First premiering on ABC in 2009, Shark Tank is a business reality show that features aspiring entrepreneurs that pitch their products to investors known as “Sharks” who decide whether they want to invest or not. Over the years, countless people have nervously stood in front of the Sharks hoping to strike a deal, with many walking home empty-handed. Yet, that isn’t always the case. These are the products that went on to strike it big, with or without the help of the Sharks.
ReadeREST – $27 Million
Rick Hopper, the founder of ReadeREST, came up with his idea while working as a supervisor at Home Depot, finding that he was always misplacing his reading glasses. This led him to design a glasses holder that attaches to any shirt the user’s wearing with a magnet that is snug enough so the glasses don’t fall out when bending over.
After signing a deal with Lori Greiner for $150,000 for 65% of the company, ReadeREST sold $100,000 worth of product after its first appearance on QVC and has done more than $27 million in sales since.
Cousins Maine Lobster – $20 Million
Hailing from Maine, the country’s premier location for lobster dishes, cousins Jim Tselikis and Sabin Lomac brought the Maine lobster eating experience to Los Angeles by opening up a food truck.
Incredibly, Shark Tank actually reached out to the cousins to appear on the show. After delivering their pitch, Barbara Corcoran invested $55,000 into their venture, which helped them add more trucks to their quickly growing business. Today, Cousins Maine Lobster has sales of over $2 million.
Bubba Q’s – $16 Million
In 2014, the former NFL player All “Bubba” Baker stepped into the tank where he pitched his business for his boneless ribs and sauce company called Bubba Q’s. Daymond John was intrigued by the idea and made a deal to invest $300,000 in return for 30% of Baker’s company.
Before the show, Bubba Q’s had a low $154,000 in sales, only to reach $16 million by 2017. To top it all off, Baker also owns the patent for making his product, making him the only person able to sell deboned and cooked ribs.
Ring – $1.1 Billion
Although the doorbell-camera Ring recently sold to Amazon for $1.1 billion, things did not look up for CEO James Siminoff when he appeared on the show in 2013. The Sharks were less-than-impressed with his idea, with only O’Leary even taking the time to make a deal. However, the joke was on them, as Ring went on to be uber-successful.
After selling to Amazon for over $1 billion, Siminoff used some of this money to pay Shaquille O’Neal, who agreed to be a spokesman for the company in 2016, in exchange for equity, making him rich in the end.
Copa Di Vino – $14 Million
Copa Di Vino’s founder, James Martin, has been on Shark Tank not once but twice! His first appearance was in 2011 with his concept for a single-serving wine portion to preserve the beverage’s freshness.
While he walked away without a deal, he still went on to make $5 million! This led the Sharks to invite him onto the show yet again in 2017, although nobody still wanted to go into business with him. That didn’t stop him from selling more than 38 million of his product that year, with the company now being worth $14 million.
Simply Fit Board – $160 Million
Although they might look a little awkward, the Simply Fit Board is a balance workout device designed to engage the user’s core. Founders Gloria Hoffman and Linda Clark revealed their product on the show in 2015, which caught Lori Greiner’s eye, who saw major potential.
Quickly, she helped the two women establish a patent, and with her sway with QVC, the company’s sales went from just $757,000 to $9 million in months. Today, more than $160 million of Simply Fit boards have been sold.
Drop Stop – $24 Million
An annoyance most people have experienced in a car at least once is losing something in the cracks of the seats. Well, this inconvenience gave co-founders Marc Newburger and Jeffery Simon the idea to invent the Drop Stop, which prevents objects from falling into what they call the “Carmuda Triangle.”
In 2012, the two entrepreneurs appeared on the show, demonstrating how their foam invention stopped lose articles from getting lost in the car and secured a sweet deal that helped their company grow to have more than $24 million in sales.
FiberFix – $50 million
FiberFix is a company that prides itself on being a product that can fix what duct tape or other similar products can’t. What makes FiberFix different from other adhesive brands is that it is a top-of-the-line adhesive tape that, when applied, hardens to create a watertight and permanent seal on just about any surface.
Co-founders Spencer Quinn and Eric Child appeared on the show in 2013, impressing Lori Greiner into making a deal, and has since made over $50 million in sales.
Mission Belt – $40 Million
The Mission Belt was invented by Zach Holzapfel and Jeff Jensen, who wanted to make a belt that did away with the classic notch system to create an essentially one-size-fits-all belt.
Of course, the design and the fact that the belt comes in a variety of colors and designs caught the attention of fashion industry titan Daymond John when the Mission Belt made its way onto the show in 2012. The belt has since reached $25 million in sales, with Zach and Jeff donating $1 of every belt to help small businesses in developing countries.
Scrub Daddy – $200 Million
One of the most well-known products to come out of Shark Tank is the Scrub Daddy, a hard smiley-faced sponge that can get off the worst stuck-on food, and when run under hot water, becomes soft like a regular sponge.
