Here Are the 15 Best Investments Each Shark has Made on Shark Tank

Lori Greiner

Scrub Daddy

Investment: $200,000 for 20%

Gross  Sales: $100 million

During Season 4, Aaron Krause pitched a reusable sponge in the shape of a smiling face that gets firm in cold water and soft in warm water.   Krause had already had some previous entrepreneurial success after he sold his line of buffing and polishing pads to 3M.  But he seemed to be having difficulty gaining traction as he was not able to gross more than $100,000 in one year with Scrub Daddy.

This product, however, seemed to be a perfect match for the queen of QVC as Greiner offered a 20% stake in the company for $200,000.  Regarded as the most successful deal ever made in the Shark Tank, Scrub Daddy has gone to gross more than $100 million.  Lori was also able to the product into retailers like Bed Bath and Beyond.  

 

Readerest

Investment: $150,000 for 65%

Gross Sales: Over $8 million+

In Season 3, Lori invested in the company that solved the problem of missing and scratched glasses. After habitually losing and damaging his glasses, Rick Hopper began using paperclips and magnets to keep his glasses protected. He later developed a prototype product, bought a patent and started displaying his invention at tradeshows.

Essentially giving Lori the entire company, Hopper agreed to accept $150,000 for 65% of his company.  However, it seems to be paying off as the company has grossed more than $8 million in sales.  Readerest is a popular item on QVC and is often sold out.

 

Squatty Potty

Investment: $350,000 for 10% (shared with Kevin O’Leary)

Gross Sales: $30 million+

When pitching a product designed to help with easier bowel movements, you never know if you will be taken seriously.  However, Bobby Edwards was successfully able to pitch his company Squatty Potty to the sharks and land $350,000 in investment capital from Griener and fellow shark Kevin O’Leary.

Within 3 months of the episode airing, the product went on to make $12 million in sales.  The company has also made an agreement with Bed Bath and Beyond and can now be found in 11,000 stores.  The company has reportedly made over $30 million in revenue.

 




 

Kevin O’Leary

Wicked Good Cupcakes

Investment: $75,000 for $1 royalty for every unit sold until ROI. Then, $.50/ unit sold

Sales: $8 million annual sales

The mother-daughter team of Tracey Noonan and Danielle Vilagie entered the tank in Season 4 with their cupcake in a jar company called Wicked Good Cupcakes.  After their pitch in the tank, they eventually landed a royalty deal with O’Leary by which he would invest $75,000 and get $1 of every unit sold until he recouped his investment.  Then he would get 50 cents for every cupcake sold thereafter.  It only took 75 days for him to get his money back.

Before making a deal with O’Leary, Wicked Good Cupcakes were bringing in about $350,000 in sales.  Those numbers quickly rose to over $8 million annually.  Mr. Wonderful has often called the deal one of the best he’s ever made.

Groovebook

Investment: $150,000 for 80% licensing rights (shared with Mark Cuban)

Sales: Acquired by Shutterfly for $14.5 million

During Season 5 Brian and Julie Whiteman pitched their business called GrooveBook to the investors on Shark Tank.  Groovebook is an app and service which lets you print photo books from your cell phone and then ships them to you monthly.  The couple was able to make an 80% licensing deal with Mark Cuban and Kevin O’Leary $150,000.

After appearing on the show, Groovebook’s paid subscriptions increased from 8,000 subscribers to 500,000.  In 2014, the company was acquired by Shutterfly for $14.5 million.

 

Bottle Breacher

Investment: $150,000 for 20% (Shared with Mark Cuban)

Gross Sales: $2.5 million+

The husband-and-wife entrepreneurial team of Eli and Jen Crane appeared on Shark Tank seeking investment into their unique bottle opener company, Bottle Breacher.  Eli, a former Navy SEAL spent 13 years and five deployments in the military.  Bottle Breacher make 50-caliber bottle openers, made from recycled bullets.

