Two years ago, WhiteyBoard founders Saachi Cywinski, Sherwin Kim and Jason Wilk set out to re-think those clunky, inflexible whiteboards found in classrooms and offices around the country. They developed a portable, flexible alternative: An inexpensive, “instant” plastic board that weighs less than two pounds and adheres to any surface without screws.
The idea, and the fact that co-founder Jason Wilk was (at the time) hard at work on a Y Combinator backed startup, attracted offers from people like Bill Liao, the co-founder of Xing.com. The startup turned down the offer but continued developing their whiteboards, along with a new product, called WhiteyBoard Paint, which they launched late last year.
Wilk tells us that WhiteyPaint has since found an eager audience, leading to the fortunate problem of demand quickly outpacing supply. Struggling to finance demand on a bootstrapped budget, the founders reached out to Dallas Mavericks owner, Shark Tank investor, and HDNet Co-founder Mark Cuban. Seeing a billion-dollar market dominated by a few bloated players, Cywinski said, Cuban believed WhiteyBoard was onto something.
So, today, the startup is officially announcing that it has raised an undisclosed round of seed financing from the billionaire entrepreneur. Cywinski tells us that WhiteyBoard has already sold to over 10K businesses, and smaller versions of the product are currently in stores at retailers like Urban Outfitters and ThinkGeek as well as at fulfillment centers around the world. (What’s more, its products are now made exclusively in the U.S. of A.)
Since last November, he says, sales for both its whiteboard and paint have quadrupled, and with the new funding from Cuban, the team is this week launching version 2 of its WhiteyBoard paint, which the founders say not only has better performance and more durability, but is “the best dry-erase product the world has ever seen.
That remains to be seen, but it certainly helps in the validation department to have Cuban on your side. For now, WhitePaint is for sale on the startup’s website here. And, as compared to competitors like IdeaPaint, the startup believes it can gain a leg up because its product is clear, allowing you to keep your wall colors and even have your logo show through. Plus, once painted on, WhiteyBoard paint is ready to go in 24 hours, compared to the competition, which generally takes 7 days to cure and isn’t able to erase things like spray paint.