Mark Cuban‘s Best Shark Tank Investments
Self-made billionaire and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is an incredibly active investor on ABC’s Shark Tank. His fierce, go-getter attitude means that once he has his sights set on something, he will fight to get it. Investing in approximately 19% of all companies pitched to him, Cuban has also been responsible for some of the largest deals in Shark Tank history. His shrewd business acumen has turned many of those investments into Shark Tank success stories. Here are just a few of them:
Ten Thirty One Productions
Ten Thirty One Productions made Shark Tank history when they appeared on Season 5 of the show. The company, founded by Melissa Carbone, produces live horror experiences, such as the Los Angeles Haunted Hayride. Cuban saw the potential in the business model, and its adaptability to other markets, and offered a record-breaking $2 million investment deal for a 20% stake in the business.
Since the show, Ten Thirty One Productions, now employing over 500 people, have expanded their shows and host events in cities across the United States. By 2014 the company hit their goal of reaching $3 million in gross revenue. Mark Cuban has since gone on to say that his deal with Ten Thirty One Productions was the most profitable one he ever made on Shark Tank.
Rugged Maniac Obstacle Race
Season 5 proved to be a season of huge investment deals. This trend continued when Rob Dickens and Brad Scudder brought their idea for an extreme 5K obstacle course to the Sharks, named the Rugged Maniac Obstacle Race. After a successful pitch, Mark Cuban offered a staggering $1.75 million investment deal in exchange for 25% of the company, making it the second largest investment on the show.
Cuban’s investment has allowed the pair to take their Rugged Maniac Obstacle Race to 28 cities across the US, reaching sales of $10.5 million in one year. By mid-2017, the company had moved into its permanent HQ and said growth has been explosive since Shark Tank.
The Red Dress Boutique
Mark Cuban’s fifth most expensive investment on Shark Tank came in Season 6 when Diana and Josh Harbour presented The Red Dress Boutique. Their company not only sold clothing and accessories online, they offered complete outfits through a successful Instagram feed and social media presence. When they appeared on the show, their company was already a profitable venture, on track to make over $12 million in annual revenue.
This was an opportunity too good to miss for Cuban. Initially, he teamed up with fellow Shark Robert Herjavec to invest $1.2 million for a 20% stake in the business. Since the show, Cuban went on to finalize a deal alone for a $600,000 investment and a 15% equity stake in return. Within 5 days of the episode airing, The Red Dress Boutique made $1 million in sales. They have featured several times on Beyond the Tank to detail the companies continued successes as they invest a lot of profits back into marketing and development.
This quirky product featured on Shark Tank in 2014, when three entrepreneurs, Justin Fenchel, Brad Schultz and Aimy Steadman, presented their idea for a “party in a box”. BeatBox Beverages make unusual but tasty flavors of wine served up in neon packaging styled like an old-school “beat box”.
The trio requested an investment of $200,000 for a 10% stake in the business. However, the Sharks, all loving the brand, hotly began outbidding each other. The winner was Mark Cuban, who agreed upon a staggering $1 million investment deal for 33% of the company.
Sales have soared since their appearance on the show. They used the Shark investment and expertise to expand their distribution and launch a single-serving option, the BeatBox MixTape. Sales have increased to over $2 million and the company is looking into developing global brand recognition.
Tower Paddle Boards
In 2012, Stephan Aarstol nearly blew his big opportunity when he appeared on Season 3 of Shark Tank. When his presentation slides suffered some technical issues, Aarstol not only stammered and stumbled, he went on to remain silent for a full minute in a frozen panic. Barbara Corcoran said it was the worst presented pitch she had ever seen on the show.
Luckily for Aarstol, Mark Cuban saw an opportunity in Tower Paddle Boards, an SEO-driven eCommerce business selling stand-up paddle boards and accessories. Cuban struck a deal with the nervous entrepreneur for a $150,000 investment in return for a 30% stake. Within 120 days of receiving their investment, Tower Paddle Boards paid Cuban his first dividend check for $50,000. The company has gone on to make over $10 million in annual revenue.
When Slyde Handboards appeared on Season 7 of Shark Tank, co-founder Angela and Steve Watts had no idea they would become forerunners in pioneering new ways to bodysurf. After their pitch, several Sharks were put off by the low sales numbers the couple reported, after having invested their life savings in the project.
However, Mark Cuban recalled his successes with Tower Paddle Boards and teamed up with guest Shark Ashton Kutcher to make a deal to invest $200,000 for 22% equity. Since their episode aired in 2015, Slyde Handboards have developed a product line of handboards, and are growing in popularity and gaining market dominance. In 2016, Watts told Business Insider that the Sharks are a continued source of mentoring. “Ashton and his team are social media wizards…and Mark and his team have brought a level of business knowledge to our team that any Fortune 500 company would kill for.
After getting a perfect score on his SATs, Shaan Patel couldn’t believe the opportunities which were suddenly open to him, from top university admissions to hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of scholarships. He even met the President of the United States. This led him to begin PrepExpert, where he gave classes on SAT preparation, and his students all benefitted from a jump of about 300-400 points in their SAT scores.
In Season 7, Prep Expert was presented to the Sharks and Mark Cuban offered an investment of $250,000 for 20% equity in the business. Since then, PrepExpert offers online courses, in-person classes in over 10 cities across the US, and generated nearly $10 million in revenue in less than two years.
Nuts ‘N More
Peter Ferreira, Dennis Iannoti and Neil Cameron developed their super healthy range of protein-enriched peanut and almond butter spreads, and presented Nuts ‘N More to the Sharks during Season 4. The Sharks fell in love with the brand image. According to Robert Herjavec, “From the packaging design to their company name, they did everything right.”
Herjavec partnered with Mark Cuban and Nuts ‘N More received a $250,000 investment for 35% of the company. The company went on to make over $1 million in revenue the year their Shark Tank episode aired, which climbed to over $5 million the following year.