The couple, who have been married for over 12 years, was able to score a deal with both Kevin O’Leary and Mark Cuban.  The investment would cost the Cranes 20% of their company but it seems like it was worth it as they were flooded with more than 20,000 orders after the show aired and brought in $2.5 million in 3 months.

 

Barbara Corcoran

Barbara Corcorans best investments

Grace and Lace

Investment: $175,000 for 10%

Gross Sales: Approx $20 million+

During Season 5, Rick and Melissa Hinnant were able to land a $175,000 investment from Corcoran for their women’s accessory company Grace and Lace. Since the episode aired, the company has generated approximately $20 million in sales.  Corcoran told Business Insider that it’s her most profitable Shark Tank investment.

Cousins Maine Lobster

Investment: $55,000 for 15%

Gross Sales: $20 million+

Cousins Sabin Lomac and Jim Tselikis started the Cousins Maine Lobster food truck in 2012 after realizing that the Maine lobster experience was something that was missing in California. After losing the interest of four of the Sharks during their time in the tank, the duo was able to land a deal with Corcoran by offering 15% of the company for $55,000.

The impact of Corcoran’s influence was felt right away as they increased the number of trucks, expanded into other cities, and made appearances QVC as well as nationally televised shows like “Good Morning America,” “The Today Show,” “Master Chef,” “The Chew,” and The Food Network.  All this activity has led the company to grow its sales to over $20 million.

 

BuggyBeds

Investment: $250,000 for 25% (Shared with Daymond John, Mark Cuban, Kevin O’Leary, and Robert Herjavec)

Gross Sales: $1.2 million

An early detection and prevention system for bed bugs, BuggyBeds was designed to catch bed bugs before they become a serious problem.  Maria Curcio and Veronica Perlongo were able to successfully pitch their product to the investors and land a deal worth $250,000.

A year after appearing on the show, the company has been able to generate $1.2 million in sales and expand to over 23 countries.

 

 

 

Robert Herjavec

Tipsy Elves

Investment: $100,000 for 10%

Gross Sales: $15 million+

The company that sells ugly holiday sweaters had already sold 5,000 units before entering the shark tank.   Corporate lawyer Evan Mendelsohn and endodontist Nick Morton started Tipsy Elves when Mendelsohn noticed the increasing popularity of ugly holiday sweaters but realized there was no central place to purchase them.  The duo had invested $140,000 into the company when they appeared on the show but left with $100,000 from Herjavec.  

Since then, Tipsy Elves has made over 15 million in sales.  The company’s growth was helped by the movie The Night Before starring Seth Rogen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Anthony Mackie.  Tipsy Elves struck a deal with the production company to mass produce the sweater worn by Rogen in the movie.

 

Lumio

Investment: $350,000 for 10%

Sales: $ 6 million+

Max Gunawan launched his company Lumio in 2013 on Kickstarter.  His goal was to raise $60,000 but ended his campaign with $585,000.  Lumio produces a portable lamp with the ability to fan out 360 degrees and is cleverly disguised as a book.

Gunawan started a feeding frenzy as all of the investors bid on Lumio. But it was Herjavec who came out on top.  Lumio can be found online, select stores, and museums in San Fransico and New York.  The company has reported over $6 million in sales and Herjavec has called Gunawan “possibly the best entrepreneur” he had seen so far on the show.

 

Red Dress Boutique

Investment: $1.2 million for 10% (shared with Mark Cuban)

Sales: $12 million (annual revenue)

During Season 6, Herjavec and Cuban invested $1.2 million in Diana and Josh Harbour’s online women’s fashion retailer, Red Dress Boutique.  The mission of the company is to help women feel confident without spending a lot of money. They  accomplish this goal by updating their collections daily and pricing 80% of the company’s merchandise under $50.  

The week following their television appearance, Red Dress Boutique brought in $1 million in sales.  They have reportedly been grossing between $12-$14 million in sales annually.

