The hit TV show “Shark Tank” gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to pitch their products directly to wealthy venture capitalists who are ready and willing to invest in the next big thing. Sharks are known to be vicious creatures that can smell blood miles away, and the cast members of “Shark Tank” often behave similarly, circling a potentially successful product before striking. These sharks use cash to lure eager entrepreneurs, and some simply have more cash than others.
Unlike many of the other sharks, John is still involved in the company that made him rich, FUBU. The fashion company gained vast popularity in the mid-1990s after John's friend LL Cool J began wearing the clothing. John convinced his mother to take out a second mortgage on their home where he and his friends began the fashion line. He is a self-made business success who has been interested in the apparel industry since childhood. After his mother taught him how to sew, John made his own hats and sold them on the streets of New York City. The resident fashion expert on “Shark Tank” has amassed a net worth of approximately $250 million.
If it is possible to have an elephant in the room of a shark tank, that elephant is billionaire Mark Cuban. The outspoken owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks began amassing his wealth shortly after graduating college when he founded MicroSolutions. After selling the company in 1990, he invested his $2 million profit into Broadcast.com, which was eventually sold to Yahoo, Inc. for $5.7 billion. As of 2017, Cuban’s net worth is estimated to be $3.3 billion according to Forbes, ranking him among the top 250 wealthiest people in the United States.
Not resting on his laurels, Cuban continues to grow his wealth through his ownership of the fifth-most valuable NBA franchise and co-owning AXS TV, Landmark Theaters, and Magnolia Pictures. One of his more memorable “Shark Tank” deals was his $2 million season five offer for 20% of a horror entertainment company specializing in producing Halloween-themed attractions. Cuban also proposed the largest deal in the show’s history, a whopping $30 million to purchase the online dating site Coffee Meets Bagel. The owners turned his deal down and went on to make millions after leaving the show with no deal.
Known on the show as “Mr. Wonderful,” O’Leary is famous for his direct and often abrasive approach with entrepreneurs. After getting an investment from his mother, he founded SoftKey Software Products in his basement upon graduation from college. After acquiring The Learning Company, he sold it off to Mattel in 1999 for $3.7 billion. As of 2017, O’Leary’s net worth is estimated to be over $400 million. Currently, the multimillionaire is hoping to cross over from business to politics as a candidate to become the leader of Canada's Conservative party.
O’Leary is also famous for pulling off the largest deal in “Shark Tank” history, a season six agreement with the single-serve wine company Zipz. The company’s founder, Andrew McMurray, agreed to his $2.5 million offer in exchange for 10% equity of the company. O’Leary says he expects Zipz to completely revolutionize the beverage market.
In a true rags-to-riches story, Herjavec and his family fled communist oppression in Croatia and arrived in Canada with just $20. When his mother, who could not speak much English, lost all of the family’s money to a vacuum salesmen, he vowed to never again let his family be taken advantage of by someone. In 1990, Herjavec founded technology company BRAK Systems and sold the business to AT&T, Inc. for $100 million in 2000. He then began a security software firm known as the Herjavec Group and helped negotiate the sale of RAMP Network to Nokia Corporation for $225 million. As of 2017, his estimated net worth is approximately $200 million.