From the Shark Tank to Your Home: The Rise of Lumio

The Rise of Lumio: From the Shark Tank to Your Home: The Rise of Lumio | Enterprise Wired

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Source – triadevisual

Have you ever thought that a book can also become a lighting source? Seems impossible. Max Gunawan brings this fantastical concept to life and has made this impossible, possible. His innovative piece of work “Lumio” has changed the way how people think about books. Books could do more than enlighten your mind – They could brighten up your room too. 

In this article, we will learn about the rising story of Lumio, its functionality, its shark tank experience, and its illuminating success. 

The Rise of Lumio: Its Beginning

In 2012, Max Gunawan started a tiny workshop in San Francisco. Initially, Lumio was created simply out of his desire to create an object that was beautiful, surprising, functional, and joyful. 

The lamp was made from durable Tyvek pages and sustainable hardwood covers. It exemplifies a perfect blend of form and function that captures the essence of modern minimalism. 

Fortunately, that product grew into an award-winning bestseller, sold in more than 200 retailers across more than 30 countries. It was featured in the New York Times, and won numerous awards, from Red Dot’s “Best of the Best” Cannes Lions to Good Design Awards. 

Functionality and Sustainability of Lumio

Max’s intention to build Lumio was not just about creating a beautiful lamp. He prioritized the flexibility in use for their users and provided innovative and quality products. For this, he added the single tap brightness and speaker control feature in Lumio. This brilliance in design eliminated the need for buttons to operate and gave a seamless experience. He focused on sustainability by utilizing eco-friendly materials like cast resin and sand in its manufacturing. 

The Rise of Lumio: From the Shark Tank to Your Home: The Rise of Lumio | Enterprise Wired
Source – Pinterest

These features in the product bring heavy challenges for other manufacturers to manufacture products that are user-friendly and eco-friendly. Now customers didn’t just demand a source of light, they wanted an aesthetically pleasing product that didn’t harm the environment. This is how by prioritizing user experience and sustainability, Lumio became a catalyst for positive change within the industry. 

Max Walks into the Shark Tank

With a unique product and a clear vision, Max felt to take the next step to make his product big. For this, he needed a large investment and the right mentor to manufacture a massive quantity of products. He set his sights on Shark Tank. This was a good opportunity for Max to get the financial backing and mentorship to take his company to the next level. 

To make sure they didn’t miss any opportunity, Max and his team spent countless hours preparing for the pitch. He practiced his presentation, prepared himself for the potential questions from the sharks, and rehearsed how to handle their inevitable critiques.  

The Shark Tank Experience of Lumio

Max always has impressive quality which immediately looked out as he walked on the set of Shark Tank. Straightforward on the set, he addressed his potential customers with a bit of confidence and a smile on his face. His ask was $250,000 for 8% of the company. 

Max started his pitch by showcasing his product. He picks up the Lumio, which appears the same as a book to the sharks. But as he opens it, somewhat dramatic happens. It is revealed that the book is a light. The sharks are delighted to see it. He opens the light near his chest, opened 360 degrees, it lights up his face. 

The Rise of Lumio: From the Shark Tank to Your Home: The Rise of Lumio | Enterprise Wired
Source – Business Insider

Max explains multiple ways of using the Lumio, “You can put it flat on the table to create some ambient light in a room, you can make it stand upright, you can use it for focus, or if you have multiple Lumio lights, you can put them together”

Max’s Successful Shark Tank Deal

Max gives his sample pieces to each of the sharks;

They all are impressed, but Robert seems the most excited about the product. 

Kevin says that he is interested, and he offers a unique deal to Max. Kevin’s deal values the company at double the expected value of Max, $6 million

All of them are certain that the product gonna work in the marketplace. Mark even mentions that once the episode airs, he will receive a considerable boost in the orders. 

Kevin offers the highest value for the company. In return, Mark offers double of Max’s request, $500K for 16% of the company

Daymond makes one of the exciting pitches, offering $750K for 20% of the company. 

Things are up in the air until Robert augments his offer. Initially, He offered $250K but for 2% more equity than Max had anticipated. After some consideration and hearing the fluctuations in offers by other sharks, Robert took his offer to $350K for a 10% stake. That means he added $100K more to his deal, in return for no additional equity. 

After some deep thinking, Max Gunawan decides to go with Robert’s offer. They both were excited about the deal. 

Illuminating Success of Lumio

The Rise of Lumio: From the Shark Tank to Your Home: The Rise of Lumio | Enterprise Wired
Source – Tools and Toys

Shark Mark Cuban’s words were right. Just after 15 minutes of airing the episode, 3000 orders were placed for Lumio Lights. Sales have increased dramatically from there. 

Max took an interesting approach to marketing. He knew his product would perform well in the market if he avoided significant distributors. Perhaps this is the reason why Max keeps the price at $200 and still be able to sell massive amounts of inventory. 

The commitment to providing customers with innovative and quality products kept Lumio at the forefront of the design world.


After securing a deal with Robert on Shark Tank, Lumio saw a boost in sales and recognition. With Robert’s investment, Lumio expanded its product line and reached new markets. Today, Lumio remains a leading provider of unique lighting solutions, appreciated worldwide for its innovative design. As of 2024, the company has started making products in “five” colors – maple, walnut, orange, red and yellow. Aside from their websites, their products are available on Amazon and other online retailers.



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