Skip to main content

Main Area

Main

Mark Cuban's biggest Shark Tank investments

  • Getting Mark Cuban's money — the Shark's 47 biggest Shark Tank investments
    1/ ABC Television Network

    Getting Mark Cuban's money — the Shark's 47 biggest Shark Tank investments

    ABC’s addictively entertaining “Shark Tank” lets burgeoning and inventive entrepreneurs pitch five Sharks — business-savvy, rich, and sometimes rude investors — their businesses and then lets the Sharks battle each other for the best deal. Shark Mark Cuban is loudmouthed, confident, brash, and insanely wealthy, to the point that it seems like he was designed in a lab just to star on this show. But before Cuban was a TV star, he was a burgeoning, inventive entrepreneur in his own right. He made his first million selling MicroSolutions in 1990 before he hit the next wealth stratosphere when Broadcast.com, which he co-founded, sold to Yahoo! for $5.7 billion. Since then, he’s bought a Gulfstream V private jet, an NBA team — many became aware of him first as the brash young owner who yelled at refs — and lots of equity in tech startups. This man appears to have been born to be rich.

    Cuban arrived late on the cast of Sharks, joining Kevin O’Leary, who sold The Learning Company to Mattel for $4.2 billion, Daymond John, who founded FUBU apparel, Robert Herjavec, who has sold two tech companies for hundreds of millions of dollars, and Barbara Corcoran, who founded and sold a real estate company for $66 million in Season 3. Since then, Cuban has parlayed his fame and expertise in the American tech startup realm into many, many lucrative deals. He also has spent $125,000 on a Christmas tree company. Even the best Sharks sometimes bite on surfboards instead of seals.

    The wonks at Stacker have ranked Cuban’s 47 biggest investments from his seven seasons on “Shark Tank,” using data from Sharkalytics. Do you need $200,000 for flavored chapstick? How about $300,000 for grown-man baby wipes? Or $1 million for boxed wine? There’s only one grinning, Gulfstreaming, Dallas Mavericks-owning billionaire to call.

  • #47. Ice Chips Candy
    2/ ABC Television Network

    #47. Ice Chips Candy

    Dollars invested: $125,000

    Stake acquired: 40%

    Partners: Barbara Corcoran

    On a show usually populated with young, ambitious entrepreneurs, Charlotte Clary and Bev Vines-Haines — two grandmothers with 41 grandkids between them — were a hit with the Sharks. Clary and Vines-Haines successfully sold Ice Chips Candy — a sugar-free candy made with xylitol and broken into a distinctive ice-chip shape — to Cuban and fellow Shark Corcoran for $125,000 at a $312,500 valuation. The to Sharks were charmed by the diabetes-safe candy, as well as the endearing grannies. Though the deal fell through after the show, the publicity from their appearance led to 1,000 new wholesale accounts, and the grannies’ ice chips make $6 million in annual revenue

  • #46. Foot Cardigan
    3/ ABC Television Network

    #46. Foot Cardigan

    Dollars invested: $125,000

    Stake acquired: 10%

    Partners: Troy Carter

    The act of selling your business on live television is inherently showy, so it’s not surprising that Matt McClard and Bryan DeLuca — who incorporated a minor striptease into their pitch — were a hit on “Shark Tank.” The two entrepreneurs successfully sold Cuban and fellow Shark Troy Carter on Foot Cardigan, a $9 per month subscription sock business that sends a random pair of loud, goofy socks each month. Though their deal also fell through, the publicity led to a spike in sales — Foot Cardigan moved $2.5 million worth of socks in 2015.

      

  • #45. Sweet Ballz
    4/ ABC Television Network

    #45. Sweet Ballz

    Dollars invested: $125,000

    Stake acquired: 13%

    Partners: Barbara Corcoran

    It seemed like a perfect match when charming Dallas locals James McDonald and Cole Egger sold Dallas-royalty Mark Cuban and fellow Shark Corcoran on Sweet Ballz, fudgy cake balls they hoped to sell to a mass market; think an slightly upscale version of Hostess Cake. Unfortunately, after the on-screen scale, Sweet Ballz’s businessmen proved more fit for “Judge Judy” than “Shark Tank.” Egger and McDonald quickly began to battle for control of the burgeoning company, eventually landing in court after McDonald sued his partner. Unsurprisingly, the Cuban-Corcoran deal did not go through.

