Anyone familiar with Shark Tank knows the abundance of products that get featured and ideas that get pitched on the show. Some are new and innovative, and with the support of the Sharks go on to be great successes. Others, not so much.
But one thing is for sure, if one or some of the Sharks like the idea of what is being pitched, they will do what they can to acquire the company in a way that benefits everyone involved (even though some entrepreneurs on the show may not see it that way). That doesn’t mean that everything that appears on Shark Tank becomes an overnight success.
Success or not, some truly great products get noticed thanks to an appearance on Shark Tank. Here are some of the best of those Shark Tank acquisitions.
Appeared in: Season 9 Episode 20
Downloads: approx. 20,000 (Google Play)
Roommate is an innovative do-it-yourself dollhouse building kit designed to get girls interested in science while having fun doing so. Girls design and build their own dollhouse, complete with working lights, fans, and even elevators.
Originally funded by Kickstarter, founders Alice Brooks and Bettina Chen quickly used their degrees in mechanical engineering to produce a toy designed to empower young girls. Before appearing on Shark Tank, Roominate already had $1.7 million in sales and was set to be going into Toys R Us and Radio Shack stores across the country, bumping their projected sales up to $5 million that year.
Brooks and Chen came to Shark Tank looking for $500,000 for 5% of the company. While the Sharks were impressed with the product, it was ultimately Mark Cuban that jumped on the opportunity to buy in, giving the two what they were asking for on the contingency that his daughters became part of the project and Brooks and Chen their mentors. With Cuban’s help, Roominate hit 800 Walmart stores across the country, boosting sales up to $4.5 million.
In December of 2015, a little over a year after appearing on Shark Tank, Roominate was acquired by Wisconsin-based toy company Playmaker (formerly Patch Products) for an undisclosed amount.
Developed by founder Dave Hegarty, Fixed was the mobile parking app that helped drivers fight their parking tickets. The user simply took a picture of the ticket and then answered a few questions, at which point they received the option to hire a lawyer within the Fixed network. The app could then put together a customized letter to the city on behalf of the user to fight the ticket and avoid a court appearance. In the case that the ticket was legit, Fixed would also help to automate any payment needed.
Featured in Episode 14 of season 7, Hegarty was asking $700,000 for 5% of the company and ultimately struck a deal with Mark Cuban to the tone of $700,000 for 7% After appearing on Shark Tank, numerous attorneys began filing complaints with the Bar Association stating that the app was practicing law, despite Hegarty working closely with ethics attorneys. The company was forced to close after pushback from local governments that rely on parking ticket fees. In 2016, six months after appearing on the show, Fixed was acquired by Lawgix (now Oliver Technology), a legal/tech company that uses technology to deliver legal services, with the terms of the acquisition not being disclosed.
In Episode 9 of Season 10, entrepreneur Max Feber presented the Sharks with his patented cold filtering coffee brewing system, Bruw. Promoted as the first-ever cold brewing system that uses Mason jars to make the perfect cold brew coffee and tea, Bruw uses the two jars and a screw-on filter. One jar is filled with coffee grounds and water, and then the filter is attached. The second jar is screwed into the top of the filter, and the entire thing is flipped, resulting in the coffee/water traveling through the filter into the second jar. Max came onto the show and gave an outstanding pitch showing just how unique and effective his product was. Feber went to Shark Tank asking for an investment of $50,000 for a 25% share in the company. He struck a deal with Mark Cuban for $50,000 for a 30% share. In June 2020, Bruw was acquired by another Shark Tank company, Snarky Teas – a first in Shark Tank history!
Established in 2008 and developed by Sean Conway and D.J. Stephen, Notehall appeared on Shark Tank in Episode 8 of the inaugural season. Conway’s ADHA diagnosis was the inspiration behind the two creating an online marketplace to buy and sell class study notes. The website allows students to upload their own class notes, and in turn, students who are struggling or need more information on the class could find, purchase, and download those notes.
Upon appearing on Shark Tank, the creators boasted a 40% usage rate amongst students in the two pilot schools of Arizona State University and Kansas State University within a year of its launch. That amounted to nearly 6000 users and $30,000 of profit.
Conway and Stephen came to Shark Tank seeking a $90,000 investment for a 10% share in the company and eventually settled on $90,000 for 25% with Barbara Corcoran. After the Shark Tank acquisition, Notehall experienced growing success, reaching 750,000 users across 54 universities before eventually being acquired by online tutoring company, Chegg, for $3.7 million in equity and an undisclosed amount of cash.
