Do Contestants Really Come to Shark Tank for Investments?

Do Contestants Really Come to Shark Tank for Investments (5)

Many company founders have successfully got their deals with sharks on Shark Tank and jumped up their businesses to success. Also, some entrepreneurs appear on the show not only for a deal but also to gain exposure and free advertising for their ventures. Sometimes, sharks had doubts about whether certain contestants were primarily seeking exposure rather than a deal.

However, the sharks became suspicious about the intention of a competitor who arrived in Shark Tank. One of the Sharks directly inquired whether his appearance was to secure an investment or merely to gain publicity.

According to the research facts, there are three types of contestants. 

  • Primarily those who were seeking investment for their business and got a deal. Then, the company succeeded with the help of the Sharks and the publicity that got from the aired episode.
  • Those who were seeking investment for their business but were unable to get a deal. However, with the exposure of the company, it succeeded. 
  • As the third type, some contestants came here to get free exposure for their businesses rather than getting a deal.

Evidence from Past Contestants

Some businesses emphasize the importance of securing investment to scale their businesses, while others highlight the exposure gained from appearing on the show. With the research facts of past contestants, we can grab information about contestants’ intentions on investment and opportunities for exposure.

Success stories of contestants who got a deal and got the benefit of the exposure. 

Owner of Bombas. The most successful business of Shark tank history.

The most successful business in Shark Tank history is Bombas, the beloved socks brand, which achieved remarkable success with investments in “Shark Tank”. And with the huge chance granted by the show enabled Bombas to be exposed all around the world.

Today, Bombas continues to thrive, making a positive impact on communities while delivering quality socks to customers worldwide, and the lifetime sales are $1 Billion now.

Founder of Scrub Daddy, The second most successful business of Shark Tank.

As a well-known Shark Tank product, Scrub Daddy is also a real example for those who want to get an investment and get the best opportunity from the explosion among the customers.

Now, the second-best Shark Tank product is Scrub Daddy, which manufactures high-tech cleaning sponges. Now, Scrub Daddy has made over $670 Million in lifetime sales.

Success stories of contestants who were unable to get an expected deal but got the benefit of the exposure.

Sometimes, contestants were unable to get an expected deal. But even their participation in Shark Tank provided extra support with the free advertising. While investment is often seen as the primary goal of appearing on Shark Tank, the role of exposure should not be underestimated. For entrepreneurs, the opportunity to showcase their products or services to millions of viewers can be a game-changer point.

Jamie Siminoff with the Ring Door Bell on Shark Tank.

When Jamie Siminoff, the founder of Ring Door Bell, appeared on the show, he was seeking $700,000 for a 10% equity. However, he couldn’t find a proper deal from the Sharks. But after, Amazon’s acquisition of Ring in a deal exceeding $1 Billion underscored its diverse capabilities beyond just home security.

This story not only secured investment in Shark Tank but also used the exposure to raise awareness about their mission.

“Ring would never have survived or been where we’ve been if it hadn’t been for that exposure from the show.”

Jamie Siminoff
Melissa Butler, The founder of The Lip Bar

Also, as another notable example, Melissa Butler, the founder of The Lip Bar, perceived rejection of “Shark Tank” as a catalyst for growth, pushing her to direct her attention toward an audience that resonated with the problem she aimed to solve. She could gain extra attention from the free advertising of Shark Tank aired episode. As a result, products of The Lip Bar are now accessible in Target stores across the country.

Despite not securing investment, the exposure from the show led to a surge in sales and ultimately contributed to the company’s success.

Stories of contestants who were targeting the free national exposure 

At the beginning of the article, there’s a short video showing a shark questioning the founder of Rumpl, “Why are you here ?”. Even having $3.5 million in his Bank account, the founder appeared on Shark Tank by mentioning that he wanted sports licenses for their products. 

Rumpl of founder comes for free exposure from Shark Tank.

However, Mark Cuban criticized this as calling the worst excuse ever made in Shark Tank because Shark Tank is meant for investing in businesses not helping to get licenses. Rumpl already has the financial ability to grow their business and get solutions for getting licenses. But why did he appear for Shark Tank? His main objective is to get free exposure by appearing the the show.

 From this, Rumpl might have been seeking free national exposure by participating in Shark Tank, but it is not for the investment from Sharks. Now Rumple is doing a great job with the exposure that he got by appearing Shark Tank.

Copa Di Vino founder comes for free exposure from Shark Tank.

As another contestant, the founder of Copa Di Vino, James Martin, declined offers from the Sharks not once but twice. He is also known as one of the most disliked entrepreneurs on the show. Despite this, his appearances on the program resulted in a remarkable growth in sales, increasing from $500,000 to over $14 million in Copa Di Vino. With those facts, we can imagine that Martin likely sought out Shark Tank primarily for the exposure it could bring to his business.

Truth Behind the Shark Tank Deals

According to an online source, here are some special facts about the Shark Tank deals.

Finding – 1

“Out of 1140 products that appeared in shark tanks, 59.85% were able to secure any deal from sharks. But as a surprise, 60% of products that survived as of 2023 were products that did not receive any shark tank deal.” 

Geeks around Globe

Based on these facts, the success of the business does not depend on securing deals. Even if the business fails to secure any deals, they have still managed to propel themselves to success. 

Finding – 2

“Out of 112 businesses offered deals on seasons 8 through 13 of Shark Tank, roughly 50-57% of those deals never came to fruition. Another 15% ended up with changed terms after the cameras stopped rolling.”

Geeks Around Globe

Based on these research facts, the majority of deals made on Shark Tank never come to fruition. Sometimes, it’s due to the decision of the Sharks, but other times, it’s the contestants’ choice. However, by appearing in Shark Tank, many entrepreneurs were seeking an investment. But some individuals participated in the show not primarily for investment but rather for the opportunity to gain free international exposure.


Shark Tank continues to be a platform where entrepreneurs can showcase their innovations and vie for investment. While the debate over whether contestants primarily seek investment or exposure may never be fully resolved, one thing is clear. Shark Tank offers valuable opportunities for entrepreneurs to propel their businesses to new heights, whether through funding, exposure, or a combination of both.

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