The business landscape is volatile. Many companies come, and many more have to go before they make any mark on the market.
One such company that caught the attention of many is XTorch, the charity-driven and business-oriented manufacturer of multi-purpose portable flashlights.
The company’s founders, Gene Palusky and Keidy Palusky, presented their innovative product to the world by appearing on the 12th season of Shark Tank US, which aired in 2020.
Like all the other brands that appear in the famous reality show, XTorch became the subject of curiosity of many peers. People began wondering – is Xtorch still in business?
Fortunately, XTorch is still profitable and recording steady sales annually. While they have had significant challenges in recent years, the company is still going strong and staying true to its charitable roots.
To get more detailed insights, keep reading. We will give you all the latest updates, information, and news about the charitable founding couple and their brainchild, the XTorch company.
What is XTorch?
XTorch is a popular manufacturing company that produces rechargeable and solar-powered flashlights used for casual and emergency purposes. Customers can also charge their flashlights with electricity.
XTorch has some impressive unique selling points. It is highly durable, for example. Gene Palusky, in his pitch on Shark Tank, demonstrated how his flashlight was still working even after it was encased in a block of ice for over 48 hours.
The other attractive quality of the product is that it is multi-purpose. Customers can use it for indoor as well as outdoor applications. It can serve as a night lamp and a standing lamp for studying or working in a room devoid of electricity.
On the other hand, it can also serve as a good companion for dangerous treks and trips where a flashlight can come in handy. XTorch is capable of running for over 48 hours on a single full charge, saving up to $2000 on batteries for a customer.
The product can also survive in optimal condition for 7-10 years in storage without needing any repair or maintenance.
Because of these impressive features, people from all over the world became interested in knowing the fate of the company, especially after it appeared on Shark Tank.
XTorch Shark Tank Recap: What Happened?
XTorch made an appearance in Episode 22 of Season 12 of Shark Tank US. The founding couple, Gene and Keidy, led the pitch with impressive energy and a well-rehearsed script.
They asked for $150,000 in exchange for 10% of the equity, valuing the company at $1.5 million.
The initial part of the pitch went quite well. Gene demonstrated the features of the product perfectly, with Keidy chiming in occasionally to corroborate the story. However, the Sharks were quick to cross-question the couple, which threw them off a little.
According to Mark Cuban, there was nothing proprietary about the product – it was simply a flashlight with some extra capabilities. The feeling, unfortunately, was shared by all the Sharks present on the panel.
Other Sharks like Mr Wonderful were concerned with the company’s abysmal sales records. Prior to coming on the show, XTorch had recorded an annual revenue of $53,000. They projected to sell products worth $90,000 the following year.
Both of these shortcomings were large enough for all the Sharks to opt out of the deal. However, Robert Herjavec put a unique offer on the table. He wanted to buy the entire company for $500,000.
Unfortunately, the valuation was too low for the founders, who wanted at least $750,000 in exchange for 100% of their company. The deal fell out, and the XTorch owners walked out of the set with their heads held high.
What Happened to XTorch? Latest Updates and Information
The appearance on Shark Tank US gave XTorch the marketing appeal and traction that it lacked. Soon after the episode aired, the company secured more than 2,000 orders within a few weeks, enjoying a 350% increase from their previous sales.
The company is still operational in 2023 with an estimated value of $1 million. The founders continue to pledge 25% of their profits to relief partners from around the world.
After 2019, the company shifted its focus to marketing the product on online channels. As such, most of their orders come from their official website and some e-commerce platforms.
The company also managed to bring down the price of the flashlight to around $35 if you purchase directly from the website. Earlier, the same product would go on the market for $50 to $60, making it an expensive option.
All of these factors combined, coupled with the impressive goodwill of the company due to their charitable donations, made XTorch a fan-favourite. While the company is yet to disrupt the market or record exceptional sales, it is progressing steadily and making healthy profits.
Apart from the unique features and impressive durability of XTorch, customers love the company because it is equally a mission as it is a business. A recent example is when the founders sent their XTorch flashlights to Ukrainian refugees stuck because of the war.
The founders are actively donating 1,000 XTorch flashlights to Venezuelan refugees. Similarly, 963 XTorch flashlights and 963 XTorch Solar Panels were sent to Haitian children. The charitable network developed by the company is bringing light to over 30 countries.