Talbott Teas was no newcomer to the industry before appearing on Shark Tank in Season 3. Established in 2003, the specialty tea company was founded by former hair salon owners Shane Talbott and Steven Nakisher, who brought an already impressive product into the shark tank with well-established retail distribution showing ever-increasing sales numbers. The two also had expansion and branding plans as well as a viable exit strategy. The entrepreneur backed the great-tasting tea with a considerable amount of their own money, which the Sharks admire.
Talbott and Nakisher came to Shark Tank hoping to strike a deal of $250,000 for 20%. While each one of the sharks was impressed by the presentation and liked the company itself, it was Kevin O’Leary that negotiated a final deal of $250,000 for 35%.
An award-winning, gourmet tea company, Talbott Teas special tea blends have been served throughout the Hollywood community, even chosen as one of Oprah’s Favorite Things. After the filming of the episode in 2010 but right around the time it was to air in 2012, Talbott Teas was acquired by Jamba Juice (now Jamba) for an undisclosed amount.
Everyone loves a well-maintained lawn, but not everyone loves the work involved in not just getting it there but keeping it there. Robin Autopilot founders Justin Crandall and Bart Lomont recognized this and, in 2017, launched their automated lawn care business that combines robotic lawn mowers with professional crews. Robin Autopilot is not just a service but also the name of the robotic, Roomba-like lawnmowers. They operate with a pre-programmed perimeter setting that lets the mower know when to turn, resulting in a uniform cut for any lawn automatically, freeing up manpower for more specialized landscaping services like planting and landscape design.
Crandall and Lamont brought Robin Autopilot to Shark Tank during Episode 10 of Season 9 with hopes of getting $500,000 for 5% of the company. Unfortunately, none of the sharks took to the investment, and Crandall and Lamont ended up leaving empty-handed. After their appearance, the two stayed committed to developing the company and continued moving forward, making franchise opportunities available to landscapers. In 2019, just two years after the initial start-up, Robin Autopilot was acquired by lawncare tech holding company, Fahey Group, for an undisclosed amount.
When founder Melissa Carbone brought Ten Thirty One Productions to Shark Tank, she had no idea she would be leaving with, at that time, the largest deal in Shark Tank History.
Founded in 2009, Ten Thirty-One Productions had four solid years under its belt before appearing on the show. An entertainment and productions company that specializes in Halloween attractions, Ten Thirty-One Productions was already well established when it came to creating real-life horror experiences. The company claims that over 100,000 people had already experienced one of the companies scary attractions, including haunted hayrides, horror campouts, and ghost ship rides throughout Los Angeles. At $30 per ticket, that was an impressive feat.
But that didn’t convince all of the sharks that the 2 million dollars for 10% of the company was viable. Instead, after an offer from Daymond of 2 million for 40%, Melissa counters with a 20% share for that same dollar figure. Mark Cuban jumps on the opportunity and takes the deal, making it one of his best deals as a shark and the biggest deal in the history of the show. In 2018, Ten Thirty-One Productions was acquired by the Thirteenth Floor Entertainment Group for an undisclosed amount. The company remains one of Mark Cuban’s best Shark Tank deals.
When the founders of Pupbox, Ben and Ariel Zvaifler brought home their new Goldendoodle puppy Maggie, little did they know that it would lead to a now successful business. After searching for information on how to care for their new family member, they quickly realized how difficult it could be to find the right products to suit their growing puppy’s changing needs. Born was Pupbox, a monthly subscription service to help others like them better care for their puppies.
Two years after establishing the company in 2014, Ben and Ariel brought Pupbox to Shark Tank, appearing in Episode 9 of Season 8. At the time of their appearance, the two had used their business background to total around $270 thousand in sales. They were looking to strike a deal of $250,000 for 10% of a company that stood alone as the only subscription-based product like it. Eventually, they reached a deal with Robert Herjavec at $250,000 for 15% of the company.
After the deal, sales quickly jumped to $700,000 in 2016, with that number projected to reach $2 million in 2017. But before it reached those numbers, Pupbox was acquired by Petco in 2017 for an undisclosed amount.
To put it simply, the founder of Cycloramic, Bruno Francois wanted to create the next big app, so with his background in computer science, a passion for technology, and most of his life savings, he set out to do just that.
Cycloramic was an app that allowed iPhones to rotate handsfree, a full 360 degrees to take panoramic pictures or video and when it appeared on Shark Tank it was already seeing successes, with $660,000 in sales and a projected $1 million projected for the year to come.
