Shark Tank, a television series that features up-and-coming entrepreneurs pitching their business ideas to a panel of investors, premiered in August 2009 on ABC and has stayed one of the network’s biggest shows ever since. The “Tank” is a place where anyone with a sellable creation and the means to make it can succeed — although putting together a decent pitch and having a little bit of business sense certainly doesn’t hurt.
From zany one-liners from Kevin O’Leary like “Goodbye, you’re dead to me” to well-crafted startups like Simple Sugars, dozens of businesses have found their success by surviving the Sharks.
Updated on May 13th, 2022, by Lynn Gibbs: Shark Tank just had its 13th season, proving how much viewers admire and appreciate the relationship between start-up companies and investors. Over the years, the Sharks have had some good and bad business ideas grace their Shark Tank stage, and some episodes were better rated than others on IMDb. Some of the best Shark Tank deals revolve around simple concepts and entertaining interactions with the Sharks, and fans can agree that these are some of the best Shark Tank episodes.
13 Simply Fit Board ($160 Million) – 6.9
Season 7, episode 7 introduced the Simply Fit Board (created by mother-daughter duo Linda Clark and Gloria Hoffman). The low IMDb score doesn’t seem to have put a damper on the balance board’s sales, however, since the episode’s airing the muscle-toning workout tool has brought in more than $160 million, making it the 4th-best-selling Shark Tank investment, according to Seoaves.
The Shark Tank episode also had a guest where Jimmy Kimmel did a featured sketch and attempted to pitch a series of increasingly wacky inventions to the perturbed panel.
12 Lovepop ($80 Million) – 6.9
Lovepop first made an appearance on Shark Tank in season 7, episode 11, a Christmas-themed special.
Architecture students Wombi Rose and John Wise, the brains behind the company, managed to land a deal with the notoriously demanding (yet one of the best Sharks) Kevin O’Leary, impressing him with their selection of pop-up greeting cards. Four years later, their bright idea has collected more than $80 million in sales, according to CNBC.
11 Squatty Potty ($164 Million) – 7.2
Squatty Potty was an innovative bathroom footstool devised by entrepreneur Bobby Edwards to help prevent constipation. The creator got a chance to pitch it to the Shark Tank on season 6, episode 9 of the series, quickly attracting the attention of Lori Greiner, who purchased a 10% stake in the company for a cool $350,000.
Now, with the company reporting $164 million in sales, that’s one of the investment decisions she’s certainly most proud of, and one of the more successful products on Shark Tank.
10 Sleep Styler ($100 Million) – 7.2
Tara Brown pitched Sleep Styler, her unique brand of hair rollers that let you either straighten or curl your hair “effortlessly [and] with no heat” while you sleep, to the Sharks in season 8, episode 19.
The creative—and one of the funniest—pitch won over “Queen of QVC” Lori Greiner, whose involvement in the company helped it skyrocket to a monumental $100 million in sales by October 2019, according to Cheat Sheet.
9 Tipsy Elves ($125 Million) – 7.2
Ugly sweaters are such a time-honored hallmark of Christmas celebrations that it was only a matter of time before a company came along that sold only ugly Christmas sweaters. Enter Tipsy Elves, created by Evan Mendelsohn and Nicklaus Morton.
Shown in season 5, episode 12, after watching the duo’s irreverent but business-minded pitch, Robert Herjavec loved the idea so much that he offered the brand’s co-creators $100,000 for a 10% stake in the company, a deal they gladly accepted. TV Insider noted that years after its fairly well-received episode aired, the company has made over $125 million in sales.
8 The Bouqs ($100 Million) – 7.3
Some of the most successful companies to appear on Shark Tank failed to make a deal with even one member of the panel. In the case of Ring, a video doorbell, the company went on to sell to Amazon for $1 billion nearly 5 years after the Sharks rejected it. John Tabis, who co-founded The Bouqs (a flower-delivery service) with fellow Notre Dame student Juan Pablo Montufar, was initially cast to the same fate during his appearance on the show’s season 5, episode 27.
