CertifiKID Goes National After 'Shark Tank' Deal with Kevin O’Leary
Family-Focused Deal Business Helps Parents Across the U.S. Save Money on Kids Activities and Family ExperiencesJan 14, 2020
POTOMAC, MD —January 14, 2020 — CertifiKID, a Potomac, Maryland-based website that offers discounts on kids activities and family experiences, announced today that it has expanded its operations to offer its family-friendly deals to parents nationwide.
“After our Shark Tank appearance last year, we were overwhelmed by requests from parents and local businesses all over the country asking us to bring CertifiKID to their cities,” said Jamie Ratner, CertifiKID Founder and CEO. “Thanks to our strategic partnership with Kevin O’Leary, we are excited to announce that we’ve been able to rapidly scale our operations to offer affordable kids activities and family experiences nationwide beginning in 2020.”
Ratner, a Washington, D.C.-area mom and self-professed “Expert Deal Finder,” launched CertifiKID with her husband and CertifiKID President, Brian Ratner, in 2010. The couple saw a gap in the market for deals focused specifically on kids and families. “I was an early follower of daily deal sites, but I got tired of seeing the same deals day after day for spas and restaurants – things that I couldn’t use as a mom with young kids,” said Ratner. I knew a twist on this concept with deals for things like play places, birthday party packages, kid-friendly attractions, and summer camps and classes would be popular with parents like me.”
Ratner’s instinct was right. CertifiKID took off immediately in its Washington, D.C. – Baltimore area home base and was profitable within only three months. The company has since grown into a $5M+ per year business and has expanded to multiple major markets nationwide, including New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles and Atlanta. With this latest expansion, CertifiKID is now the only company that offers a free resource for families nationwide to discover and save on kids activities and family-friendly attractions. “Now, when parents visit our website, it will automatically recognize their location and show them a curated selection of the best deals closest to them,” said Jamie Ratner. “CertifiKID is unique in that our website is totally free to use. We don’t charge monthly fees or require a membership to access our deals.”
During their Shark Tank appearance, which aired on April 7, 2019, the founders fielded offers from three Sharks - Kevin O’Leary, Daymond John and Barbara Corcoran - and ultimately accepted a $600K investment from Mr. O’Leary (aka “Mr. Wonderful”) in exchange for a 19% equity stake in CertifiKID. Mr. O’Leary’s investment in CertifiKID was one of the five biggest investments he has made in ten seasons of the show. The following week, O’Leary invited Jamie and Brian to appear with him on ABC’s The View as his featured Shark Tank entrepreneurs of the season.
“The past nine months since Shark Tank have been incredible,” said Brian Ratner. The number of new visitors to our website has grown exponentially, and the opportunities that our partnership with Kevin O’Leary and his first rate team have opened have been instrumental in allowing us to grow rapidly to meet the needs of families across the country. As we enter our tenth year of business, our mission remains the same as it was when we started: to bring families together to create unforgettable memories before their kids grow up, while building relationships with local businesses that last beyond the initial transaction.”
Recognized by CNBC, The Washington Post, and Washingtonian Magazine as one of the best deal websites for parents, CertifiKID offers exclusive deals every day on kids’ camps and classes, products, family activities, restaurants, entertainment, birthday party activities, special needs offers, and much MORE! CertifiKID Founder & CEO Jamie Ratner was named one of the region’s “Brightest Young Business Leaders” by The Washington Business Journal and one of Greater Washington’s top women business leaders by Washington SmartCEO.
For press inquiries or to arrange an interview with Jamie and Brian Ratner, please email Kim Humphrey, Director of Marketing, at [email protected].