Shark Tank is an American reality show where entrepreneurs meet investors to ask for an investment to grow their business. The show has inspired the world to dream bigger and take bold action in entrepreneurship and business. Shark Tank is the recipient of the Emmy Award for Outstanding Structured Reality Program in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
The Sharks are self-made multi-millionaire and billionaire tycoons who will dig deep and find the best companies with the best products to invest their money. Shark Tank has successfully demonstrated that the American dream is still alive and anyone who has a great idea and is willing to work hard to gain all the skills and knowledge required can be successful and become millionaires.
Who Are The Sharks?
#1. Mark Cuban
Net Worth: $3.4 billion as of April 2017, according to Forbes
Book Published: How to Win at the Sport of Business
Mark Cuban, from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is one of the most memorable sharks. The outspoken owner of the NBA team “Dallas Mavericks” has an impressive net worth of 3.4 billion dollars. Mark is an entrepreneur at heart, starting his first business venture at the young age of 12, when he sold trash bags door-to-door.
Cuban’s first company, MicroSolutions, started off as a small PC software retailer in Dallas Texas, being sold in 1990 for an impressive 6 million dollars. Cuban quickly moved on to his next investment: Broadcast.com.
With big dreams and even bigger ambition to match, Mark and his co-investors were on the frontline of internet broadcasting, becoming in 1999 the first company to help air online the world-famous Victoria Secret Fashion Show. The company was sold the same year to Yahoo for 5.7 billion dollars in Yahoo stocks. After these first initial investments, Mark broadened his portfolio, sharing some of his wisdom and money with companies, such as JungleCents.com, motionloft.com, Naked Pizza, and 140Fire.com.
In 2000, he purchased the basketball team “Dallas Mavericks”, which lead to a media storm and several doubts regarding Mark’s ability to be a savvy NBA team owner. Once again driven by his ambition, Cuban took the stadium and the game-viewing experience into a whole other level, quickly silencing all its critics. Since then, he has invested in several TV and movie companies, further helping him establish himself as a force to be reckoned.
Voted in 2006 as GQ’s “Man of the Year”, Mark’s good looks have also given him the chance to appear on several other TV shows and movies, such as the infamous shark-themed blockbuster “Sharknado”. More than just a pretty face, Cuban has also written a successful business book “ How To Win At The Sport of Business”.
Regarding his “Shark Tank” career, Cuban was first introduced as a full-time cast member during season 3, although he had made a previous appearance on the show as a guest shark back in season 2. He has invested an impressive amount of almost 20 million dollars as a shark, with one of his biggest investments being on the company “Ten Thirty One Productions” for a staggering 2 million dollars.
Although he may come across as a big spender, Mark has only invested in 19% of the 443 pitches heard over the course of 111 episodes of the show. He is also known for teaming up with other sharks, and over 50% of the deals made are in collaboration with another cast member and fellow shark.
Mark Cuban is not only a smart and hard-working businessman, he is also a TV personality and celebrity who isn’t afraid to share his opinion. We are as curious as you are to see if on the next seasons, Cuban will invest in more diverse ventures or if he will stick to his area of expertise: media and technology.
#2. Robert Herjavec
Net Worth: $200 million (June 2016) according to various sources
One of the most lovable sharks, Robert Herjavec is a Croatian native whose parents immigrated to Canada when Robert was still a child. His true success story has been used as inspiration by hundreds of young entrepreneurs, businessmen, and businesswomen alike.
Herjavec started his career as a self-made entrepreneur when he created his own Internet security software integrator, BRAK Systems. Although in the company’s early days he was waiting tables in order to support himself and his family, as the company’s innovative approach and technology started to get more attention, Robert managed to strike a deal with AT&T Canada, selling the company for the impressive amount of 30.2 million dollars.
That wasn’t Herjavec’s only big win, as he later sold another one of his Internet companies to Nokia for 225 million dollars. Always with a goal in mind, Herjavec moved on to his next business venture, one that further cemented his role as a brilliant entrepreneur and where he now serves as CEO: the Herjavec Group, a company focusing on IT security and infrastructure integration. One of Canada’s fastest growing technology companies, the Herjavec Group has racked up around 500 million dollars in sales… and that’s just since 2003!
Robert is one of the original cast members, being an official shark since the show’s 1st season. He has definitely shared some of his wealth and knowledge, having invested over 16 million dollars on the show so far. With 57 deals out of the 511 sales pitches heard over the course of 126 episodes, Herjavec invests in only about 11% of the companies who decide to present their pitch on “Shark Tank”. But don’t get the wrong idea!
Although Robert is not the quickest to take the bait, when he hears a good idea he usually makes quite a large investments. His biggest one to date is the staggering 5 million dollar deal with Zero Pollution Motors for a 50% stake in the company. Another note-worthy investment from the seasoned technology expert is the 3 million dollar deal with the company SynDaver Labs, for 25% stake in the business. Robert is also known for partnering up with other sharks, with over 50% of the deals so far being made as a joint venture with other cast members.
