Rent Like A Champion, a weekend house rental company that operates in Oxford and other college towns across the nation, sent CEO Mike Doyle and co-founder Drew Mitchell to make a deal on ABC’s hit reality show Shark Tank Friday. Doyle and Mitchell offered up 10 percent of their business in exchange for $200,000, and two of the Sharks took the bait.
Billionaire investors Mark Cuban and Chris Sacca went in on the deal together, each receiving five percent stake in the company in exchange for $100,000.
Doyle said working with the two new investors has been great so far. The company sends the investors weekly updates in exchange for several ideas per week.
“They are prolific idea generators,” Doyle said. “You’ll wake up in the morning to an email with ideas from Mark Cuban. They help us think through new ways to expand the business. They are both incredibly successful and have a portfolio of companies that we can tap into. Both of them are incredibly plugged in.”
For Mitchell, the experience was the best part of being on Shark Tank.
“I loved every second of it,” Mitchell said. “It was so much fun and we went in with a positive mindset. You bet we wanted to put a deal together and raise some money to expand, but we were just so thrilled to be a part of this process.”
Mitchell said he and Doyle made sure to go into the situation prepared, ready to answer all questions.
“We decided we were going to have a good time with this,” Mitchell said. “We’re having fun and we’re making money.”
Although pitches by business owners are edited down for the show, Doyle said it didn’t take too much time to convince the Sharks investing in Rent Like A Champion was a good idea.
“Our pitch took about 20 or 25 minutes,” Doyle said. “We had a good pitch with a solid track record as far as company history. It just clicked for them right away. These are some of the most influential investors, so we gave them an evaluation that was favorable to them.”
Another reason their pitch was so successful is, although they are competing with similar companies like Airbnb that also allow users to list, find, and rent places to stay, Rent Like A Champion stands out among competitors.
“On the surface, we’ve got a lot of competitors, but these are destination focused,” Mitchell said. “We are the only, as far as I know, event-focused platform out there. We view this as a pretty open pasture and we’re excited to run into it.”
Not only does their partnership with Cuban and Sacca help the business, but appearing on the Shark Tank show helped spike interest in Rent Like A Champion as well.
“We have a new wave of customers since the show aired,” Doyle said. “Our website numbers were off the chart that night after the show. We are getting so many people putting new listings on the site and we’re getting dozens of inquiries per hour.”
Rent Like A Champion has operated in Oxford for some time now. They already work with about 125 homeowners in the area and have hosted hundreds of fans, but interest is still growing in Oxford after the show’s airing.
“We’ve already had a ton of homeowners from Oxford reaching out to us and tons of Ole Miss fans interested in homes for graduation and other events,” Doyle said. “Anyone locally that is still looking to rent out homes, this is a good time to get on board.”
In celebration of being on the show, Rent Like A Champion is also doing a Shark Tank Giveaway on their website. They will be giving three winners the “ultimate college football weekend,” which will provide the winners with four tickets to a 2016 game, a Rent Like A Champion home within walking distance of the stadium and a fully stocked fridge.