Reality shows offer the ultimate onscreen drama, from cheating scandals to friendship feuds. But Shark Tank offers a much different web of tension when entrepreneurs take the stage to try to convince one of the “sharks” to invest in their product. Lori Greiner, Barbara Corcoran, Daymond John, March Cuban, Kevin O’Leary, Robert Herjavec and Chris Sacca have all appeared on the show as the judgmental venture capitalists, and each business’ success is in the palm of their hands. So, did any of the original companies make it in the real world after earning an investment?
One of the most profitable businesses that emerged from Shark Tank is Bombas, which produces high quality ankle socks. In 2018, the company’s annual revenue hit over $100 million. Eventually, the fabric brand amassed over $250 million in annual revenue, according to Harvard Business School.
Bombas entrepreneurs David Heath and Randy Goldberg appeared on the competitive reality TV show in season 6 to pitch their idea, asking for an investment of $200,000. Since they had already generated about $400,00 during their first nine months in business, the founders were doing quite well — that is until Daymond helped them out and brought them to further acclaim.
Another famous brand that appeared on the show was the Simply Fit Board in season 7. Co-owners Linda Clark and Gloria Hoffman impressed Lori, and the shark didn’t hesitate to invest in their fitness idea. Thanks to Lori, the exercise product has appeared on various commercials, QVC, Amazon and in Walmarts around the U.S, garnering over $160 million in annual revenue, according to Shark Tank Recap.
As for that final intense moment when the sharks must decide whether to take a gamble on a product or not, Lori explained her mindset in choosing a company.
“The emphasis on entrepreneurship has grown tremendously over the last five years,” the queen of QVC told Entrepreneur.com in June 2018. “Everybody can relate to having an idea they think could be worth millions, but several years ago, people probably never seriously considered that it would be possible to get it off the ground, but now we’re showing that it can happen.”
Lori then elaborated, “I look at both the product being pitched as well as the entrepreneur pitching it, as they are equally important to me. … For the entrepreneur, I love to see someone who is energetic, passionate, honest and driven. I want to feel that they will do whatever it takes to make their business a success.”
It’s clear that the sharks know what they’re talking about when it comes to venture capitalism, no matter how brutally honest they have to be sometimes!
Scroll through the gallery to see which Shark Tank businesses made a fortune.
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