Groovebook is a mobile app that enables users to easily turn the photos on their phones into 4.5” x 6.5” photobooks mailed to their homes each month for $2.99/month. For each book, the user selects up to 100 photos from his or her mobile device to be included. $2.99 is a seemingly impossible price for a customized photo album mailed directly to users’ homes, in fact it is even lower than the typical USPS cost to mail a comparable album.
The secret to Groovebook’s price advantage is its unique spine. Inventor Brian Whiteman came up with a creative way of qualifying the Groovebook photo albums under the bulk mailing rate guidelines. By providing a “grooved” binding, with a portion of the book’s spine cut out, the book becomes flexible enough to meet the USPS bulk mailing guidelines.
Understanding the importance of protecting this competitive advantage, working with RPL, Groovebook filed a patent application directed to the unique system and launched the app.
The app quickly showed its value and Groovebook was invited to pitch to potential investors on ABC’s Shark Tank in which Mark Cuban and Kevin O’Leary offered $150,000 for 80% of the licensing rights of GrooveBook. Quickly following the Shark Tank appearance, Groovebook skyrocketed to over a million monthly subscribers.
On November 17, 2014, Shutterfly, Inc. announced its acquisition of Groovebook for $14.5 million making it one of the most successful businesses to ever appear on Shark Tank. Congratulations, Groovebook!