,” Grevers told Swimming World. “I have always wanted to wear a gasket-type goggle. I used to have freestyle goggles and backstroke goggles. My backstroke goggles had good peripheral but wouldn’t stay on during a freestyle start.
I got my hands on a pair and I really liked it. I worked with them on the gasket size. It is customized and I learned more about the process and that is what is exciting to me.

“I definitely wanted to become an investor first because of the goggles, but because of the technology, I thought this company could really blast off. They are a tech company sending goggles, not a goggle company with tech. There are limitless opportunities.”

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