KissTixx: What Happened To The Brand After Shark Tank?

Some of the most interesting products to ever hit the market have gained public awareness after appearing on ABC's hit television show "Shark Tank." Whether it was something truly useful that is now a household staple, like The Ring doorbell, or products that were simply meme-worthy, like Souper Cubes, "Shark Tank" proved to be a way to get your business in the public eye. When it came to products featured on the show that were hilarious, yet useful, KissTixx took the cake.

KissTix was a lip balm brand created by Utah Valley University students Mike Buonomo and Dallas Robinson. What started as a unique way for the duo to make things more exciting for their kissing partners ultimately turned into a six-digit business. The lip balms came in two complementary flavors, one for each partner. For example, one lip balm would be lemonade flavor, while the other would be raspberry. Together, they created the taste of raspberry lemonade. Because the beauty industry is highly-saturated, the brand had to find a way to stand out above the rest, leading them to take their chances with the Sharks.

What happened to KissTixx on Shark Tank?

The creators of KissTixx quickly captivated the attention of the sharks as they explained the concept of their $80,000-a-year lip balm business. The team had even recently secured a $500,000 Walgreens purchase order.

The two set up a kissing booth for two of the Sharks to give an example of how their product works. This ultimately created one of the most memorable moments of the show, where investors Barbara Corcoran and Kevin O'Leary share a kiss wearing the lip balm. After the laughs let up, both investors stated that they did taste the change in flavor. Then came the moment of truth — were the Sharks ready to invest?

Robinson and Buonomo asked the sharks for $200,000 for 20% equity in KissTixx. When questioned about their plans for the investment, Robinson stated that they would "use $167,000 for the Walgreens order." The remaining funds would be used for distribution. Corcoran was the first to back out citing a bad gut feeling about the product, and O'Leary was next. Mark Cuban eventually offered the duo a deal of $200,000 in exchange for 40% of the company as he thought it was "fun, hip, innovative, and kind of a little bit edgy." The other Sharks also chose to back out, leaving the creators with only Cuban's offer, which they decided to take.

KissTixx After Shark Tank

After appearing on "Shark Tank," KissTixx did gain traction. In an interview with Forbes, the founders stated that the brand sold 5,500 units in the weeks following their appearance on "Shark Tank." In an update segment from season four of "Shark Tank," the founders said that the business had made over $1,000,000 in sales and had met their goal of being more widely distributed. At that point, the brand was still expanding and had big goals, including expanding its product line to include gum and a breath spray. Mark Cuban even told Forbes that KissTixx was one of the best deals he had ever made on the show.

A season five "Shark Tank" update in 2016 revealed that Mike Buonomo had chosen to leave the company while Dallas Robinson stayed on and continued to grow the business. Cuban helped the brand develop a new and improved website, as well as helped them improve their marketing. This eventually led them to do a campaign with country star Danielle Peck for her song "Kiss Me Like You Miss Me." Unfortunately, in spite of these milestones, Robinson chose to shut down the production of KissTixx in 2018.

Why did KissTixx go out of business?

While there was no official announcement stating why KissTixx was going out of business, it can be assumed that declining sales contributed. Prior to its closure, the brand seemed to be booming, with unique marketing, celebrity endorsements, and wide distribution — so where did things go wrong?

There is no true tell-tale sign of what caused the brand's downfall. Many people would say that you cannot build a relationship upon a lie, which is perhaps how KissTixx began. While appearing on "Shark Tank," Buonomo and Robinson told the investors that they had an order placed by Walgreens for their lip balms for over $500,000 in product. It later came to light that this was not true. According to Forbes, the "purchase order" from Walgreens shown on "Shark Tank" was simply standard vendor paperwork. While this in itself proves little about the brand, it could have rubbed some future partners the wrong way.

The brand was luckily able to sell its product at major retailers such as Kroger, Amazon, and Harmon's, but during the height of its success, Buonomo left for another endeavor. It's highly possible that losing a co-founder put a strain on the business.

What's next for the KissTixx founders?

While appearing on "Shark Tank," founders Dallas Robinson and Mike Buonomo told the investors they were "two of the hardest working guys you'll ever meet." While their lip balm business KissTixx may not have panned out in the way they had hoped, the two have gone on to new endeavors. Little is known about what Buonomo chose to do after leaving the company, but according to "Shark Tank" season five, he did accept another job opportunity.

Unlike Buonomo, Robinson has chosen to keep his career public. According to Robinson's LinkedIn page, he has held many roles, both while and since working at KissTixx. While working as the CEO of KissTixx, Robinson was also the head of business at FAL Food and Beverages. He also co-founded a business known as Elemerce to help entrepreneurs scale their businesses on Amazon. Today, he is a partner at M-7 Agency, which also helps clients sell their products to big retailers. While it seems Robinson is out of the entrepreneur business himself, he shows a history and passion for continuing to support other founders in their journey.