  • #44. Nuts 'n More
    5/ ABC Television Network

    #44. Nuts 'n More

    Dollars invested: $125,000

    Stake acquired: 18%

    Partners: Robert Herjavec

    Friends and fitness enthusiasts Peter Ferreira, Dennis Iannotti and Neil Cameron successfully pitched the Sharks on a line of whey protein and flaxseed-infused nut butters that come in a bunch of flavors. Not all that glitters is gold when it comes to “Shark Tank” deals, but in the case of Nuts ‘n More, an appearance on “Shark Tank and involved investors Cuban and fellow Shark Robert Herjavec, truly launched their business. The founders credit the Sharks with getting them better margins and bringing their product to a mass market — they reached $1 million in sales seven months after the episode aired. They’re expecting to rake in $20 million in 2018.

  • #43. Coco Jack
    6/ ABC Television Network

    #43. Coco Jack

    Dollars invested: $125,000

    Stake acquired: 25%

    Partners: N/A

    Bushy bearded entrepreneur Dave Goodman came to the Sharks with a personal story and an intriguing product: he’d committed to a raw diet, which helped him lose 100 pounds. The problem was he was eating six coconuts a day and they were terrible to open. The solution: a new tool designed by Goodman that could simply and easily make a crack in a coconut that makes it easy to open. Goodman’s story and charm made the on-screen sale inevitable — unfortunately, the deal never closed after the show.

  • #42. The Living Christmas Tree Company
    7/ ABC Television Network

    #42. The Living Christmas Tree Company

    Dollars invested: $150,000

    Stake acquired: 40%

    Partners: N/A

    Entrepreneur Scott Martin, whose own website refers to him as “Scotty Klaus,” successfully sold Mark Cuban on his business, which rents living Christmas trees to businesses and homes for the holidays. Martin believes that the eco-unfriendly practice of chopping and discarding Christmas trees is unbefitting of the holiday, so he started his tree-rental service in Redondo Beach, Calif. Martin credited Cuban with being an active partner after the show aired, though to date the business has only expanded to West Hollywood, Pacific Palisades, and Santa Monica.

  • #41. Tower Paddle Boards
    8/ ABC Television Network

    #41. Tower Paddle Boards

    Dollars invested: $150,000

    Stake acquired: 30%

    Partners: N/A

    Tower Paddle Boards founder Stephan Aarstol froze up during his “Shark Tank appearance, but luckily for him — and for Cuban, who eventually invested — his paddle board business was intriguing enough to cut through the shaky delivery. Since Cuban’s investment, Tower Paddle Boards annual revenue jumped from $100,000 to $1.7 million, then to $3.1 million to about $5 million by 2014. Aarstol told Business Insider, he expected the company’s revenue to hit $10 million in 2016 while his employees work only five hours per day. 

  • #40. Rapid Ramen Cooker
    9/ ABC Television Network

    #40. Rapid Ramen Cooker

    Dollars invested: $150,000

    Stake acquired: 15%

    Partners: N/A

    For some, instant ramen is the easiest of meals — boil water, add noodles, add flavor packet, and eat. Apparently that’s far too inefficient for today’s movers and shakers. Entrepreneur Chris Johnson built a tool to make microwave ramen in three minutes that tastes like the stovetop version. After selling Mark Cuban on the cooking tool in 2013, sales took off. His product now sells in big-box stores across the country, and he has signed licensing deals with Disney, Nickelodeon, and major colleges to put their logos on his microwave cookers. Unfortunately for Cuban, it seems as though his deal with Johnson never was finalized after the show.

     

  • #39. Henry's Humdingers
    10/ ABC Television Network

    #39. Henry's Humdingers

    Dollars invested: $150,000

    Stake acquired: 38%

    Partners: Robert Herjavec

    Teenager Henry Miller was a hit on “Shark Tank,” selling 75% of his homemade honey business to Mark Cuban and fellow Shark Robert Herjavec for $300,000. Miller’s honey is raw and mixed with spices, but the real selling point is the fun design and cute names like “Grumpy Grandpa” and “Naughty Nana.” Miller didn’t end up closing the deal with Cuban and Herjavec after filming, but his appearance helped boost sales on QVC and at Kroger’s grocery stores.

