Skincare founder used ChatGPT to win over Shark Tank judges


The first episode of Shark Tank proves that a good idea that solves a common problem, combined with a healthy dose of sheer determination is sometimes all it takes to start a fast-growth company.
Davey Rooney
Key Takeaways
  • The pitch: A skin care brand entirely focused on combination – both oily and dry – skin.
  • The proposal: Entrepreneur Davey Rooney sought $36,000 investment from the sharks in return for 20% equity stake in his business.
  • The outcome: Four out of the five sharks made an offer. Oodie founder Davie Fogarty initially offered $36,000 for a 30%, but upped his offer to $50,000 for 20% after interest was shown by other sharks.

Skincare entrepreneur Davey Rooney was the first entrepreneur to face a new panel of judges on the latest season of Shark Tank Australia. The Boring Without You founder, who admitted he has a little bit of a “guy crush” on Oodie founder and shark, Davie Fogarty, had four of the five sharks vying for a piece of his fast-growing startup.

“Going on Shark Tank was the biggest adrenaline rush I’ve ever had. I spent weeks forcing my partner to rehearse possible questions to ensure I was completely prepared,” he told Forbes Australia.

Rooney, who studied cosmetic science at university, claims to have formed the world’s first skincare brand entirely focused on combination skin. Since launching the business – which has a mission of “beauty without the bullshit” – nine months ago, revenue has climbed to $119,000. The business’s product range sold out five times since launching, Rooney said.

I didn’t even have a business plan, so I got ChatGPT to help me write one for the show and now I’ve got a deal with one of the biggest entrepreneurs in Australia,” he said.

Boring Without You’s hero “two-products-in-one” mask, For Face Sake, has gone viral over TikTok, however, Rooney admits he “needs help” from someone more experienced to help him take the brand to the next level. Rooney admits that Fogarty was his “top pick” of the judges he wanted to invest in his company.

“Sharks, you don’t need a million products. But the ones you use should be suited to your skin type,” Rooney told the sharks on last night’s episode.

“During COVID lockdown I would go for socially distanced walks in the park. Following one of these walks I went to Chemist Warehouse, and I saw skincare brands for oily skin, skincare brands for dry skin and even skincare brands for sensitive skin.

“At the time I was studying cosmetic science and one of the first things I learnt was that if you have combination skin, different parts of your skin behave differently. There is no dedicated brand to this skin type – until now.

Oodie founder and shark, Davie Fogarty, was impressed with Rooney’s idea and his drive to grow through organic marketing. He initially made an offer of $37,000 investment in return for a 30% stake in the business, but he upped the offer to $50,000 in return for 20% equity when other sharks showed interest.

This year’s Sharks are keen to invest in founders with a compelling story | Source: supplied

“I believe in you more than anything,” Fogarty told Rooney in the episode. “I think you can be cash-flow positive in six months. It’s not going to take millions. I started Oodie with $500 and we had crazy growth.”

Over the next six to 12 months Rooney wants to extend his company’s product range and look into retail opportunities. He says, “retail is king when it comes to skincare”. “It offers accessibility and eyeballs like nothing else.” 

While he admits that going on national television was a nerve-racking experience, he told Forbes Australia “the whole process was phenomenal”.

“If someone is considering applying next year, I urge you to do it,” he said.

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