 




 

Daymond John

Bubba’s-Q Boneless Ribs

Investment: $300,000 for 30%

Sales: $16 million+

After Al “Bubba” Baker spent 13 seasons in the NFL as one of the league’s most feared pass-rushers, he found a second career by founding Bubba Q’s Boneless Ribs.  What makes the company really unique is its patented boneless rib recipe.

During the episode, Daymond John said, “I still believe that this will potentially be my biggest deal ever.”  Bubba Q’s is definitely becoming one of John’s best deals as the company went from making $154,000 in sales to $16 million in 3 years.

 

Bombas

Investment: $200 for 17.5%

Sales: $17.5 million

David Heath and Randy Goldberg met while working for a media company in 2007.  Though they hadn’t had a passion for socks, they became interested in them once they learned that socks were the No. 1 most requested clothing item at homeless shelters. They worked on a business model that would sell premium socks as well as donate socks to those in need.

They entered the shark tank asking for $200,000 for 5% of their company.  They ended up giving up 17.5% but they left with the shark they wanted.  Daymond John’s experience with his clothing company FUBU has made a big difference. The company has generated $17.5 million in sales last year alone and is growing at a rate of 300% per year.

 

Mission Belt

Investment: $50,000 for 37.5%

Sales: $8.2 million+

During season 4, Nate Holzapfel entered the shark tank looking for an investor to help build his business Mission Belt.  Mission Belt sells belts without holes but instead adjusts with a release lever.  The company also helps build other businesses by putting $1 of every belt sold into a fund that provides loans to small-business owners in more than 80 developing countries.

Holzapfel won the investment of John by giving up 37.5% of his company but it seems to be paying off.  Mission Belt now has a full line of licensed products for the NBA, NCAA, and NHL.  The company has generated over $8.2 million in revenue last year alone.

 

 

 

 

Mark Cuban

Mark Cuban's Best Investments

Ten Thirty One Productions

Investment : $2 million for 20%

Gross sales: $3 million+

 

Being the only billionaire that regularly appears on Shark Tank, Cuban can easily spend over $1 million on a single deal which he has done multiple times.  One such occasion, he asked for 20% of the horror production company Ten Thirty One Productions.  In exchange, Cuban offered $2 million to cofounder Melissa Carbone.

Ten Thirty One Productions has been one of the most profitable investments Cuban has made on Shark Tank according to Business Insider. Cuban told Fortune that the company is making at least half a million dollars in annual profit.

 

Simple Sugars

Investment: $100,000 for 33%

Gross sales: $6 million+

During Season 4, 18-year-old Lani Lazzari pitched her all-natural face-wash company Simple Sugars to the investors. Lazzari had suffered from periodic eczema breakouts and could not use commercial products to treat her skin.  That led her to experiment and create an all natural alternative.

Simple Sugars tallied a total of $55,000 in sales in its first seven years.  After closing the investment with Cuban, sales exploded.  The company now sells nationally, internationally, as well as online and has earned more than $6 million in sales.

 

 

Rugged Maniac

Investment: $1.75 million for 25%

Sales: $10.5 million+

Rob Dickens and Brad Scudder’s were not looking for investments from any of the entrepreneurs from Shark Tank but the producers of the show reached out to the duo.  Rugged Maniac is an annual obstacle course race hosted in multiple cities across the United States and Canada.  Rugged Maniac initially asked for $1 million for a 10% stake in the company.

They eventually agreed to give Mark Cuban 25% for $1.75 million.  Cuban being a fan of mud runs and obstacles course races, believed he could take the company to another level. Rugged Maniac has expanded to 30 cities, with sales going from $4.5 million to $10.5 million in just one year.

Photo credits: JD Lasica  Disney | ABC Television Group  4hourworkweek ,Deposit Photos

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Thomas Martin
Tom is a member of the Editorial Team at StartUp Mindset. He mainly focuses on online businesses and eCommerce startups.

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Tom is a member of the Editorial Team at StartUp Mindset. He mainly focuses on online businesses and eCommerce startups.

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