  • #38. Echo Valley Meats
    11/ ABC Television Network

    #38. Echo Valley Meats

    Dollars invested: $150,000

    Stake acquired: 25%

    Partners: N/A

    Everybody loves a comeback story, and after being shut down in Season 4, founder Dave Alwan managed to get funded by Mark Cuban when he returned to “Shark Tank in Season 6. Alwan, a third-generation farmer, built his gourmet mail-order meat company with his wife. Getting shut down in Season 4 helped build momentum for Alwan’s Peoria, Ill.-based company — his sales skyrocketed from $190,000 to $1.4 million. It was that bump that helped convince Cuban to invest in Echo Valley Meats. 

  • #37. KaZAM Bikes
    12/ ABC Television Network

    #37. KaZAM Bikes

    Dollars invested: $150,000

    Stake acquired: 16%

    Partners: Barbara Corcoran

    When Mary Beth Lugo started KaZAM Bikes in 2010, balance bikes — training bikes for kids without pedals — were still relatively unknown in the United States. Lugo worked to design and sell her original design, and by the time she went on “Shark Tank in 2013, Lugo was able to convince Mark Cuban and fellow Shark Barbara Corcoran that the company was worth a $300,000 investment. Cuban later appeared on "ABC News" alongside Lugo talking about her pitch.

     

  • #36. Bon Affair
    13/ ABC Television Network

    #36. Bon Affair

    Dollars invested: $150,000

    Stake acquired: 35%

    Partners: N/A

    When Jayla Siciliano went onto “Shark Tank,” her low-calorie, low-alcohol bottled wine spritzer company Bon Affair was not in great shape. During her appearance, most of the Sharks questioned the viability of the spritzer market and warned of a long haul until she’d reach profitability. But Mark Cuban took a chance, joking that if it failed, his wife would just give out the spritzers at Christmas. Instead, Cuban has helped the company become profitable. The “Shark Tank” bump didn’t hurt either — over the course of one day after the show first aired, Bon Affair sold $40,000 worth of spritzers, doubling the sales total of the six months prior.

  • #35. Wine Balloon
    14/ ABC Television Network

    #35. Wine Balloon

    Dollars invested: $200,000

    Stake acquired: 50%

    Partners: Lori Greiner

    As any wine-drinker knows, recorked wine quickly loses its nuances. Eric Corti’s Wine Balloon fixes the problem, allowing drinkers to inflate a latex balloon inside the top of the bottle to seal out oxygen. Corti’s Wine Balloon is one of those perfect ideas that are both genius and simple, and Cuban and fellow Shark Greiner agreed to the tune of $400,000. Once the show was over, Corti didn’t end up accepting the deal, and found a different partner who helped rebrand the product as the Air Cork.

  • #34. Power Pot
    15/ ABC Television Network

    #34. Power Pot

    Dollars invested: $200,000

    Stake acquired: 10%

    Partners: N/A

    While most of the Sharks were wary of Salt Lake City-based entrepreneurs David Toledo and Caleb Light’s product, Mark Cuban was instantly intrigued. The founders’ PowerPot, a pot that charges a phone from the energy generated from boiling water, was initially sold as a camping tool. Cuban was also interested in the idea of selling the PowerPot in the developing world. The two founders started PowerPot by launching a Kickstarter before going on “Shark Tank and since then have launched a successful Kickstarter for a waterproof, low-energy LED light rope.

  • #33. evREwares
    16/ ABC Television Network

    #33. evREwares

    Dollars invested: $200,000

    Stake acquired: 100%

    Partners: N/A

    When sisters Becca Nelson and Ellie Brown pitched their novelty sticker company, which at the time was struggling, Cuban made “Shark Tank history by offering to buy the company outright. The offer led to some great TV — would the sisters give up on their baby for $200,000? When they accepted the offer, through tears, Cuban consoled them by saying that he’d take good care of their company. Instead, after filming, the sisters changed their minds and refused to sell. Unfortunately, evREwares went out of business a year later in 2016.