Francois came into Shark Tank hoping to get $90,000 for 5% of the company but his innovative app and great presentation started a bidding war that resulted in a partnership between Lori Greiner and Mark Cuban offering $500,000 for 15%. After about a year, though, Cycloramic started seeing a significant drop in revenue due to many factors. The most notable one being that the new generation of iPhones had rounded edges, making it impossible for them to be placed on their edge and unable to take advantage of the app. This change resulted in Cycloramic transitioning into Car360 – an app that created 360-degree images of automobiles. In 2018, Car360 was acquired by online used car retailer, Carvana, for $22 million.
Groovebook is a subscription-based photo-printing app that allows users to create and ship monthly photo books of up to 100 personal photos. The husband and wife team of Brian and Julie Whiteman brought Groove Book to Shark Tank during Episode 13 of Season 5, intending to get $150,000 for 20% of the company.
At the time of the episode, Groovebook had 18,000 subscribers in its short 8-month life, but with a small profit margin of $0.70 per photo book, they would have had to hit 30,000 subscribers to break even. This statistic didn’t dissuade both Mark Cuban and Kevin O’Leary from investing. After some negotiation, they reached a deal at $150,000 for 80% of the licensing rights. Within five days of the show, sales soared to triple what they were, and in the months following the appearance, app subscriptions grew to over 500,000, making the company not just break even but become extremely profitable.
In 2014, Groovebook was acquired by the photo-publishing company, Shutterfly, for $14.5 million. The app now has over 100 million downloads and has printed over 220 million photos.
If you haven’t heard of Scan, it is a mobile app that allows users to create or scan QR codes that can be used for just about anything, from a substitute to the like button to any easy way to make a purchase. The app then allows the user to access their created codes and edit them on the fly, so there’s no need to continue generating new codes.
Scan was created by Garett Gee, along with his freshmen classmates Kirk Ouimet and Ben Turley. When it appeared on Shark Tank during Season 5, Scan already had over 51 million downloads, with millions of scans each month.
Garrett went to Shark Tank asking for $1 million for 5% of the company. His impressive presentation wasn’t enough to win over the judges, and they failed to reach a deal. But that didn’t mean that the app didn’t continue to reach an audience, and in 2012, Scan was acquired by the multimedia messaging app, Snapchat, for $54 million in cash and Snapchat stocks. At the time of its acquisition, Scan had reached over $25 million downloads and averaged 27 million scans per month.
Founded in 2012 by two Harvard Business School grads, Nick Taranto and Josh Hix, Plated was a meal kit subscription service that delivered fresh ingredients and chef-designed recipes to customers’ homes and appeared in Episode 22 of Season 5 of Shark Tank.
Priding themselves on using locally sourced ingredients and shipping each pre-packed meal fresh, the founders went to Shark Tank seeking $500,000 for 4% of the company. Mark Cuban was quick to jump on the opportunity, and they reached a deal for $500,000 for 5.6% of the company as well as advisory shares. Shortly after the show, the original deal with Mark fell through as the founders looked to get more cash out of it. Not long after the deal fell through, however, the pair approached Kevin O’Leary to see if he was interested in investing. O’Leary struck a deal with Taranto and Hix, and by 2015, Plated had jumped to over $100 million in revenue. Even with the deal from Kevin O’Leary, Plated struggled to make a profit. But the founder’s persistence paid off, and in 2017, Plated was acquired by grocery supermarket giant Albertsons for $300 million, plus additional benefits.
By now, most of us are familiar with Ring Doorbells. Many of us don’t realize that it is a product that first appeared on Shark Tank as Doorbot. Appearing in Episode 9 of Season 5, entrepreneur Jamie Siminof pitched his video doorbell that you could access through an app on any smartphone. He came to Shark Tank looking for $700,000 for a 10% share in the company.
Siminof was no slouch when it came to app development, having created and sold many others before developing Doorbot. At the time of appearing on the show, Doorbot had already accumulated $1 million in direct online sales and was planning on moving into Staples stores.
Many questions were raised about the company’s viability and the security of the product, causing most of the Sharks to opt-out, leaving Kevin O’Leary the only one to make an offer. But they did not reach a deal and Siminof left the show empty-handed. In 2018, the company was acquired by online marketplace behemoth Amazon for an estimated $1.2-1.8 billion – a record valuation for any company featured on Shark Tank.