The newest season of ABC's hit show "Shark Tank" kicked off last night with a new twist: a live episode where viewers were able to weigh in on whether or not the Sharks should take a deal.
As you might expect, the season premiere featured some strong candidates.
The first entrepreneurs represented Kent Underwear, which offers 100% compostable undergarments. The company intends to prevent the waste that accompanies normal undergarments while providing customers with comfortable, well-fitting underclothes.
The company was seeking $200,000 for a 5% equity share, which meant they valued the company at $4,000,000. The company generated $99,000 in sales in 2022 and is on track to do $500,000 in the next year due to distribution deals with retailers like Nordstrom.
The product drew strong interest from the Sharks. After turning down a $200,000 for 20% equity offer from Barbara Corcoran and a $200,000 for 15% equity offer from Robert Herjavec, the founders accepted an offer from fashion mogul Daymond John for $200,000 in exchange for 15% equity. The investment implies a valuation of approximately $1.33 million for Kent Underwear.
The second entrepreneur's company was Oogie Bear, which wants to make cleaning babies' nasal and ear cavities easier. A live fan poll taken by the show revealed that over 80% of parents thought this was a real problem.
The company founders wanted $400,000 for a 5% stake, which meant they valued the company at $8,000,000. The founders have sold over 1,000,000 units and generated over $15,000,000 in revenue since its launch in 2015.
Sales numbers like these enticed the Sharks. After turning down an offer from "Mr. Wonderful" Kevin O'Leary, the entrepreneurs accepted a combined deal from Barbara Corcoran and Robert Herjavec for $400,000 in equity, with a pledge to return $200,000 in equity to the founders if sales did not reach $400,000,000 globally within four years of the acquisition date.
The last pitch on the 14th season premiere was a novel idea from an inventor who had previously tried, and failed, to pitch an idea - a manual cheese cutter and storage device - on Shark Tank. This time, he returned with the "Pizza Pack," an expandable, triangle-shaped plastic storage device designed to store pizza in the refrigerator.
Founder Tate Koenig was offering a 10% equity share in exchange for a $100,000 investment in the company, which meant he valued it at $1,000,000.
Since the debut of the pizza pack in April of 2022, the product has over $250,000 in sales and $60,000 in profit. The founder had difficulty keeping up with demand and needed money to increase production.
The pizza pack interested the Sharks, and they began circling immediately. Kevin O'Leary offered $100,000 for 10% but wanted a $2 per unit royalty until he recouped his initial investment.
Mark Cuban was intrigued enough to ask the founder how much it would cost to buy the entire company but was put off by the $5,000,00 asking price. Lorie Greiner initially offered $100,000 for a 20% share, only to be countered by Daymond John, who offered $100,000 for a 25% share in cooperation with four other Sharks.
The competing offer led to Lorie sweetening her deal by reducing her equity demand to 15% for $100,000. At this point, Tate countered her offer with a 13% share for $100,000, which Lorie accepted. The investment implies a valuation of $769,230.
Final Thought On The Season 14 Premiere Of Shark Tank
All in all, it was quite an exciting opening episode, and the live audience added an element of excitement to the show that had previously been missing. The quality of the startups was incredibly high. Considering the level of success they had already enjoyed before going on the show, it's apparent that this year's entrepreneurs will need to step their game up to get a deal done with the sharks.
The sharks invested a total of $700,000 during the episode, with the largest investment from one Shark being Daymond John's $200,000 investment in Kent Underwear.
Interested in being a Shark yourself? Check out Benzinga's guide on How to Invest in Startups and this month's Top Startups to Invest in.
Photo: Courtesy of Shark Tank / ABC
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