Premiering in 2009, ABC’s entrepreneur pitch show Shark Tank has seen everything. The premise of this series is simple: inventors and entrepreneurs toss their products to real-life shareholders (known as sharks). The sharks evaluate the goods and choose whether to back the fledgling firms using their own money.1 From alarm clocks that wake you up with the smell of bacon to a scented candle which simulates the most alluring aromas to attract a man (apparently this is beer, pot roast, and barbecue), the series has exposed its own audience of as many as 5 million audiences into some of the hardest creations ever conceived. But through the years, the sharks also have seen some great ideas that just needed an investor (with deep pockets) to shoot off. Listed below are the top eight very prosperous products that got their start in the Shark Tank.
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- Buggy Beds
The Product: An early detection and prevention system for bed bugs.
Sharks that bit: All five sharks bit. They are Kevin O’Leary, Robert Herjavec, Mark Cuban, Daymond John, and real estate entrepreneur and investor Barbara Corcoran ($250,000 for 25 percent).
Sales: International growth across 23 countries with sales of more than $1.2 million after the Shark Tank pitch.
The Product: A subscription-based service that allows customers to receive a bound book of high-resolution photos taken from their smartphones.
Sharks that bit: Mark Cuban and Kevin O’Leary ($150,000 in exchange for 80-percent licensing profits).
Sales: A gain of 50,000 subscribers shortly after the pitch. Acquired by Shutterfly Inc. (SFLY) in 2014 for $14.5 million.
- Tipsy Elves
The Product: Holiday-themed apparel.
Shark that bit: Robert Herjavec ($100,000 for a 10-percent stake).
Sales: Tipsy Elves raked in $600,000 a year in sales before appearing on Shark Tank and have currently seen more than $50 million in revenue.
- Squatty Potty
The Product: A personal care company best known for its toilet stool manufactured for easier bowel movements.
Shark that bit: Inventor/entrepreneur Lori Greiner ($350,000 for 10-percent equity).
Sales: Twenty-four hours after the deal, Squatty Potty saw $1 million in sales. By the end of 2017, that amount grew to nearly $33 million.
- Scrub Daddy
The Product: A reusable super sponge in the shape of a smiling face that gets firm in cold water and soft in warm water. Scrub Daddy has also been lab-tested to rinse clear of debris and resist odors for up to two months. The ergonomic shape is designed to clean both sides of kitchen utensils at once.
Shark that bit: Lori Greiner ($200,000 for 20-percent equity).
Sales: Scrub Daddy has moved 10 million units for total sales of more than $50 million since the pitch. Before Shark Tank, the company had $100,000 in sales.
Honorable Mention: Copa Di Vino
The Product: A portfolio of seven different wines in a recycled glass-like container (patented) with a resealable, pull-off lid.
Sharks that bit: None. Despite two appearances on the show, a deal could not be reached with the sharks.
Sales: Copa Di Vina had sales of $500,000 before the pitch and $12 million in sales as of 2016.