Here's What Happened To Nomiku After Shark Tank

The ability to cook expertly is not something that everyone is naturally gifted with — some people could probably manage to burn a boiled egg. Worship, then, the microwave, and the $120 billion industry it has created from worldwide sales of microwavable foods (per Allied Market Research).

Sure, options like cookery books and how-to videos can help people along their culinary adventures, but they don't necessarily make the cooking process any less complicated. What budding chefs need is a piece of technology that enables them to create perfect dishes with limited hassle.

An idea that sprung onto the stage of the hit business investment show "Shark Tank" had all the hallmarks of sorting this problem out. Called Nomiku (pronounced "nom-e-koo"), the product was showcased by inventors Abe and Lisa Fetterman during season 8, explains Shark Tank Blog, and billed as "the world's smallest and most powerful sous vide device", according to YouTube. Food & Wine notes that sous vide involves sealing food in a bag and cooking it in water, using a machine to heat the water up to the desired temperature, and moving water around to ensure balanced and thorough cooking of the food. Since the technique is not exactly new, what made Nomiku exclusive enough for "Shark Tank"?

Nomiku hoped to make sous vide mainstream

Given that a variety of sous vide machines are available to buy, breaking into the market was probably never going to be a straightforward ambition — but, according to Inc., Nomiku became something of an obsession for founders Abe and Lisa. They developed the original concept on their first date, later building copies of the product themselves to give to friends, growing their business through word-of-mouth.

According to YouTube, Nomiku was designed as a hand-held device to clip to the side of kitchen containers. Inc. notes that two versions were created: one that could be controlled remotely using Wi-Fi and an app (priced at $250), and the original, less-connected version ($199). Initial support was clearly huge — crowdfunding campaigns raised almost $600,000 to produce the original design and $750,000 to manufacture the Wi-Fi model.

Abe and Lisa Fetterman faced Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner, Robert Herjavec, Kevin O'Leary, and Chris Sacca when they appeared on "Shark Tank" asking for $250,000 for 5% of their company, reports Shark Tank Tales. Although O'Leary was interested, Abe and Lisa opted to accept Sacca's final offer of $250,000 for an 8% stake — and a commitment that they would protect 40% of Nomiku from other investors.

Nomiku sunk after Shark Tank

Despite all of the money pumped into Nomiku from crowdfunding and Chris Sacca's "Shark Tank" investment, the company hit rocky shores after its television appearance. This may have come as something of a surprise. According to Inc., Nomiku devices were bought by fancy, Michelin-starred restaurants around the world, company-branded foods were launched, and a sous vide cookbook was published. A third device was under development, involving the scanning of codes on Nomiku food to allow optimum sous vide cooking.

However, blaming a lack of sustainability, Nomiku ceased operations in December 2019, according to Facebook. Potentially adding to Nomiku's downfall were complaints revealed on its Kickstarter page about unreceived orders, unreliable machines, and incorrect wiring — the eventual retail price for the standard Nomiku of $359 might also have made the product unattractive. It was additionally affected by a failed meal subscription service and competition from similar businesses, reports TechCrunch — including a rival businessman who made a copy of Nomiku and later sold his business for $250 million, reveals Twitter. TechCrunch explains that Nomiku campaigned for more funding to keep going, but was unsuccessful.

Still, Nomiku didn't do too badly: Lisa Fetterman's LinkedIn profile reveals it made more than $8 million in revenue. Now, Lisa helps startups with marketing and business strategies and works with executives to improve workplace attitudes.