  • #32. PittMoss
    17/ ABC Television Network

    #32. PittMoss

    Dollars invested: $200,000

    Stake acquired: 12%

    Partners: Robert Herjavec, Kevin O'Leary

    Creative, eccentric Mont Handley came to the Sharks with an invention: PittMoss, a replacement for peat moss made with organic materials and recycled paper. At the time of the show, the Pittsburgh-based founder was making a ton of PittMoss a day, and the Sharks identified the chance to scale up production and build the business. After the investment and the follow-up “Shark Tank” segment, Handley stepped down as CEO, which has led to some elaborate conspiracy theories online about his removal. He remains on the board and has multiple other positions, so it seems like Handley’s doing just fine.

     

  • #31. LuminAID
    18/ ABC Television Network

    #31. LuminAID

    Dollars invested: $200,000

    Stake acquired: 15%

    Partners: N/A

    Few entrepreneurs have gotten as positive a response as Anna Stork and Andrea Sreshta, the founders behind LuminAID. All five Sharks made offers to invest in LuminAID, a waterproof, inflatable solar-powered lamp, but Stork and Sreshta eventually accepted Mark Cuban’s proposal. “Shark Tank aired an update that showed the founders, who initially created the LuminAID at Columbia University after the earthquake in Haiti, distributing the solar lights in a region of Malawi that had been hit hard by a flood. 

     

  • #30. Kisstixx
    19/ ABC Television Network

    #30. Kisstixx

    Dollars invested: $200,000

    Stake acquired: 40%

    Partners: N/A

    College students Dallas Robinson and Mike Buonomo brought a fun, simple idea — flavored lip gloss that was best mixed by kissing — to the Sharks with a hefty dose of panache. The two college students coerced two Sharks into a kiss, and used a fake order from Walgreens to seal the deal. Mark Cuban was excited to get on board and soon after Cuban’s $200,000 investment, the business took off. They quickly sold almost 6,000 units and got distribution deals in eight countries.

  • #29. U-Lace
    20/ ABC Television Network

    #29. U-Lace

    Dollars invested: $200,000

    Stake acquired: 35%

    Partners: N/A

    In 2012, Mark Cuban wrote on his blog that if he were a kid today, he’d sell shoelaces to make some extra bucks. As expected, he was excited to invest when Tim Talley came on “Shark Tank and pitched his no-tie elastic shoelaces. Since Cuban got on board, U-Lace’s sales have taken off — they’ve sold over 5 million pairs and are stocked in Target and 7/11. Incredibly, U-Lace has also become a valuable tool for parents of children with autism.

  • #28. The GameFace Company
    21/ ABC Television Network

    #28. The GameFace Company

    Dollars invested: $225,000

    Stake acquired: 18%

    Partners: Lori Greiner

    Mark Cuban was so struck by creator Doug Marshall’s idea — a full-face peel-off mask that could eliminate the need for sports fans to paint their faces — that he offered to buy the company outright for $1 million. Marshall rejected giving up full control, and eventually made a deal with Cuban and fellow Shark Greiner for $450,000 for 35% equity. Betting on himself worked out, and getting Cuban as a partner meant The GameFace Company quickly showed up at Mavericks games — the NBA team Cuban owns — and expanded from there.

  • #27. First Defense Nasal Screen
    22/ ABC Television Network

    #27. First Defense Nasal Screen

    Dollars invested: $250,000

    Stake acquired: 10%

    Partners: Kevin O'Leary, Daymond John

    Joe Moore caught the Sharks off-guard when he turned down an offer of $4 million for his company from Robert Herjavec. Instead, he accepted $750,000 for 30% of his company — which produces adhesives that cover the nostrils to block germs and pollutants from entering the nose — from Mark Cuban, Kevin O’Leary and Daymond John. After the show aired, the deal never went through, but the publicity, along with the existing market, has allowed Moore’s company to continue to expand. First Defense Nasal Screens are now sold in 30 countries, including giant international markets like China.

