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Have a million dollar startup idea? All it takes to get it off the ground is hard work, smart investments, and, sometimes, meeting the right shark. The ABC show Shark Tank is one of the most successful venture capital firms in the world. Since 2009, the panel of angel investors has listened to 895 pitches, made 499 deals, and invested $143.8 million worth of capital. Here are 5 of the most successful Shark Tank companies and where they are now.
Scrub Daddy is a remarkable sponge that hardens in cold water and softens in warm. Its foam texture also prevents scratching when scrubbing pans. When founder Aaron Krause first pitched his idea to Shark Tank, the sharks were clearly hesitant to jump on board. Lori Greiner, however, instantly knew his product was a hero and not a zero. She offered him his full $100,000 investment request in return for 20% equity. In May 2014, Scrub Daddy was named as Shark Tank’s most successful product to date in a 20/20 special. Since then, Scrub Daddy has gone on to introduce an entire family of products including seasonal colors and has made $209 million in sales.
In two-thirds of the world, people squat when they use the toilet. This position helps reduce strain and prevents colon-related problems like constipation. Squatty Potty provides consumers with a stool that allows them to comfortably assume this healthier position. During their first year of business, Squatty Potty cofounder Bobby Edwards claims they sold $1 million in products thanks to an appearance on The Dr. Oz Show. Their second year they sold $2.7 million and had sold $2 million in their first 2 quarters alone before Bobby and his mother Judy made their pitch on Shark Tank. Lori Greiner invested in Squatty Potty for $350,000 at 10% because she believed the product could help millions of people. Today Squatty Potty has partnered with Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation and Susan G. Komen to help improve bathroom health around the world. Squatty Potty has made $164 million since 2011.
What do people do with the hundred of photos they have stored on their smartphones? “Absolutely nothing,” says cofounders Julie and Brian Whiteman. That’s why they developed Groovebook, an app that allows subscribers to create monthly photo books from their phones at just $3.99/month. Sharks Mark Cuban and Kevin O’Leary offered a $150,000 investment in exchange for 80% of the licensing profits. Nine months after their Shark Tank appearance, more than 200 million photos were uploaded on Groovebook and their subscription base grew by 1,400%. In 2014, Groovebook was acquired by Shuttefly for $14.5 million.
Bed bugs are crawling all over people’s homes and hiding in beds and couches. Buggy Beds is a bed bug glue trap designed as an early detection and prevention system for infestation. Simply slid the trap under box springs or couch cushions and the glue will attract bugs and kill them. Maria Curcio and Veronica Perlongo’s pitch was so compelling, every shark bit onto their idea at $250,000 for 25%. As of 2020, international sales have grown across 23 countries at over $1.2 million.
Perhaps the most surprising product on this list is Tipsy Elves. This company offers high quality holiday-themed apparel with a fun and witty twist. Robert Herjavec was impressed that cofounder Evan Mendelsohn had quit his job as a lawyer to focus full-time on Tipsy Elves and offered $100,000 for a 10% stake. Before Shark Tank, Tipsy Elves had made $800,000 in sales. Two years after landing their deal in 2013, that ballooned to an outstanding $10 million in sales. Today Tipsy Elves has garnered $125 million in under 10 years and now offers ski suits and a line of Halloween costumes.
What are your favorite Shark Tank moments? Let us know down in the comments.
This article originally published on GREY Journal.