Lumi is a successful B2B company that leads the custom packaging sector. It is a software company offering packing and supply chain management services. Zestful entrepreneur Jesse Genet had a passion for the Do-It-Yourself hobby industry, which inspired her to start Lumi. Her offering to this sector was a unique solar-powered printing ink made from patented technology.
Users could dab the ink onto any material, from fabric to paper, and put a stencil on top of it. Within just a few minutes, a permanent image would form. Although the sharks couldn’t initially understand Lumi’s appeal, they were soon intrigued enough to make an offer. But where is Lumi today? Here is the update and net worth of Lumi from Shark Tank in 2023.
Lumi Shark Tank Update
Following Jesse’s unfortunate exit from Shark Tank, Lumi could easily have become just another tiny arts and crafts company. However, she utilized her strong business acumen to pivot her market focus from DIY consumers to the packaging industry.
Lumi was acquired by the customer experience platform Narvar in 2021. Its proprietary software is integrated as an essential part of Narvar’s various services. Jesse continues to be engaged in Lumi’s day-to-day operations as a VP of Packaging for Narvar.
Unique Packing Solution for D2C Businesses
In their own words, Lumi offers packaging and supply chain management services in a unique way called ‘warehouse on demand’ or ‘network manufacturing’. The company has developed an extensive network of 1000+ factories for its clients. Their customers use the Lumi software to input the unique requirements of their product.
The company then selects the best factory to optimize cost, quality, and turnaround time. Along the way, Lumi helps its customers design the best packaging solution through the software. The digital platform allows businesses to design their product packaging by selecting every element, from custom printing to packing slips.
From DIY to Custom Packaging
Their Shark Tank pitch was focused on a solar-activated printing product that they marketed for DIY hobbyist artists. However, the time spent developing and commercializing this product gave them a detailed insight into the custom packaging industry.
In an interview with TechCrunch, Jesse stated that she had been thinking about the packaging business from her earliest days in business. During building Lumi, she and her partner, Stephan Ango, learned a lot about the custom packaging business. This was mainly in the course of designing a viable packaging solution for their own Lumi products.
After four and a half years of designing the product experience and packaging for Lumi, they understood many of the customers’ pain points. This detailed experience gave them the expertise to venture into the custom packaging industry. They pivoted Lumi’s focus into this sector and found success with its unique service delivery mechanism.
Lumi Net Worth
Lumi has a net worth of $9 million as of 2023. Following their transition into the packaging industry, Lumi experienced radical growth and gained a lot of exposure. In 2018, the company announced that it had raised $9 million in Series A venture funding through Y Combinator. Spark Capital, Forerunner Ventures, and Homebrew led the funding.
During her Shark Tank pitch, Jesse shared that she took an angel investor early on, allowing her to purchase the rights to Lumi’s solar-activated dye. This investor was Stephan Ango, who had purchased 10.5% of the company for an investment of $150,000.
The next round of funding came through a Kickstarter campaign in 2009, which raised $13,597. Jesse used the funds in further R&D for Lumi’s printing product and rewarded her Kickstarter supporters with wallets and bags made from Lumi’s proprietary technology.
In 2012, Lumi conducted another Kickstarter campaign to commercialize the production of its products. The campaign raised an astounding $268,437 over an initial target of $50,000. The custom packaging online platform Lumi.com was finally launched in 2015, and there was no looking back.
Lumi’s success was pretty much assured in the packaging sector. They gained popularity with their innovative system, which successfully delivered a top-level solution to customers. They also took on many well-known clients in the venture investment space. This must surely have helped them gain the market trust needed for the venture funding.
The company presently leads a massive client base of 700+ direct-to-customer companies, including P&G, MeUndies, Elysium, and Parachute. As far back as 2018, the company had already shipped 25 million individual packaging units to customers.
Is Lumi Still in Business?
Yes, Lumi is still in business. However, the solar-activated printing dye they pitched on Shark Tank is not their focus anymore. Today, Lumi is a successful player in the custom packaging business, offering customers access to a vast network of packaging suppliers nationwide.
Lumi was acquired in 2021 by the customer experience giant Narvar as an essential addition to its services. Its founder, Jesse Genet, remains fully engaged with the company as the VP of Packaging for Narvar.
Shark Tank Deal
Jesse appeared on Season 6 of Shark Tank with her solar-powered printing product and pitched for $250,000 in exchange for 5% equity. “At Lumi, we’re taking the photography out of the darkroom and into the sun,” was her slogan, and she introduced her product as an innovation in the DIY market.
Her product didn’t connect with the Sharks immediately. Jesse explained that the Do-It-Yourself hobby industry is worth billions of dollars. Of that market, more than one-tenth of participants were involved in art hobbies involving printing and stamping.
Lumi had already built a sizable sales history, with $1 million in sales in the year leading up to her Shark Tank appearance. Despite the good numbers, the business niche turned out to be too unfamiliar for some of the sharks. Mark Cuban and Barbara Corcoran dropped out early into the segment simply because they didn’t have the expertise in the DIY sector and didn’t understand Jesse’s product.
Kevin O’Leary was the shark who was most interested in Lumi. He offered Jesse a complicated deal under which he would loan Lumi $250,000. The loan would be payable in 3 years and come with an interest rate of 8.5%. Most importantly, however, he would also receive an equity of 12.5% in exchange for giving that loan.
The offer shocked Jesse as she had no intention of trading equity for a loan. According to her, she could easily get a loan like that without giving up equity. A few counteroffers followed. Robert Herjavec offered her the sum she wanted for 15% equity, and Jesse refused.
Finally, Kevin and Lori Greiner joined hands and offered her the same loan deal but for a lower stake of 5%. When Jesse refused, Kevin backed out. Then, Lori offered her a similar deal but for a 7% equity. Jesse also refused this deal and exited the meeting without a single deal in her hands.
Appearing in Season 6 of Shark Tank, Lumi started as a company in the DIY space offering a unique kind of solar-activated printing technology. Its founder, Jesse Genet, began researching such a product as a teenager in 2004. After experimenting with different screen printing and dye-sublimation solutions, she tracked down a unique chemical formula invented in the 1950s.
Jesse purchased all the rights to the dye formula from its inventor for $50,000 and came up with the product she named Inkodye. Along the way, she partnered up with Stephan Ango and spent four and a half years developing the product for commercial sale. Their goal was to become a new leader in the Do-It-Yourself market, and they had made some good progress selling art kits.
By the time Lumi appeared on Shark Tank, the company was making $1 million in yearly revenue. They were selling each kit for $39.99 and producing it for $6.49. However, they soon pivoted to the custom packaging market, continuing to lead with their innovative system.
Who is the founder of Lumi from Shark Tank?
Detroit resident Jesse Genet founded Lumi. She started her first venture when she was just 16 years old, printing t-shirts out of her basement. She came up with the idea for Lumi around this time and wanted to create something that would allow you to print photographs on t-shirts easily. Jesse was inspired to begin her entrepreneurial journey by her stepfather, a tech entrepreneur. She attended the Art Center College of Design in California and met Stephan Ango. Then she moved to Los Angeles after college and started Lumi.
Is Lumi still selling Inkodye paint?
Lumi has stopped manufacturing Inkodye paints. However, you can still purchase Inkodye paints online, including on Amazon.