However, three years later, Robert Herjavec changed his mind and decided to invest after using Tabis’ service to great success at his wedding. The company has now made a total of $100 million in sales. It proved that The Bouqs became one of the most successful products that didn’t necessarily come from the episode it was on.
7 Cousins Maine Lobster ($65 Million) – 7.3
A seafood truck seems like an unpopular idea on Shark Tank that could pull $65 million in sales, but if you add in the ambition of Cousins Maine Lobster’s California-based co-founders Sabin Lomac and Jim Tselikis, what results is a recipe for success.
As seen in season 4, episode 6, Barbara Corcoran—using her status as Shark to get a foot in the seafood business—invested $55,000 in the company, and from there it quickly grew. Now Cousins Maine Lobster operates more than 20 food trucks across the United States.
6 Scrub Daddy ($209 Million) – 7.4
The Daddy of successful Shark Tank ventures, Scrub Daddy was founded by Aaron Krause. The former detailer was inspired to create his own line of sponges to use on cars before realizing their potential around the house. When he gave the Sharks the rundown on Scrub Daddy during season 4, episode 7, Greiner saw the opportunity for yet another successful QVC product, offering Krause a killer $200,000 deal. It went on to be one of Shark Tank’s most successful products.
With the company currently being valued at $209 million, Greiner now recognizes that decision as one of the best investments she’s ever made.
5 The Original Comfy ($150 Million) – 7.5
The Comfy, a product which can be described simply as “a blanket you wear!”, first appeared on Shark Tank‘s season 9, episode 12. This time, Barbara Corcoran was the first to bite, offering brothers Brian and Michael Speciale $50,000 for a 30% equity stake in their company.
Just three years after that fateful episode’s airdate, the company has made an extraordinary $150 million in sales (via Biz Newske), and they’re showing no signs of slowing down.
4 EverlyWell ($1 Million) – 7.5
In season 9, episode 12, the Sharks were introduced to Julia Cheek, the CEO of an at-home lab test called EverlyWell. Cheek was looking for $1 million for 5% equity. While most of the Sharks backed out because they figured the company would eventually need more than $1 million, Lori Greiner jumped in.
According to The Cinemaholic, “Lori agreed to a $1 million line of credit at 8% interest and a 5% stake in the company.” Today, EverlyWell is still going strong and has over 30 at-home tests people can buy and do themselves. As a Shark, Greiner is estimated to have one of the highest net worths with $150 million (via Techie Games) and EverlyWell was one of her best investments. Today, Bloomberg estimated that EverlyWell is worth $2.9 billion.
3 BatBNB ($100,000) – 7.6
In season 10, the Sharks were introduced to a unique concept for one of the night’s creepiest creatures: bats. Chris Rannefors and Harrison Broadhurst pitched their product, BatBNB, for several reasons. Not only did the creators want a safe home for bats whose natural habitats are dwindling, but bats are known for eating mosquitos — making this BnB for bats a win-win.
The two were asking for $100,000 for 16% equity and to their delight, Shark Kevin O’Leary jumped at the opportunity. BatBNB is now in 13 countries, 50 states, and the founders were on Forbes Under 30 in 2020, along with earning awards for their idea.
2 Bombas ($225 Million) – 7.7
It’s only fitting that the show’s all-time best-selling product be relegated to one of its most lauded episodes and seasons, and so it is with Bombas. The apparel brand caught the attention of Shark Daymond John for its promise to donate one pair of socks to a homeless shelter for every pair sold — a result of founders David Heath and Randy Goldberg learning that socks were the #1 most requested item at homeless shelters.
To date, Bombas has donated more than 35 million pairs of socks, according to Business Insider, and made more than $225 million in sales.
1 XCraft Drones ($1 Million ) – 7.8
In one of Shark Tank’s more successful seasons, XCraft Drones appeared in season 5. The drone can reach 10,000 feet, is controlled by remote control, and can go 60 miles per hour.
JD Claridge and Charles Manning co-created the drone and were looking for $500,000 for a 20% stake. However, when all of the Sharks wanted to invest and competed against different kinds of drones the company had, Draymond John offered $1 million for a 25% stake in the company and the deal was done.
NEXT: Shark Tank’s 13 Seasons Ranked According To IMDb
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