  • #26. Villy Custom
    23/ ABC Television Network

    #26. Villy Custom

    Dollars invested: $250,000

    Stake acquired: 21%

    Partners: Barbara Corcoran

    Fleetwood Hicks sold Mark Cuban and fellow Shark Corcoran on his custom bike shop by claiming he could make 32 billion bikes and none would be identical — giving up 42% of the company for $500,000. The trade was worth it — according to Hicks, before the episode aired he’d sold $200,000 worth of bikes. The next year, he sold $2 million.

     

  • #25. Cycloramic
    24/ ABC Television Network

    #25. Cycloramic

    Dollars invested: $250,000

    Stake acquired: 8%

    Partners: Lori Greiner

    Though app-builder Bruno Francois appeared on “Shark Tank,” he didn’t actually want much of the Sharks’ money — he was hoping for connections instead. Instead of trading 5% of his 360-degree video app for $90,000, he ended up giving Mark Cuban and Greiner 15% for $500,000. Once the show aired, the app jumped to the top of the App Store — it had 600,000 downloads before the show, and more than 8 million right after airing. The app sells for $1.99, so that was one smart investment.

  • #24. 2400Expert
    25/ ABC Television Network

    #24. 2400Expert

    Dollars invested: $250,000

    Stake acquired: 20%

    Partners: N/A

    Shaan Patel came to “Shark Tank with an incredible story — he was his high school valedictorian and had a 2400 on his SATs, but got rejected from all the Ivy League schools. This encouraged him to start a test-prep business and he wrote an SAT-prep book while attending the University of Southern California. Before going on the show, Patel’s test-prep company was making $1 million annually. In the eight months after Mark Cuban invested and the episode aired, the company made $6 million.

  • #23. Roominate
    26/ ABC Television Network

    #23. Roominate

    Dollars invested: $250,000

    Stake acquired: 3%

    Partners: Lori Greiner

    Alice Brooks and Bettina Chen came to the Sharks with an exciting pitch: a construction set aimed at getting kids, especially girls, excited about engineering and STEM skills. Before going on the show, Roominate had made $1.7 million. Soon after, Mark Cuban helped get the building set placed in Walmart, and sales jumped to $4.5 million. If Roominate succeeds in its ultimate goal of spurring a generation of female engineers, it will be one of “Shark Tank’s” biggest and most enduring successes.

  • #22. Coolwraps
    27/ ABC Television Network

    #22. Coolwraps

    Dollars invested: $250,000

    Stake acquired: 100%

    Partners: N/A

    Jeffrey Miller came on “Shark Tank looking for a partner, but instead sold his company outright to Mark Cuban for $250,000. The Coolwraps product shrinks and tightens around the shape of the gift you want to wrap, with the help of a hairdryer. After the episode aired, Coolwraps was named one of the best new products at a New York trade show before disappearing from the U.S. market. In September 2017, a company rep told 2Paragraphs.com that it was still being sold in Europe and the Middle East, but hadn’t yet found a U.S. retail partner.

  • #21. Packback
    28/ ABC Television Network

    #21. Packback

    Dollars invested: $250,000

    Stake acquired: 20%

    Partners: N/A

    When Kasey Gandham and Mike Shannon came on “Shark Tank,” they were pitching a company that rented e-textbooks to students. Mark Cuban loved the idea and invested $250,000 for one-fifth of the company. Since the show, the company pivoted to a completely different focus: artificial intelligence. Another co-founder explained the pivot in a "TedX" talk, and Cuban — who understands the potential AI market — told Fast Company that he was excited about the new direction.

  • #20. ZooBean
    29/ ABC Television Network

    #20. ZooBean

    Dollars invested: $250,000

    Stake acquired: 25%

    Partners: N/A

    Husband-and-wife teachers Felix Lloyd and Jordan Lloyd Bookey pitched the Sharks on their company, which they explained as “a Pandora-like service for curating and delivering children’s books” in 2014. Mark Cuban took the bait, putting up $250,000 for one-fourth of the company. After the show, Lloyd and Bookey pivoted, shifting from children’s books to cloud-based reading software, which they now sell to schools and libraries under the name Beanstack.

