What Happened To NightCap After Shark Tank?

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You've probably heard about ideas coming to you in a dream. But how often do those ideas don't come to fruition? For 16-year-old Shirah Benarde of West Beach Florida, however, a dream came true, and what she invented not only benefited her but also serves as a safety measure for many women worldwide (via NightCap website).

A night out drinking beer or any other beverage comes with the danger that someone could drug the drink. As a teenager, Benarde learned that her friends in college dealt with that very issue. She explained to ABC Action News, "This was a big problem and my friend had been roofied. I had a dream about this invention. I grabbed my Mom's pantyhose, and my scrunchie from my room, and I made the first prototype" (via YouTube).

Shirah and her brother Michael went into business together. They discovered over the course of their market research that 26% of respondents believed they had experienced drink tampering, according to Business2Community. In an attempt to prevent this, the NightCap can be turned from a hair scrunchie into a cover for someone's drink at a bar or club. A person can wear the device on their wrist or in their hair, remove the nightcap from the hidden pocket and place it over their drink, and pop in a straw. This makes it easy to carry around.

What the Sharks thought of NightCap

Before appearing on "Shark Tank" Season 12, NightCap had a few funding sources. Siblings and business partners Shirah and Michael Benarde received money from their parents. They pulled in more money through Indiegogo's crowdsourcing platform and by winning a series of pitch competitions (via ABC). After a bit of trial and error sales reached $68,000. Shirah and Michael pitched the product to the Sharks asking for $60,000 for a 20% share in the business.

Shark Lori Greiner immediately saw the potential of the product, saying, "I love this. I don't think that I have ever seen a product come into the Shark Tank that resonated more deeply in a social mission way as this. ... I think this is genius. ... This needs to be in every woman's hands." The siblings closed the deal with Lori at $60,000 for a 25% share. 

According to the Tallahassee Democrat, Greiner's investment was used for an updated website, product packaging, and mentoring. Shirah and Michael were later featured on the show again to provide a televised update on how Lori's investment was going. By then NightCap sales had ballooned to $2.1 million.

Where are they now?

After NightCap debuted on "Shark Tank" product sales boomed to the tune of millions. Co-founder Michael Benarde felt that dollars and cents only told part of the story, explaining to the Tallahassee Democrat, "Our brand is almost bigger than those numbers. If you go walk around college areas and just ask people, 'Have you heard of the spiking prevention scrunchie,' almost everyone our age knows of it." Views of the product on TikTok reached 175 million.

The growth shows in other ways as well. According to the company's FAQ page, NightCap can be shipped around the world. Moreover, the product line has increased to include key chains, straw kits, and even gift boxes. The company also sells disposable stickers called StopTopps to bars, clubs, and pubs in the U.S. and Canada.

Disclaimers on the NightCap website point out that the NightCap cover can't guarantee safety and that people should always know where their drink is at all times. The product can be used for bug prevention at picnics.

What do customers think of NightCap?

With almost 4,000 reviews on Amazon, NightCap has received a 4.7-star rating with 82% of consumers giving it 5 stars. One Amazon testimonial came from a customer who said they were holding a drink with the NightCap on it at a nightclub. They later found the remnants of what looked like a crushed pill on top. "I don't want to think about what could have happened if I didn't have this little gadget," said the customer. Other Amazon reviewers suggested the concept was great but that the manufacturing quality could be better with many saying the cap was hard to get back into the scrunchie compartment or that the product fell apart after several uses.

On Facebook, NightCap reviews were at 3.5 stars with many customers complaining about shipping and that they'd ordered the product and were told the inventory wasn't available. The original NightCap scrunchie and its associated products are available on the company website and on Amazon. They start at $11.99.