Shark Tank Affair: Founders of a cash premarital company from the founder of Mr. Wonderful and Nextdoor

HelloPrenup founders Julia Rodgers (left) and Sarabeth Jaffe. (Photo courtesy of Sarah Copperping)

Sarabeth Jaffe Other Julia Rodgers chosen a diabolical way to meet for the first time in person.

After the co-founders of HelloPrenup they virtually launched their startup earlier this year, they finally got a chance to meet face to face. It happened just a day before the entrepreneurs presented their idea on ABC’s Shark Tank in July.

And if their initial in-person experience is any indication of what’s to come, Jaffe and Rodgers have a promising future together as startup co-founders.

Their appearance on the hit show aired Friday night as part of episode 6, season 13. After taking their step and answering questions from investors – aka “Sharks” – the entrepreneurs ended up getting $ 150,000 for their software platform that aims to help married couples get a prenup.

Jaffe (left) and Rodgers take their step onto the Shark Tank stage. (Photo courtesy of HelloPrenup / ABC / Christopher Willard)

Dressed in white wedding dresses and featuring bouquets, the founders of HelloPrenup talked about how their solution saves time and money compared to the traditional way couples get a prenup.

“Who wants to hire a divorce lawyer before they get married?” said Rodgers, a Boston-based family law attorney who started working on the HelloPrenup idea last year.

Jaffe, a former Microsoft engineer based in the Seattle area, stumbled upon the site earlier this year while researching premarital options after getting engaged. She cold-called Rodgers and soon became a co-founder.

HelloPrenup revealed on Shark Tank that it only has lifetime sales to date of $ 20,000. Some sharks haven’t bitten, citing high customer acquisition costs or “too soon”.

But Nirav Tolia, founder of Nextdoor who is a “Shark” guest this season, liked what he saw. The serial entrepreneur offered $ 150,000 for a 30% stake. It was much higher than the 10% fee that HelloPrenup initially wanted to give up for that amount.

Jaffe and Rodgers reciprocated: $ 150,000 for a 20% stake. Tolia said he would meet in the middle for a 25% stake.

It was then that Kevin O’Leary – aka Mr. Wonderful – got back into the mix, saying he was going to team up with Tolia. Each would take a 15% stake for a total investment of $ 150,000.

It was a bigger chunk of capital than the founders wanted to give up, but having Tolia and O’Leary – a veteran of the wedding industry – on the cap table is definitely worth more than just a check.

“You have to do it,” said Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks and longtime “Shark”.

Jaffe and Rodgers at their Shark Tank surveillance party. (Photo courtesy of Jaffe)

The founders agreed. They had a deal.

“This will generate so much money without the expense,” Tolia told other investors after the trade. “Guys, you have no idea. That’s how people become millionaires. “

The experience was nerve-wracking, Jaffe told GeekWire, but ultimately fun.

“The Sharks look so intimidating on the show, but we actually had a lot of fun discussing our company with them,” he said. “We were in the tank for over an hour and it flew away.”

After the Shark Tank deal, the startup has no plans to raise additional capital. It projects $ 4.1 million in revenue next year. The service costs $ 599, while a traditional prenup costs around $ 5,000, according to the company.

HelloPrenup is the latest legal tech startup to get traction and attention. The pandemic triggered growth for the industry as hearings, prosecutions and other work were carried out virtually.


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