  • #19. Sway Motorsports
    30/ ABC Television Network

    #19. Sway Motorsports

    Dollars invested: $300,000

    Stake acquired: 20%

    Partners: N/A

    Joe Wilcox came to the Sharks with an interesting product: a three-wheeled electric motorcycle that is intuitive to drive, maxes out at 55 mph, and is easy to handle in all weather. He pitched it as an urban commuting tool, but all the Sharks initially passed. Rather than accepting the polite “no’s,” Wilcox tried one more time and impressed Mark Cuban. Currently, the product has yet to hit the market, but is available for test-drives in California.

  • #18. SurfSet Fitness
    31/ ABC Television Network

    #18. SurfSet Fitness

    Dollars invested: $300,000

    Stake acquired: 30%

    Partners: N/A

    Mike Hartwick and Sarah Ponn came on “Shark Tank looking for $150,000 for 10% of their company — instead Mark Cuban paid $300,000 for 30%. His investment in the fitness company, which sells a surfboard balance tool used for core activities, and classes and training at gyms, has certainly paid off. The classes are now offered in 30 different countries and they continue to sell their flagship product, the RipSurferX for nearly $700 a pop.

  • #17. DUDE Products
    32/ ABC Television Network

    #17. DUDE Products

    Dollars invested: $300,000

    Stake acquired: 25%

    Partners: N/A

    It wasn’t surprising that the guys behind DUDE Products — Sean Riley, Ryan Meegan, and Jeff Klimkowski — were college friends who lived in a post-college party house. They came to “Shark Tank with a product perfectly built for man-babies: Dude Wipes, baby wipes for “bros who want to wipe better.” Cuban jumped at the product, giving $300,000 for 25% equity, and since his investment, the dudes sure have cleaned up: the sales of the wipes have gone up tenfold.

     

  • #16. Tom + Chee
    33/ ABC Television Network

    #16. Tom + Chee

    Dollars invested: $300,000

    Stake acquired: 15%

    Partners: Barbara Corcoran

    Tom + Chee’s grilled cheese donut was named as one of the best seven sandwiches of the year by “The Today Show.” The founders parlayed the exposure into an appearance on “Shark Tank the following year. Mark Cuban and fellow Shark Corcoran agreed to each put up $300,000, though Cuban apparently backed out after the episode. Soon after airing, the grilled cheese startup began franchising rapidly, which eventually led to its untimely demise. In September of last year, fellow Cincinnati food giant Gold Star Chili bought the failing Tom + Chee   

     

  • #15. Miso Media
    34/ ABC Television Network

    #15. Miso Media

    Dollars invested: $300,000

    Stake acquired: 8%

    Partners: N/A

    Aviv Grill’s “Shark Tank appearance pitched his guitar-learning and sheet-music apps with an assist from singer-songwriter Ingrid Michaelson, which proved to be the start of a whirlwind couple of years for Grill. After Mark Cuban came on board, Miso Media raised $2.4 million. The company was already backed by Google Ventures when Grill pitched the Sharks, but somehow, with all the money and support of a powerful and connected team of investors, Grill’s company ran out of money less than a year after his appearance. Miso Media shut down in March 2013.  

  • #14. Loliware
    35/ ABC Television Network

    #14. Loliware

    Dollars invested: $300,000

    Stake acquired: 13%

    Partners: Barbara Corcoran

    Co-founders Chelsea Briganti and Leigh Ann Tucker, who met at Parsons School for Design, came on “Shark Tank with a truly innovative product — a 100% biodegradable and edible cup made from agar that also is stylish. Predictably, all of Sharks jumped at the chance to invest, but eventually Mark Cuban and fellow Shark Corcoran won the day, getting 25% of the company for $600,000. Since the show, sales of the cups have taken off, and Briganti and Tucker have continued to innovate, raising nearly $50,000 on Kickstarter to create an edible and biodegradable straw.

  • #13. xCraft
    36/ ABC Television Network

    #13. xCraft

    Dollars invested: $300,000

    Stake acquired: 5%

    Partners: Robert Herjavec, Kevin O'Leary, Daymond John, Lori Greiner

    The “Shark Tank producers reached out to founders JD Claridge and Charles Manning after coming across their hugely successful Kickstarter, which raised $140,000 on a goal of $40,000, for their drone that can both hover like a quadcopter and fly like a plane. All five Sharks were so excited by the product that they joined forces to offer $1.5 million for 25% of the company. After the show aired in 2015, the company got a huge rush of orders, and also used the publicity to crowdfund a second product: the PhoneDrone Ethos, which is a quadcopter built to carry a smartphone.

