Whatever Happened To Melni Connectors After Shark Tank Season 6?

Most people don't frequently think about how their home's or device's wiring is connected and installed and would rather just call an electrician, but inventor Mark Melni is set on showing that there's a better way. When connecting two wires, conventional connectors require you to use a large amount of pressure to crimp the two ends together. This method is easy to understand, but it puts quite a bit of pressure on electricians who have to create these connections every day. Instead of accepting this is the best (and only) way, Melni, Armand Eckert, and Byron Dunn pitched their development on Season 6, Episode 25 of "Shark Tank": the appropriately-named Melni connector.

This new connector twists to secure the ends of the two wires together rather than having to be crimped, so it's much easier on the hands of those who have to work to install them. Melni stated his invention would revolutionize the electrical industry during his pitch, but many of the Sharks believed he was a bit too optimistic with this claim.

Melni Technologies on Shark Tank

To the stars of "Shark Tank," it was obvious the entrepreneurs behind Melni Technologies had a great invention on their hands, but when pitching, they came in strong with a lofty claim. They immediately asked the Sharks for $500,000 in exchange for a 5% stake in their business, a dollar amount that valued the very new company at a hefty $10 million. At the time, they had only had one purchase order for $585,000, which they had yet to fulfill, so the Sharks were quite skeptical of the business's value. Kevin O'Leary even went so far as to state that the entrepreneurs were out of their minds for their valuation of the company.

Because of this, most of the Sharks dropped out fairly quickly, with varying levels of kindness in their explanations. Mark Cuban, however, decided to make an offer, much to the surprise of the other investors on the show. He offered the original $500,000 for 12% equity, with an additional option to put in another $1 million once the company is valued at $15 million. Mark Melni, of course, accepted the offer.

Melni Technologies after Shark Tank

The men behind Melni Technologies might have been berated a bit by the panel of Sharks, but it looks like their time on the show got them started on a good foot. Prior to their appearance on Season 6, Episode 25 of "Shark Tank," Mark Melni had already won Entrepreneur of the Year in Idaho, which granted him a bit more publicity and the $10,000 prize. The company also already had a solid consumer base in the agricultural market, which they stated during their pitch, and it seems like they stuck to fulfilling larger purchase orders through partnerships rather than selling direct-to-consumer after their appearance on the show.

After Mark Cuban's investment, the company also got to work developing some new products. Currently, they have three varieties of their connector: the MC-1 Direct Burial Splice, MC2400 Direct Burial Splice (above), and the MC34000 Direct Burial Splice. They also got to work improving solar connectors for Amphenol and developed a more complex connector called the Hypersplice in 2020.

Is Melni Technologies still in business?

Currently, it appears that Melni Technologies is in business and doing well, though you likely won't see their products appearing in a Home Depot or Lowe's anytime soon. This company sells its products for more industrial applications, favoring large purchase orders from partners like Irrigation Components International and Irrigation Distributors. During their pitch on "Shark Tank," they also mentioned wanting to expand to more direct deals for electrical applications, though details on if they made these sales aren't available on their website.

When making their deal, Mark Cuban agreed to give Melni Technologies an additional $1 million once the company was valued at $15 million, and it appears that it reached this goal fairly quickly. According to Pitchbook, Melni Technologies received an investment in 2015 that lines up with their appearance on the show, but they also received a whopping $1.99 million investment in 2018, suggesting Cuban stuck to his deal.

What's next for Melni Technologies?

Now that Melni Technologies has made its way out of the startup phase, it has more room to experiment with new products. It's clear the company is still sticking to what it knows best — staying in the realm of wire connectors rather than expanding too much into other fields — but it's developed some interesting new technologies, nonetheless. The company has its three connectors, each designed for different-sized wires, but it's also created a connector specifically for the solar industry called the Rad Crimp. Its most recent development was the Hyper-Splice (above) in 2020. This device uses Melni Technologies' Hyperbolic Spiral technology to permanently connect two wires without having to use a torch or lighter.

Based on its products, it looks like Melni Technologies is committed to improving existing wire connectors in an effort to make them safer and easier to use. While the company hasn't hinted at any new developments coming up, it's obvious that its core goal is to solve these issues in the electrical industry.