3 Million-Dollar Businesses That Turned Down Shark Tank
By Nathan Strum
Every season, thousands of entrepreneurs apply to appear on ABC’s “Shark Tank.” If you have not seen it yet, experienced millionaire investors like Mark Cuban and Robert Herjavec hear pitched ideas of various entrepreneurs who are looking for some form of capital. Often times, entrepreneurs are not able toconvince the sharks that their product is worth investing in. Many times, large sums of money are offered to the entrepreneurs in exchange for equity. There have been many instances in which the sharks’ offers are tempting but do not fully satisfy the entrepreneurs. Here is a look at entrepreneurs who pitched their brilliant ideas perfectly, yet what the sharks offered was just not what they were looking for.
Coffee Meets Bagel
Entrepreneurs Arum, Dawoon and Soo Kang are the three sisters that turned down the largest offer in Shark Tank history. Their online dating site used Facebook profiles to recommend matches based on a users’ friend or friends of friends. Cuban initially thought to opt out of the deal, but as he learned more information, he then offered to buy their entire business for $30 million. Without flinching the three sisters declined the deal. They said, “We see this business growing as a big as Match.com. They’re becoming a billion-dollar-revenue company, and we think this model and the product has potential to be as big as Match.”
Jeff Cohen appeared on the show’s first season. He asked for the sharks to give him $500,000 for 5% of Voyage-Air Guitars. The goal of the company is to provide easier transportation of guitars by making them to where they can fold in half. Kevin O’Leary offered $500,000 in exchange for 51 percent stake. Jeff declined the offer. On Season 4 when the show aired their “update” segment, they noted how Voyage-Air Guitar reports to be making millions of dollars a year.
Copa Di Vino
This idea was pitched in Season 2. Here is what The Huffington Post reported about Copa Di Vino. “The Sharks were very impressed by the Copa Di Vino product in Season 2, a selection of seven wines sold in single-serve, resealable containers. But Copa Di Vino founder James Martin came to play hardball: He asked for a whopping $600,000 for a 30 percent equity stake and wasn’t willing to compromise or consider the Sharks’ ideas, like licensing the single-serve cup design to other wine companies. Martin left without a deal. He returned to “Shark Tank” again, but proved to be just as difficult the second time around. Once again, no investors came on board. Despite never making a deal, however, Martin told ABC News that Copa Di Vino has made $25 million in revenue.
These are deals the sharks tried to get their hands on, but the entrepreneurs went with their gut and still succeeded.