Have you ever wondered how the entrepreneurs on ABC’s Shark Tank are able to consistently invest in the startups that enter the tank? Well, apparently, they have money to burn.
Here, we are going to count down the richest sharks in the tank. As a special bonus, we’ve included some guest sharks in our list.
#13 Troy Carter (Guest Season 7) $30 million
Carter is the founder, chairman and CEO of Atom Factory, a talent management and full-service film and television production company. He is best know for helping acts such as Lady gaga and the rapper Eve, reach stardom. Born in Philadelphia, he has also managed acts such as John Legend and Nelly.
He made a guest appearance on Shark Tank during the 7th season. Carter is no stranger to funding startups. He created AF Square, an angel fund and technology consultancy with investments in over 40 startups including Spotify, Songza, Dropbox, and Uber. He also created A \ IDEA which is a branding and product development agency.
#12 Barbara Corcoran-$80 million
Barbara Corcoran is an American businesswoman, consultant, author, investor and television personality with a net worth of $80 million. After graduating and holding several jobs, she started The Corcoran Group, a real estate business, in 1973.
Soon after, she was publishing news on New York City’s real estate data trends in The Corcoran Report. In 2001 her real estate company was purchased by the real estate giant NRT Incorporated for $66 million. Corcoran has featured on numerous television shows and also written several books.
#11 Lori Greiner- $100 Million
A native of Chicago, Lori Greiner was already working for the Chicago Tribune while still in college. After a short stint as a writer, she entered the consumer products arena. She designed a plastic organizer that could organize at least 100 earrings in the mid 90’s, while also writing plays on the side.
This earring organizer went on to make sales of over $1 million dollars within a single year and instantly sold out on the Home Shopping Network. She has since gone on to develop hundreds of products for men and women and is a holder of 108 patents both in the US and abroad for her accessory, organization and kitchen products.
#10 Robert Herjavec-$100 million
Robert Herjavec is the best illustration that with hard work, nothing is impossible. He immigrated to Canada from Croatia as a young boy. His dream was born from the pain of learning that his mother, who could barely speak English, had lost all the family savings to a vacuum salesman. He vowed to never allow his family to be taken advantage of again.
In 1990, he launched a technology company, BRACK Systems which he would then sell to AT&T for $100 million in 2000. He was also instrumental in the sale of RAMP Network to Nokia Corporation for $225 million.
Today Robert Herjavec heads The Herjavec Group, a security software firm and spends a lot of time at his privately owned island in Miami.
#9 Ashton Kutcher (Guest Season 7 & 8)-$200,000 million
Known for playing the childish and dimwitted Kelso on the hit Fox sitcom That 70s Show, Ashton Kutcher has found greater success as a venture capitalist. Kutcher started his entertainment career as a model appearing in ads for Calvin Klein. He went on to star in numerous movies and television shows including MTV’s Punk’d a widely popular program where Kutcher produced and hosted.
He co-founded the investment firm A-Grade Investments in 2010. This was where he proved that he was more than just an actor. For example, Kutcher and A-Grade invested $500,000 into Uber in 2011. Uber is currently valued at over $48 billion. A-Grade has also invested in companies such as Airbnb, Flipboard, and Change.org. In 2016 it was reported that the company was able to turn a $30 million investment into $250 million.
#8 Daymond John-$250 million
Daymond John mainly specializes in urban fashion and sportswear. He still owns FUBU, the fashion company that made him rich. FUBU gained popularity in the 1990s after rap superstar and John’s friend, LL Cool J started wearing the clothing. He was able to convince his mother, who taught him how to sew, to take out a second mortgage on their house and he and his friends launched the fashion line.
Within a span of six years after it was launched, FUBU, which stands for “For Us By Us”, was already generating $350 million yearly in revenue.
#7 Kevin O’Leary- $400 million
Known on Shark Tank as Mr Wonderful, O’Leary is known for his often direct and abrasive approach with entrepreneurs. He began his journey in his Toronto basement with a $10,000 investment from his mother which he used to start his company, SoftKey Software Products. SoftKey specialized in distributing software on CD-ROM in the 1990’s. Within a few years, SoftKey had bought out nearly all of its competitors and in 1999 O’Leary sold the company over to Mattel for $3.7 billion.
“Mr Wonderful” is the founder and chairman of O’Leary Funds which is a mutual fund company through which he raises hundreds of millions of dollars from investors. He takes on investments that are not only financially beneficial but also environmentally friendly.