  • #12. EmazingLights
    37/ ABC Television Network

    #12. EmazingLights

    Dollars invested: $325,000

    Stake acquired: 3%

    Partners: Daymond John

    If you’ve never been to Burning Man, or are otherwise unfamiliar with electric dance music or rave culture, you may not know what the dance trend “gloving” is. But when Brian Lim showed the Sharks his LED gloves that allow the wearer to put on elaborate light shows with their hands, all five Sharks made offers to invest. Eventually Lim chose to go with less money in order to partner with Mark Cuban and fellow Shark Daymond John, receiving $650,000 for just 5% of the company. Soon after the show aired, EmazingLights felt the Shark Tank effect, receiving a 700% traffic bump on their website.

  • #11. iLumi
    38/ ABC Television Network

    #11. iLumi

    Dollars invested: $350,000

    Stake acquired: 25%

    Partners: N/A

    While classmates at University of Texas at Dallas business school, Corey Egan and Swapnil Bora created their first LED, Bluetooth-connected smart light bulb. After a successful Kickstarter that made $145,000 on a $25,000 goal, the two managed to get on “Shark Tank” and convince Mark Cuban to invest in their company. The bulbs, which are controlled by a smartphone app, can change colors and be turned on and off from anywhere within range. Since the investment, the team has tripled in size and iLumi has sold hundreds of thousands of bulbs.

     

  • #10. UniKey Technologies
    39/ ABC Television Network

    #10. UniKey Technologies

    Dollars invested: $400,000

    Stake acquired: 32%

    Partners: Kevin O'Leary

    When founder Phil Dumas pitched his smart door lock, which can be locked and unlocked with a smartphone, it seemed like a far-out idea. But he convinced Mark Cuban and fellow Shark O’Leary to invest $500,000 for 40% of the UniKey company, and in the years since, the technology has become much more widely used and is hugely popular in commercial Airbnb properties. Many companies have moved into the space in the past several years, but UniKey remains the leader in the growing smart lock industry.

  • #9. Melni Connectors
    40/ ABC Television Network

    #9. Melni Connectors

    Dollars invested: $500,000

    Stake acquired: 12%

    Partners: N/A

    While many “Shark Tank” products are consumer facing and somewhat frivolous, entrepreneur Mark Melni came to the Sharks with an innovative product meant for a valuable and sometimes forgotten field. Melni Connectors make the process of connecting two utility cable lines together much easier and less taxing. Melni was accompanied by a veteran lineman for his pitch, who explained that it took him 10 minutes to figure out how to use the new product, and that it would greatly reduce time and injury for workers. Mark Cuban invested half a million dollars for 12% of the company even though he admitted he knew little about the industry — he was that confident in Melni’s pitch and expertise.

  • #8. Gameday Couture
    41/ ABC Television Network

    #8. Gameday Couture

    Dollars invested: $500,000

    Stake acquired: 30%

    Partners: N/A

    Founders Shawnna and Kurt Feddersen came to “Shark Tank” with a perfect match for Mark Cuban. The couple brought their line of fashionable sports apparel for women to the Sharks in 2014, and Cuban bit, investing $500,000 for 30%. Since they teamed with Cuban, the clothing company has grown exponentially, offering their clothes at stores across the country, and releasing official products for all 30 NBA teams. It pays to partner with an NBA owner.

  • #7. Breathometer
    42/ ABC Television Network

    #7. Breathometer

    Dollars invested: $500,000

    Stake acquired: 15%

    Partners: Robert Herjavec, Kevin O'Leary, Daymond John, Lori Greiner

    When Charles Yim showed the Sharks his product — a tiny device that could connect to a smartphone and turn into a portable breathalyser — it seemed like a game changer. Yim’s tool promised to keep people from drunk driving, and after the investment, $5.1 million worth of devices were purchased. Unfortunately in reality, the company was engaging in fraud: The Breathometer was dangerously flawed, regularly underreporting the user’s actual blood-alcohol content. Last year, the Federal Trade Commission ordered the company to offer refunds for every device sold from 2013–2015, and the company now has pivoted to analyzing the freshness of a user’s breath.

