ABC’s multi-Emmy® Award-winning entrepreneurial-themed reality show Shark Tank recently showcased a Black-owned comic book publishing house and budding animation brand called Black Sands Entertainment, founded by Manuel Gody and his wife Geiszel Godoy with partner Teunis De Raat.
In one of the most significant moments in Black entertainment history, the trio presented their company to the sharks asking for $500,000 for a 5% return from their brand.
The Black Sands crew set their sights on entering the animation and entertainment industry and were seeking investors to help fund their projects and decided to take a chance by appearing on Shark Tank. Their unique company piqued the interest of guest Shark comedian and actor Kevin Hart and billionaire Mark Cuban.
Initially, Manuel was hesitant to make a deal with Hart and Cuban because he would have to give away a significant amount of the company’s equity. He made a counteroffer for a lower equity stake with a royalty clause. The Sharks were not satisfied and pointed out to Manuel that they would achieve actual revenue through movie or television deals and brand sponsorship. Hart also told Manuel he brings a whole ecosystem that can help with production, animation, and marketing, and Cuban said he would facilitate the technology angle, according to Meaww.
In a nail-biting moment, Manuel finally agreed to the Sharks’ offer of $500,000 for a 30% equity stake in his company and finalized the deal.
Black Sands Entertainment focuses on inclusivity and educating people on the multiple rich layers of Black history and culture that go beyond the experience of enslavement and colonization.
In 2016, the company produced comic books, novels, children’s books, and animation inspired by African mythology. It also created black heroes surrounded by diverse storytelling that focuses on traditional family values for people of color. Black Sands is also cultivating independent artists and writers to publish their work through them.
To date, Black Sands Entertainment has raised more than $2,000,000 from over 5000 investors from its fundraising campaigns on WeFunder. The independent organization has joined forces with senior animators from Disney, Sony, Pixar, Bron, Amazon Studios, Nickelodeon, Rainmaker, etc. They receive five million impressions a month on social media sites, have sold more than 200,000 products, and are expanding their brand success with the Black Sands Publishing app launched in May 2021, reports Black Girl Nerds.