#6 Kevin Harrington-(Shark Season 1&2) $450 Million
Remember him? He was one of the original sharks appearing during season 1 and 2. Harrington is the founder of As Seen On TV. Known for his knack for developing products and selling them by the millions, he created his first infomercial in 1985. He founded a company called Quantam International and later created a joint venture company with The Home Shopping Network.
He is currently the CEO of the Internet company TVGoods and Chairman of the Board of Directors for As Seen On TV, Inc.
#5 Sara Blakely-(Guest Season 9 & 10) $1 billion
Sarah Blakely took her $5,000 savings to start up Spanx. It took her a year to create the first prototype that she tried out on friends and family, which was unheard of at the time. She was running the company out of her apartment and was still a fax machine salesperson at the time. Her big break came when she met with a Neiman Marcus Group. Blakely was able to prove the benefits of Spanx by changing into the product in the ladies restroom in the presence of the Neiman Marcus buyer. Soon after, Blakely sent a basket of products to the Oprah Winfrey Show and Spanx eventually made the list Oprah’s Favorite Things in 2000. This endorsement helped drive sales to about $10 million the following year. These days, the company generates an estimated $400 million annually.
Blakely owns the entirety of the brand. She is now reportedly worth $1.0 billion.
#4 Chris Sacca-(Guest Season 7) $1.2 billion
Known for his signature cowboy shirts, venture investor and entrepreneur Chris Sacca is also one of the wealthiest investors to have appeared on Shark Tank. Sacca is the proprietor of Lowercase Capital, an investment firm best known for investing in early stage funding for companies such as Kickstarter, Twitter, Uber and Instagram.
Chris served as Head of Special Initiatives at Google Inc.Chris also spearheaded many of Google’s business development and M&A transactions. Before joining Google, Chris held a number of executive roles at Speedera Networks, one of the world’s largest streaming and digital media distribution companies.
According to Forbes, Sacca’s 2016 net worth is $1.21 billion.
#3 John Paul Jones DeJoria -(Guest Season 7) $3.1 billion
With only $700 in his pocket, living out of his car, and while raising a 2 year old son, Dejoria worked hard to launch his brand Paul Mitchell. He is the founder of Patron Tequila Company.
As a youth, Dejoria was a member of a street gang. After graduating high school, he spent 2 years in the Navy. After the Navy, Dejoria struggled to stay afloat while living in Los Angeles. He took jobs like pumping gas, being a janitor, and even collecting bottles. He eventually began selling encyclopedias and in 1966 John received “Man of the Year Award” from Collier’s Encyclopedia for being their top salesman.
He formed John Paul Mitchell Systems with hairdresser Paul Mitchell in 1980. In 1989, DeJoria co-founded the Patrón Spirits Company. He also has a business interest in the African oil industry through his holdings in Madagascar Oil Ltd. Forbes lists DeJoria’s net worth at $3.1 billion.
#2 Mark Cuban-$3.2 billion
Just barely taking the #2 spot is the billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks. His career began when he launched a company, MicroSolutions, which specialized in system integration and software reselling. He would later sell the company for $6 million to H&R Block and use the funds to launch his next company, Broadcast.com.
In 1999 Cuban became a billionaire when Yahoo acquired Broadcast.com for $5.7 billion in stock. Part of the agreement was that he should hold the Yahoo stock for a period of six months. Immediately after the agreement expired, Cuban unloaded all of the Yahoo stock for about the same price it was six months prior which was $163. This move instantly netted him $2 billion in cash. The move turned out to be a masterstroke as Yahoo’s stock slid 95% over the next year and a half.
Beyond owning the Dallas Mavericks, is currently the owner of HDNet movies. He also co-owns Magnolia Home Video and Magnolia Pictures as well as the Landmark Theatre Chain.
#1 Richard Branson-(Guest Season 9) $5.1 billion
With a net worth of $5.1 billion, by far the richest shark that has ever appeared on shark tank is Virgin Group founder, philanthropist and author Richard Branson. Virgin Group owns over 400 companies.
Branson began his entrepreneurial career at age 16 when he started a magazine called Student. After opening up a successful record store, Branson eventually launched a record label called Virgin Records. Virgin Records would soon sign artists such as The Rolling Stones, UB40, The Sex Pistols and Steve Winwood. The label would go on to be one of the most successful labels in the world until 1992 when Branson sold the label to Thorn EMI for $1 billion.
Branson’s business success would continue with Virgin America, Virgin Mobile, and the commercial spaceflight company, Virgin Orbit. In 2016 Virgin Group had a estimated revenue of about $19.6 billion. Beyond building billion dollar businesses, Branson is also known for being an eccentric billionaire. He has attempted to break several world-records including crossing the Pacific Ocean in a hot air ballon.