Shark Tank begins its 10th season on Oct. 7 on ABC, which means 10 years of successful pitches and business bombs. Stepping in front of the sharks isn’t easy when you have judges like Mark Cuban, Daymond John, Lori Greiner, Barbara Corcoran or Kevin “Mr. Wonderful” O’Leary there to add some snark to the presentations.
Yet sometimes, Mr. Wonderful isn’t enough to deter the most eager entrepreneur. They can walk away without a deal and still wind up successful. Other times, they make a deal with a shark only to have it fall through later on or, even worse, the business doesn’t make it in the long run.
We took a look back at a few of our favorite pitches and what happened to them after their Shark Tank appearance.
1. Ring (formerly DoorBot)
The Ring, a video doorbell system, was originally known as the DoorBot when it aired on season five. CEO Jamie Siminoff was looking for a $700,000 investment in exchange for 10 percent equity in the company. Only O’Leary gave an offer that included a loan, a royalty deal and equity, but most of the sharks didn’t think the company was ready for the next step.
Fast-forward five years, and The Ring was acquired by Amazon in February 2018 for $1 billion. O’Leary doesn’t regret that Siminoff didn’t accept his deal.
“I never think about it a second time, I really don’t,” he explains. “I feel that the road is always going forward,” O’Leary told CNBC. “You can’t go looking back — you can’t second guess yourself. You have to do what you think is right in the moment… For that time, I made the correct decision.”
— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) February 28, 2018
2. Scrub Daddy
In season four, Shark Lori Greiner invested in Scrub Daddy, a sponge that changes texture when hot or cold water is applied. Aaron Krause was seeking a $100,000 investment for a 10 percent stake in the company. Greiner loved the presentation and gave him $200,000 for 20 percent equity and promised to make him a millionaire.
Greiner wasn’t lying. Scrub Daddy is considered the most successfully funded Shark Tank company of all time. As of May 2017, the company has sold more than 10 million units and totaled over $50 million in sales.
3. The Bouqs Company
The Bouqs Company is a disruptor in the flower industry. They take out the middleman and sell flowers directly to customers. While that seems like a surefire strategy for getting sharks to invest in the company, founder John Tabis got no bites from the sharks in 2014.
Three years later, Robert Herjavec was planning his wedding to Dancing With the Stars pro Kym Johnson when he realized flowers are pretty darn expensive. He decided to talk to Tabis to find out why.
“[Tabis] said, ‘Come and see me. I’ll explain the flower business to you.’ [He] draws it out for me, shows me what they’re doing. I’m like, ‘I love it,’” Herjavec told ABC News in February 2017. “So I took part of their last round. We just raised $24 million.”
And the best ending to the story? “I saved a ton of money on my flowers for my wedding,” Herjavec laughed.
4. You Smell soap
You Smell was a luxury soap line looking for a $55,000 investment in exchange for 20 percent of the company. Megan Cummins gave a charming presentation, and Mark Cuban, Barbara Corcoran and Robert Herjavec jumped in with bids.
In the end, Herjavec won out with a $55,000 investment and $50,000 entrepreneur salary for 20 percent. The deal didn’t wind up smelling so rosy in the end. Cummins claimed she couldn’t get in touch with Herjavec, while he claimed he offered her a revised contract that she rejected.
The company is no longer in business, but Cummins didn’t let her entrepreneurial dreams die. She’s now the owner of Sparklepop, a jewelry company that donates a portion of the proceeds to no-kill, nonprofit animal shelters.
5. The Body Jac
The Body Jac was a machine that helped a person do push-ups. Jack Barringer, aka Cactus Jack, invented the fitness equipment after his doctor told him to start losing weight by doing push-ups. When he came on Shark Tank in season one, Barbara Corcoran and Kevin Harrington split the $180,000 investment for 50 percent equity that came with a major contingency — Barringer would have to lose 30 pounds before he would get a signed deal. He lost the weight and the deal was signed, but the partnership eventually fell apart without Corcoran ever giving a solid reason.
“My worst [investment] was investing in a fast-talking cowboy selling exercise equipment who needed to lose 50 pounds,” Corcoran told Forbes in 2012. “Instead, he lost my $50,000.” The company went out of business in 2012.
Shark Tank will return for its 10th season on Sunday, Oct. 7 at 10/9c to celebrate the show’s 200th episode.