With a truly inspirational success story, Robert managed to immigrate to Canada with less than 20 dollars in his pocket, to being one of the savviest investors in the technology field. Did you know Herjavec actually started his career in the film industry? Moreover, he is an excellent writer and more about his personal life and early days can be read in his books “Driven: How to Succeed in Business and Life”, released in 2010, and “The Will to Win: Leading, Competing, Succeeding”, released in 2013.
We can’t wait to see if Robert will be making any more high-value investments during the next seasons or if he will decide to go for lower-risk and lower-value investments.
#3. Lori Greiner
Net Worth: $50 Million, according to various sources
Book published: Invent It, Sell It, Bank It!
Lori Greiner, also known as The Queen of QVC, is a Chicago native, who is not afraid to let her opinion be heard. And for a good reason! With a net worth estimated to be 50 million dollars, Greiner knows exactly what it takes to turn most companies into overnight successes. But how did Lori start her now multi-million-dollar empire? It all started with a jewelry box! The intricate box, which she later patented and was retailed nationwide by J.C. Penney, allowed the easy organization of earrings and other jewelry pieces, which quickly launched her into the business world.
With an impressive portfolio, this unstoppable businesswoman has created over 400 products and holds around 140 different patents worldwide. And this hasn’t gone unnoticed by QVC-TV where she has been the sole host of the top-viewed show “Clever & Unique Creations by Lori Greiner”, which she has hosted for 16 years… and counting!
The self-made entrepreneur is known for her ability to take a product from the moment of conceptualization, all the way to the final marketing process within months! And, always staying true to her nickname, The Queen of QVC is renowned for selling thousands of products worldwide every single day. How? Not only does Greiner has her own TV show, her products are also often featured in magazines such as InStyle, Town & Country, The Oprah Magazine, and Family Circle. With a wide range of products from beauty cosmetics to kitchen tools, Greiner has managed to corner the “as seen on tv” market.
Greiner is a firm believer that all successful people should share their knowledge with young entrepreneurs, often offering her own advice as well as some personal tips to unseasoned businessman and businesswomen. She is also known for her charity work, regularly donating some of her own personal wealth to several different charities and causes. On top of all that, Greiner is also the writer of “Invent It, Sell it, Bank It!”, a book that gives its readers the insight needed to build a company from the ground up.
How about her “shark career”? Lori first joined “Shark Tank” during the show’s 4th season, although she had been a guest shark on season 3. With an amazing record of 61 deals in 78 episodes, Lori has invested over 9 million dollars on the show so far. Out of all the 78 episodes she has been featured on, Greiner has listened to 311 sales pitches, investing in 20% of the pitches heard. Her biggest investment yet was on a company called “RuffleButts and RuggedButts” for an impressive 600 thousand dollars for 9% equity.
We are excited to see if Lori will stick to her expertise in QVC this season and opt for pitches which can be easily sold through this channel, or if she will venture into uncharted territories.
#4. Barbara Corcoran
Net Worth: $40 million, according to various sources
Barbara Corcoran, one of the most lovable yet successful sharks, is a self-made entrepreneur and businesswoman from New Jersey. It’s extremely impressive how Barbara turned a 1000$ loan into an empire, reaching a personal net worth estimated to be around 80 million dollars in less than 50 years.
Starting off as real estate agent in New York City, she later started her own real-estate company, which cemented her role as a serious and respectable businesswoman. As her reputation as a real estate broker rose, so did her company’s worth, reaching an impressive 5 billion dollars. The company, NRT incorporate, was sold in 2001 for a staggering 66 million dollars, allowing Barbara to venture and invest in other fields full-time.
With over 150 business partners, all of which owning successful companies, Barbara is known for taking an ordinary company, giving it her own reality check, and turn them into thriving investments.
She has also released several books, such as “If You Don’t Have Big Breasts, Put Ribbons On Your Pigtails: and Other Lessons I Learned From My Mom”, “Nextville: Amazing Places to Live Your Life, Springboard Press.”, and her latest book “Shark Tales: How I Turned $1,000 into a Billion Dollar Business”, which is mainly focused on the famous TV show “Shark Tank”.
Known for her outspoken attitude, and valuable knowledge, Barbara is also the real estate contributor on CNBC’s “Today show” and, if that wasn’t enough, also writes a weekly column for the “Daily News” and a monthly column for both “Redbook” and “MORE Magazine”.
It may be hard to believe Barbara has time for all this! But wait, there’s more! Barbara is also known for her inspirational speeches and seminars, aimed to not only inspire young entrepreneurs, but also provide them with the tools necessary to succeed and thrive in today’s economy.
