Whatever Happened To Ilumi – World's Smartest Lightbulb After Shark Tank Season 5?

In 2014, Swapnil Bora and Corey Egan brought their company, Ilumi, onto Season 5 of "Shark Tank." Their patent-pending product was an LED light bulb controlled by Bluetooth, which would allow the user to totally customize the lighting in their home. The Ilumi bulbs are functional in any light fixture and have a variety of colors and settings to choose from. The lights can be set to slowly turn on in the morning, simulating a sunrise to help you wake up, or they can automatically turn off when you leave the house.

Egan and Bora came up with the idea for their company while students at The University of Texas at Dallas in 2010. They took their plan for an app-controlled LED light to the college's Business Idea Competition, where it won first place. This secured the $ 5,000 prize for Bora and Egan, and they had the initial funding to start Ilumi.

What happened to Ilumi on Shark Tank?

The Ilumi founders went into the tank hoping to secure a $350,000 investment in exchange for 15% equity in their company. The pair explained that they were nearing the end of development and needed help with the following steps. "We're now right at the doorstep to manufacturing, which is why really we're here today," Corey Egan told the sharks. Egan and Swapnil Bora planned to sell their light bulbs in packs of three for $289, making each bulb $90. Some sharks were surprised at the cost of the product despite the bulb's lifespan of 20 years. The unit price concerned Barbara Corcoran, and she was the first shark to drop out.

Robert Herjavec offered the team $350K for 35% of the company, while Mark Cuban wanted to give Bora and Egan the same amount of money for 25%. With two offers already on the table, Kevin O'Leary proposed $350K for a 15% royalty on each product sold. Bora and Egan decide to pair with Cuban in the end, settling for his original offer with 25% equity.

Ilumi after Shark Tank

Corey Egan and Swapnil Bora's deal with Mark Cuban proved successful for the team, and they began manufacturing their smart light bulbs after of appearing on the show. In an update segment on another "Shark Tank" episode, the founders revealed how crucial their deal with Cuban was for Ilumi. "Since we started working with Mark, we secured placement in major retailers like Best Buy, Fry's, Brookstone, and even Home Depot in Canada," Egan said. "We've gone from a pre-revenue company to achieving $2 million in sales."

In the segment, Bora, Egan, and Cuban appeared at the CES tradeshow in Las Vegas, where the newest innovative technology is on display. Cuban seemed just as excited as the founders about Ilumi's prospects for the future. "I know with Best Buy, we've really amplified things. They could really change the game, and that's what I look for in 'Shark Tank.' When you can invest in a game-changer, that's where the real money is made," Cuban said.

Ilumi continues to see success

In August 2019, Swapnil Bora took over as CEO of Ilumi, and the company changed its name to MeshTek Labs. The company now focuses on a business-to-business model, providing smart lighting options for residences, as well as commercial buildings, hospitality venues, and outdoor areas. The Bluetooth mesh technology used in Ilumi is the basis for MeshTek's products, even though they're not geared toward average consumers anymore.

Mark Cuban continues to be involved with the company and has high hopes for Bora. "Swapnil Bora has the dedication, entrepreneurial spirit, and engineering know-how to take on the rapidly changing Internet of Things (IoT) and LED lighting marketplace," Cuban said in a press release. "Under his leadership, we expect to see MeshTek Labs revolutionize how devices are controlled with edge computing and how connectivity will impact daily business activities." In the press release, Bora explained that there are more than 150,000 MeshTek products being used around the world.

What's next for Ilumi's founders?

Swapnil Bora continues to act as the CEO of MeshTek Labs, formerly known as Ilumi Solutions. Since the switch to its business-to-business model, it's unclear if the company still sells its original smart light bulbs to consumers. Ilumi's Facebook and Instagram pages haven't been active since 2017, and MeshTek hasn't posted on their Facebook since 2019. Despite the lack of social media presence, MeshTek Labs seems to be doing well and continues to update its followers on LinkedIn.

While Bora is still heavily involved in the company, it is unclear if Corey Egan still plays a role in the smart lighting business. According to his LinkedIn page, Egan is currently working with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram, as part of their product management team. Though the customer base and name have changed for Ilumi, the company has continued to be successful since its start on "Shark Tank."