Whatever Happened To Inirv React Smart Stove Kit After Shark Tank Season 9?

According to FEMA, most home fires start in the kitchen. While reasons range from unattended stoves to faulty, overheating ovens, cooking-related fires are all too common. Akshita Iyer and Ranjith Babu designed the Inirv React Smart Stove Kit to combat this startling statistic. The invention is meant to be attached to or a range to bypass the appliance's controls in the event of trouble. Using innovative technology, the Inirv React Smart Stove Kit senses fires, smoke, and abandoned stovetops. Like many upstart entrepreneurs, Iyer and Babu took their device to "Shark Tank" to seek out investors. 

Since their TV appearance, Inirv has had a somewhat tumultuous start. Their visit to "Shark Tank" netted them a lot of interest, but with increased attention came legal challenges and a lengthy road to production despite a successful crowdfunding campaign. Shipments of the knobs have been sent to some backers, but many claim to have waited long periods without the product being received.

What happened to Inirv on Shark Tank?

Akshita Iyer and Ranjith Babu appeared on Season 9, Episode 14 of "Shark Tank" and presented the Inirv React Smart Stove Kit. The stove kit included range knobs and a gas, smoke, and inactivity detector. The pair offered an 8% stake in their company in exchange for an $800,000 investment. The sharks were impressed by the technology but were otherwise unmoved, especially when they found out that there was no working model. They also felt the technology would eventually be implemented by appliance manufacturers and therefore render the Inirv React obsolete. It is worth noting that this suspicion has not yet come to pass in a meaningful way. While smart ranges and other smart kitchen appliances exist, most do not possess the capabilities to power off remotely or sense smoke or fire. 

One shark, Robert Herjavec, was willing to invest in Inirv but offered the requested $800,000 for a more significant 20% stake in the company. The proposed percentage was too much for Iyer and Babu, who in turn walked away without a deal. Babu had regrets about not taking the revised offer. He stated that Herjavec may have been a great partner, but ultimately, Inirv decided to move forward alone. 

Inirv after Shark Tank

Though Inirv could not get a shark to bite, they did raise a lot of interest from viewers. Yet with that interest came legal challenges, and less than a year later, Inirv was sued by their prototype manufacturer, Enventys, for allegedly defaulting on payments. Inirv filed a countersuit claiming that the manufacturer did not deliver the level of quality they claimed they could. In the countersuit, Inirv claimed that the manufacturer produced faulty prototypes that left a bad impression on the sharks and may have resulted in their unwillingness to invest. By the end of 2018, the parties settled in court with an agreement that resolved both the suit and countersuit.

Not long after settling the case, Inirv launched a Kickstarter campaign with preorder options for donors. The campaign ultimately proved successful and raised $175,548, smashing their original goal of $40,000. Interest in the product was strong, and nearly 500 people made donations and preorders. However, as of August 2023, some supporters have noted not receiving the product or a refund from the company.

Is Inirv still in business?

Inirv officially rebranded as Ome in June of 2021. Ome's official website offers the knobs in packs of one, four, and five. While the device is for sale on their website, the company has seemingly not fulfilled all preorders through the Kickstarter campaign as of August 2023. Some comments on the Kickstarter page suggest that backers have waited at least four years for their orders and still have not received them.

Unsurprisingly, many backers who did not receive a product have taken to the Kickstarter comment section to request refunds. Others have requested refunds for incompatibility issues between the knob and their appliance. Comments are addressed, but several backers have suggested that even though they were contacted about their issue, it has yet to be resolved. Nevertheless, Inirv, now Ome, is still in business and moving forward with their updated product, which sports a new look and smartphone compatibility. 

What's next for Ome

Ome now sells its smart stove knobs online and offers a compatibility test to help customers determine if their stove and the knobs can function together. This test is likely in response to Kickstarter backers who requested refunds upon finding out their stove was incompatible. Ome states that their product is not compatible with stoves that have knobs that sit on top or cannot be removed. If you're interested in the product, it's easy enough to find out if you can use it in your home.

With a reported average of 470 cooking fires a day, kitchen safety should be a top concern in the home. However, with smartphone compatibility becoming more mainstream in the kitchen, it's safe to say that modern stove manufacturers are catching up to what made the Inirv React so innovative in the first place. That said, Ome appears to have bounced back from its rocky start and scored good reviews with their updated smart stove knob — even as they contend with refund requests from their maligned Kickstarter campaign.