She has been part of the “Shark Tank” cast since season 1, making her one of the four sharks who has been on the show for its 8 seasons. With a track record of 53 deals out of 82 episodes and over 5 million dollars invested during the show, you may think getting a deal with this shark is easy. Well, think again, as she has only invested on 16% out of the 336 sales pitches heard during the show’s 8 seasons. Moreover, almost half of the deals made were in a partnership with fellow shark Mark Cuban.
Barbara is the true story of what the “American Dream” can look like. From waiting tables to being a successful business owner, investor, writer, and TV star, Barbara is an inspiration on all fronts. We are excited to see how much her investments made on “Shark Tank” will keep growing, as well as looking forward to seeing in what fields she will invest her hard-earned money on.
#5. Daymond John
Net Worth: $250 million, according to various sources
Daymond John is no stranger in the investment world. The New York native, better known as the “Godfather of Urban Fashion” revolutionized the world of urban fashion when he first introduced the world-recognized brand “FUBU” back in the 90s. But that was just the start for this businessman and entrepreneur whose net worth is currently evaluated at 250 million dollars, and growing.
As Daymond kept working on his fashion label, which is now estimated to be worth around 6 billion dollars, more business and investment opportunities rose. Nowadays, Daymond is regarded as a fashion and branding expert, often sharing some of his wisdom in lectures and other high-scale events. Often sought for his expertise, several companies and celebrities go to Daymond when they need help finding new sources of income or revenue, or when they wish to maximize their brand’s potential.
Amongst these celebrities and companies are Pitbull, Maria Shriver, and the Miss Universe Company, just to name a few. He even wrote several books, amongst them “Display of Power: How FUBU Changed a World of Fashion, Branding & Lifestyle”, which was later named one of the best business books on the market in 2007 by the “Library Journal”. In 2016 he released “The Power of Broke”, which made it to the NYTimes bestseller list. He is currently still the CEO of FUBU and is an inspirational motivation and business speaker.
What about Daymond’s career as a “Shark Tank” cast member? With over 8 million dollars invested on air, we know this shark isn’t afraid to invest his hard-earned money on a good deal! As one of the original cast members, Daymond has heard around 400 sales pitches over the course of 100 episodes, out of which he invested in 61 products or companies, that is, 15% of the pitches heard. His biggest investment to date? An impressive half a million dollars for 20% stake in the exercise product “TITIN”.
Perhaps even more impressive and quite distinctive from the other sharks, Daymond, although not known for investing millions, has made 3 other 500 thousand dollar deals throughout the show’s 8 seasons! Daymond often partners up with other sharks, with around 40% of his investments on the show being made as a collaboration with other cast members.
We are excited to see what the future holds for Daymond, both as a shark and as a fashion mogul. Will he start investing larger amounts of money or will he stick to his lower bids for a lower stake profile? We can’t wait to find out!
#6. Kevin O’Leary
Net Worth: $300 million, according to various sources
Perhaps one of the most outrageous sharks, Kevin O’Leary is the amazing businessman who is not afraid to pet himself in the back. Originally from Canada, O’Leary first started his business career as a TV producer. Quickly getting the hang of the business world, O’Leary worked and invested his way to the top, with a net-worth currently set at more than 400 million dollars.
But how did he go from TV into the finance world? After selling his share of the company Special Event Company to his partners and college friends for 25 thousand dollars, O’Leary then started his own company, Softkey. The company, a publisher and distributor of software for both Windows and Macintosh, went through some hard times.
With O’Leary’s expertise and thrive to succeed in hand, Softkey managed to bounce back from the recession and later bought The Learning Company (TLC) for an impressive 606 million dollars. Years later, the company was sold to Mattel, and O’Leary later departed from the company. But not without making some waves first! A lawsuit was filed and O’Leary ended up receiving a 122-million-dollar settlement.
Due to his fiery personality, O’Leary has been involved in several other lawsuits throughout his business career. He currently owns or co-owns several other companies, amongst them the O’Leary Funds, a mutual funds company, which was recently sold after a media scandal erupted after it became public the company had to pay some hefty fines after “violating certain technical provisions of the Securities Act”.
So how is this shark doing on-air? With over 8 million dollars invested over the course of 131 episodes, O’Leary has made quite a mark on the show, both financially and due to his over the top personality. Out of the 531 sales pitches heard, O’Leary has invested in approximately 8% of the companies showcasing their products in “Shark Tank”. His highest investment while on the show was an impressive 2.5 million dollars for 10% stake in “Zipz’, a single-serve wines company. Another big deal for the entrepreneur was the 1-million-dollar deal for 20% stake of “How do you roll?”, a chain of high-quality sushi restaurants.
We are excited to see O’Leary bicker and entertain the whole world. They call him “Mr. Wonderful” for a reason: he is entertaining, smart, keeps viewers glued to the TV screen, and is not scared to share how he feels. Let’s see if O’Leary makes any other big investments this season!
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