So, XTorch is still performing pretty well in the market. The company’s sales grew after its appearance on Shark Tank US. The founders estimate that the company will be valued at $3.2 million by 2024 and are on a mission to achieve that.
XTorch Company: History, Founders, and Products
There are some other interesting questions surrounding the charitable company – who are the founders of XTorch? What features do XTorch Flashlights offer?
In this section, we’ll be giving you an overview of the entire company, including its products, history, and founders.
The story of how XTorch came into being is pretty interesting. It starts with the story of Gene Palusky. He started his career as a struggling artist in Minnesota. But then, he became a successful property dealer and made considerable savings.
After building his own fortune, he decided to give back. He did a lot of charity work, including signing up as a volunteer in the Dominican Republic and Equatorial Guinea in Africa.
In the latter region, Gene’s wife, Keidy, was struck by an illness and struggled with her health. The lack of electricity in the region made matters worse. It also made Gene think of the struggles people around the world face due to lack of power.
Fortunately, Keidy recovered well. The couple, having an educational experience in Africa, decided to launch a company to alleviate the problems that they faced. And that’s how XTorch, the irrevocable substitute for electrical lighting equipment in remote areas, came into being.
The Third Founder
When talking about XTorch, people only mention Gene and Keidy. After all, they are the face and mind behind the company, aren’t they?
But there is a third partner involved in the operations – Bob Sweat. He is the lead engineer and pioneered the innovative flashlight himself. Since he is only the technical head of the company, you don’t see him participating in business operations like the other founders do.
But Bob Sweat is given his due credit as a partner of the company and has his name listed on the website as well.
The next question is even more interesting – what makes the XTorch unique?
The best-selling product is equipped with many features and functionalities that make it worth the $30-$40 you would be spending on it.
Here are some unique details about the XTorch flashlight:
- Run-Time: 8 hours of run-time on solar charge. 9 hours of flashlight run-time on low charging.
- Charge Time: 22 hours to a full charge through sunlight. 1.5 hours through electricity using a USB cable.
- LIFEPO4 Battery Life: Lifespan between 7 and 10 years.
- Resistance: UV and water-resistant.
- Buoyancy: Can float in water.
- Weight: Around 9.4 ounces.
- Height: Around 8.5 inches.
- It can serve as a room lantern.
- Comes with a functional battery indicator.
- Provides a reliable flashlight in adverse and rough conditions.
- Comes with a spring clip.
- Comes with a USB and charging port.
- Comes with a solar panel.
Where to Buy XTorch?
XTorch products will be more accessible than ever in 2023. They are more affordable and come in different purchase options.
You can opt for different sizes and features to customize the product as per your requirements.
There are two main channels from where you can buy XTorch products.
The first is the company’s official website. From there, you can get it for the exact retail price determined by the manufacturer. You can also customize your product from the company’s official website only.
The other option is to explore e-commerce channels like Amazon.
In both cases, prices are comparable unless one of them offers a discount. Ordering from the website can be more advantageous if you want to explore different purchase options or if you have a certain coupon code to get some extra discount.
XTorch Reviews: Customer Feedback and Experiences
XTorch flashlights have made a place for themselves in a highly competitive market. So, it’s safe to assume that the product is offering something special.
But we can’t be sure of that unless we ask the customers themselves.
XTorch has a consistent 4.5 product rating on Amazon, which is exceptional for any piece of hardware. So, customer satisfaction is not an issue.
Many customers are impressed by how durable XTorch can prove to be. For example, one user shared that their XTorch Flashlight survived even after he accidentally threw it off the roof of his house while cleaning the chimney.
Others are taken away by the versatility of the product. It can serve as a night lamp, an emergency flashlight, and can even charge phones in case there are no power outlets nearby.
For the couple, the cream of the crop came when they received an e-mail from a Hurricane Maria survivor in 2017. The e-mail recounted how the XTorch Flashlight had helped the survivor through the ordeal by giving him light and allowing him to charge his phone to stay in contact with his family.
XTorch is one of the businesses that is still holding on. While it still has many challenges to overcome, the company is going in the right direction.
We believe that XTorch should invest more in marketing its product as a durable disaster management solution. Doing so can help establish XTorch as a B2B as well as B2C provider and boost its sales performance significantly.
It would also help the company if it launched a series of new emergency-related lighting equipment. While the flashlight is performing well, having a diverse product line is always good for any company.