Inventor Aaron Krause managed to get Lori Greiner to invest $200,000 into his product, and it was a decision she did not regret. In 2017, Scrub Daddy reached $100 million in sales, the highest of any Shark Tank product, and has done more than $200 million since its inception.
Safe Grabs – $5 Million
For anyone that spends time in the kitchen or is a fan of frozen meals, it’s likely that you’ve burned yourself removing a dish from the microwave. After having hurt her palms one too many times, Cyndi Lee came up with Safe Grabs, which are a silicone mat that is placed underneath your dish in the microwave.
Once the time is up, the mat acts like an oven mitt, protecting your hands from the heat of the dish. Lori Greiner saw an opportunity here and Safe Grabs has done more than $5 million in sales since Greiner invested $75,000 in 2016.
InstaFire – $5 Million
If you’ve ever tried, you know that starting a fire is no easy task, even if you’re indoors with the proper equipment. Yet, instaFire makes this issue a thing of the past with their kits, including volcanic rock, wood pellets, and paraffin wax that can create a flame up to 16 inches in height and stay burning for more than 30 minutes.
Small and compact, these kits were appealing to Mark Cuban and Lori Greiner, who invested $300,000 in total. Since appearing on the show, InstaFire has done more than $5 million in sales.
BedJet – $26 Million
Mark Aramli, the founder of the BedJet is a former NASA employee that set out to solve the issue of being uncomfortably hot throughout the night. So, in 2015, he came on Shark Tank to demonstrate his invention, the BedJet, which is a climate-controlled mattress pad that allows the user to adjust the temperature of their bed.
However, the Sharks were thrown off by his $2.5 million valuation, leading nobody to invest. Just 18 months after the show, Armali had done more than $3 million in sales without their help and $26 million in revenue.
Tipsy Elves – $70 Million
In recent years, ugly sweater parties have become more and more common during the holiday season, with people having to go to thrift stores or inside their grandmother’s closet to find one. This led Nick Morton and Evan Mendelsohn to create Tipsy Elves, a clothing company dedicated to ugly holiday sweaters.
Robert Herjavec agreed to invest $100,000 for 10% of the company back in 2013, resulting in sales of more than $10 million by 2015! Today, they have reached more than $70 million.
Kodiak Cakes – $100 Million
Something that occurred to Joel Clark, the owner of Kodiak Cakes, was that people would forever love pancakes but don’t enjoy them as much as they would like because of the mix’s unhealthy contents.
So, Joel Clark created a flower-based mix containing whole grains and proteins that other companies don’t. In 2013, Clark walked away without a deal, as he didn’t want to give up 10% of his company. Today, Kodiak Cakes are now the fourth largest pancake mix on the market, doing more than $100 million in annual sales.
Squatty Potty – $30 Million
In 2014, Bobby Evans entered the tank with a piece of plastic called the Squatty Potty that he designed that made going to the bathroom both easier and more natural. Lori Greiner was all over it and quickly invested $500,000, leading the company to do more than $1 million in sales just 24 hours after the taping was aired.
Since then, not only has the company surpassed more than $30 million in sales, but multiple researchers have indeed proven that Evans’ invention does in fact help with constipation.
GrooveBook – $14 Million
Julie and Brian Wilson came up with GrooveBook when they noticed a demand for people to have their social media photos printed into physical copies. Nevertheless, they decided to take things one step further and organize them into a customized photo album.
The Wilsons came onto Shark Tank with just around 18,000 subscribers. However, after striking a deal with Mark Cuban and Kevin O’Leary, they had more than 500,000, eventually selling their company for $14.5 million to Shutterfly in 2015.
Chef Big Taste – $5 Million
Shawn Davis came onto the show in 2012, sure that he was going to get a deal with one of the sharks for his idea for a shrimp burger restaurant after making one for his episcopalian daughter.
Unfortunately, none of the Sharks were particularly excited about his idea, with Davis leaving his pitch hanging his head. Luckily for him, just being on the show was enough to get his business up and running with his restaurant, Chef Big Shake increasing from just $30,000 to $5 million in revenue.
Bottle Breacher – $15 Million
Designed with the support of the military in mind, the Bottle Breacher is a sleek bottle opener hand-made out of .50 caliber bullets. The company is owned and operated by Eli Crane and his wife, Jen.
Crane is a former Navy Seal that wanted to give back to the military, with a percentage of the company’s revenue going toward non-profit military organizations. In 2014, Mark Cuban and Kevin O’Leary hopped on board and their sales went from just $150,000 to $15 million.
Rocketbook – $10 Million
In 2017, Joe Lemay and Jake Epstein came onto Shark Tank in space suits looking for a $400,000 investment for 10% of their company RocketBook. Their product was a reusable smart notebook that could be microwaved to erase the previous writing.
Yet, the Sharks were unimpressed by the product, with Kevin O’Leary informing them that few people would be interested in a reusable paper notebook. Without the Sharks’ help, Rocketbook went on to sell over 500,000 products, hitting more than $10 million in sales.