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- Tipsy Elves
I love tuning in to “Shark Tank” every week for my fill of inspirational founder stories and entertaining investor personalities, but one of my favorite parts is seeing the updates on past deals.
For many of the entrepreneurs, appearing on the show is a pivotal turning point. Unlike a lot of reality television in which the content is staged, it’s not just for the cameras when they shake hands with a Shark. Afterwards, they work together to put their money where their mouth is and create thriving businesses, and there’s no better example of the show’s power than the following companies.
These products have become household names, and they have the sales to prove it. As you’ll see, even though they share the common ground of “Shark Tank” beginnings, there is no formula or recipe for the type of business that does well on the show.
Get inspired by some of the most successful companies that landed deals on “Shark Tank” below.
The Scrub Daddy is soft in warm water, firm in cold water, and can be used for the toughest household cleaning situations. This versatile sponge premiered in Season 4 and remains the most successful “Shark Tank” products to date. What originally started as a sponge designed for auto body shops and mechanics led to QVC appearances, a deal with Lori Greiner, and more than $100 million in sales.
For something you probably wear every day, regular socks have a lot of annoying problems, and investor Daymond John agreed. Bombas makes comfortable socks with extra-long staple cotton to keep them breathable, extra cushioning where your feet need them the most, and a blister tab.
The company made $50 million in 2017, which is great news for its community partners as well: for every pair purchased, it donates a pair to a homeless shelter or community organization. Bombas has donated more than 7 million pairs to date.
- Tipsy Elves/Instagram
Robert Herjavec’s $100,000 investment in ugly sweater company Tipsy Elves in 2013 has turned into more than $50 million total sales since. In addition to festive sweaters, it also makes ski gear and costumes that are sure to turn heads and attract some compliments. If you watched the 2018 Winter Olympics, you might’ve caught a glimpse of Jamaica’s bobsled team wearing custom Tipsy Elves warmup suits.
The Squatty Potty, a stool placed under your feet to help you do your business, resonated with Lori Greiner and was an instant hit with viewers, selling $1 million in product within 24 hours of its Season 6 “Shark Tank” debut. Sales of this simple product were expected to hit $30 million in 2017.
Architecture students Andrea Sreshta and Anna Stork developed LuminAID after seeing the devastation of the 2010 Haiti earthquake. This solar inflatable product provides a source of light in any situation, including outdoor activities like hiking and camping. All five Sharks were interested in this potentially life-saving light, but the founders ultimately struck a deal with Mark Cuban.
Through its Give Light, Get Light program, the company gives LuminAID lanterns to charitable partners for disaster relief. Most recently, it donated thousands of lanterns to Syrian refugees and Puerto Rico hurricane relief.
Mobile app Groovebook provides an easy way to print your favorite phone photos on to a custom monthly photo book. For $3.99 a month, Groovebook sends you a 4″x 6″ photo book with perforated pages that you can tear out and share with anyone.
In 2014, just eleven months after the husband-and-wife founders Julie and Brian Whiteman made a deal with Mark Cuban and Kevin O’Leary, Shutterfly bought the company for $14.5 million.
Hanna and Mark Lim are parents who were inspired by their nine-month-old daughter’s ability to drink from a straw. None of the current sippy cups with straws were effective enough or made from safe materials, so they made their own, the Lollacup. Since partnering with Mark Cuban and Robert Herjavec, the company has passed $2 million in sales and expanded into other infant and toddler goods under the brand name Lollaland.
Founder Rick Hopper’s patented magnetic solution to the all-too-common and expensive problem of misplaced eyeglasses was a hit among his friends and family, and ultimately won over Lori Greiner on Season 3 of the show. It’s a subtle replacement for ugly glasses straps and can also be used for IDs or earbuds. The company has made more than $8 million in total sales since appearing on “Shark Tank.”