  • #6. Plated
    43/ ABC Television Network

    #6. Plated

    Dollars invested: $500,000

    Stake acquired: 6%

    Partners: N/A

    New York-based cofounders Josh Hix and Nick Taranto impressed Mark Cuban with their meal-delivery business, Plated, which was a burgeoning competitor to industry leader Blue Apron when they pitched it in 2014. Unfortunately for Cuban, the deal fell through after the show Hix and Taranto tried to renegotiate the price, which turned Cuban off but they actually managed an investment from fellow Shark Kevin O’Leary a few months later. Last September, Hix and Taranto sold their company to grocery giant Albertson’s for $300 million.

  • #5. Red Dress Boutique
    44/ ABC Television Network

    #5. Red Dress Boutique

    Dollars invested: $600,000

    Stake acquired: 10%

    Partners: Robert Herjavec

    Mark and Diana Harbour’s pitch wasn’t the most inventive — an affordable boutique women’s clothing store with a focus toward online sales and a strong social media presence. What they brought to the table was something more important: they were projecting $12 million in revenue that year. Though the couple only sought $600,000, they ended up taking an offer for $1.2 million from Mark Cuban and fellow Shark Herjavec. After filming, Herjavec dropped out, but Cuban stayed and has helped guide the business over the last few years.

  • #4. BeatBox Beverages
    45/ ABC Television Network

    #4. BeatBox Beverages

    Dollars invested: $1,000,000

    Stake acquired: 33%

    Partners: N/A

    Co-founders Justin Fenchel, Aimy Steadman, and Brad Schultz sold Mark Cuban on their flavored wine company that comes in boxes shaped like boom boxes — the Shark put up $1 million for a third of the company. On the update segments, it became clear that Cuban had disagreements with the founders, pushing for more focused growth rather than a nationwide bus tour. Since the investment, Cuban has helped get the drink into 7/11 and Walmart. It’s goofy and there’s booze in it, which means it’s a hit with college kids.

  • #3. Hy-Conn
    46/ ABC Television Network

    #3. Hy-Conn

    Dollars invested: $1,250,000

    Stake acquired: 100%

    Partners: N/A

    Arkansas-based firefighter Jeff Stroope invented the Hy-Conn to fix a problem; it takes firefighters about 30 seconds to connect a firehose to a hydrant, which is an eternity in an emergency. His tool, a connector piece for firehoses, cuts that time down to three seconds or less. Mark Cuban was so impressed with Stroope’s invention that he offered him $1.25 million for 100%, as well as a three-year, $100,000 annual contract to stay on as CEO. Unfortunately after filming ended, Cuban and Stroope butted heads and the deal was never closed. 

  • #2. Rugged Maniac Obstacle Race
    47/ ABC Television Network

    #2. Rugged Maniac Obstacle Race

    Dollars invested: $1,750,000

    Stake acquired: 25%

    Partners: N/A

    After completing a Tough Mudder race, lawyer Brad Scudder decided he wanted to put on a shorter, more extreme version of the event. From that came Rugged Maniac Obstacle Race, which he and partner Rob Dickens grew into a burgeoning business. Mark Cuban instantly became intrigued by the idea and offered the pair $1.75 million for 25% of what was then a barely profitable business. Since Cuban got on board, the race outfit has grown 100% year-over-year with more than 150,000 annual participants as of 2017. Clearly the gigantic bet has paid off.

     

  • #1. Ten Thirty One Productions
    48/ ABC Television Network

    #1. Ten Thirty One Productions

    Dollars invested: $2,000,000

    Stake acquired: 20%

    Partners: N/A

    Many people come to “Shark Tank with strange inventions, but founder Melissa Carbone came with an event business that somehow was just as creative. Ten Thirty One Productions — named after the date of Halloween — puts on horror-themed events in L.A. and New York. The interactive, immersive horror events — especially the original Los Angeles Haunted Hayride—have become annual highlights of the Halloween season. Mark Cuban invested an incredible $2 million for one-fifth of Carbone’s business. Three years later in 2016, Ten Thirty One Productions made $5 million in revenue.

2018 All rights reserved.