Shark Tank has aired more than 200 episodes and returns to ABC for its 10th season in October 2018. The premise is simple: contestants pitch new product ideas to a panel of celebrity “sharks” who rip their business proposals to shreds as they weigh which ideas are worthy of funding. Call it entrepreneurism as mass entertainment. To date, Shark Tank has invested $100 million in projects approved on the show. Even those whose ideas don’t make the cut get free exposure to a national audience and many have found alternate funding. Successful companies that have appeared on the show include: Scrub Daddy (sponge), Bombas (socks), Tipsy Elves (ugly sweaters) and Squatty Potty (toilet). While the judges have varied backgrounds, all have plenty of personality and wealth. Below, here’s a look at the sharks of the 2018-19 season, listed in descending order of their estimated net worth.
1. Mark Cuban
Net Worth: $3.7 billion
The richest shark by an order of magnitude, Mark Cuban boasts a net worth of $3.7 billion, currently ranking #606 on Forbes annual list of billionaires. He serves as chairman of AXS TV, co-owns Landmark Theaters and Magnolia Pictures, and owns the Dallas Mavericks professional basketball team. Recently, after an investigation by the New Jersey attorney general revealed widespread harassment of female employees of the Mavericks, Cuban donated $10 million to organizations that help victims of domestic violence and promote the hiring of women as workplace leaders. Cuban, an outspoken critic of President Trump, is now considering running for President in 2020.
2. Kevin O’Leary
Net Worth $400 million
O’Leary – a.k.a. Mr. Wonderful – traces the origins of his business and investment career to his mother’s merchant and his father’s Irish charisma. After he got fired from a job at an ice cream parlor as a teenager he determined: “There are two types of people: There are people that own the store, and people that scrape the shit off the floor. You have to decide which one you are.” In 1986, O’Leary founded an educational software company that he grew aggressively through acquisitions and ultimately sold in 1999 to Mattel for $4.2 billion. He also co-founded Storage Now, which he later sold for $110 million. He has appeared on Discovery Channel’s Planet Earth and CBCs Dragon’s Den and on CNBC. He’s the author of bestselling books on financial literacy: Cold Hard Truth on Men, Women and Money and Cold Hard Truth on Family, Kids and Money. He also has his own wine label. He owns a Porsche and whenever he drives the car, his wife says "Oh no, another bald asshole in a Porsche."
3. Daymond John
Net Worth $300 million
John created the global hip-hop fashion brand FUBU, an iconic look of the 1990s. He started out by making hats with friends at his house in Queens and over the years has sold $6 billion in apparel carried at more than 5,000 stores. As a cultural ambassador, John traveled with President Obama to Kenya and Cuba. Recently, John partnered with Bob Evans for its second annual “Heroes to CEOs” contest, in which winners received $25,000 grants and coaching session from John. He is also the bestselling author of The Power of Broke. His latest venture is a co-working space blueprint + co, aimed at entrepreneurs. And unlike many of the other sharks, John is still involved in the company that made him rich, FUBU. Lately, FUBU has partnered with Puma for a line of shoes and fashion designer Kerby Jean Raymond of Pyer Moss partnered with FUBU for “the blackest show at New York fashion week."
4. Robert Herjavec
Net Worth $200 million
Entrepreneur Herjavec is the principal of Herjavec Group, a global cyber-security firm that he founded 15 years ago. Born in Croatia, he immigrated to Canada with his parents and sold his first company to AT&T. He’s married to Dancing with the Stars Kym Johnson and has appeared with her on the show. Like his fellow sharks Corcoran and Greiner, he is a best-selling author, and has published two books: Driven, The Will to Win and You Don't Have to Be a Shark. In his free time, he savors the thrill of racing Ferraris at 200 miles per hour.
5. Lori Greiner
Net Worth: $100 million
“The Queen of QVC,” entrepreneur Lori Greiner studied journalism and worked as a playwright before she made her mark with a jewelry organizer that she invented and sold on the Home Shopping Network and at JC Penney. Since 2000, she has hosted a QVC-TV show called “Clever and Unique Creations by Lori.” She claims 120 patents and 700 products to her name, as well as the best-selling book Invent It, Sell It, Bank It.
6. Barbara Corcoran
Net Worth: $80 million
Corcoran transformed a $1,000 business loan into The Corcoran Group, a real estate behemoth that she sold in 2001 for $66 million. Her first real-estate commission was $340; which she spent at Bergdorf Goodman to buy a swanky wool coat, aspirational apparel that made her feel like the “Queen of New York Real Estate” before she actually occupied that throne. Like other sharks, Corcoran is an author who chronicled her origin, business experience, and advice in the book Shark Tales. Back in 2016, Corcoran courted controversy when she tweeted: “I find running a #business in a man’s world to be a huge advantage. I wear bright colors, yank up my skirt + get attention.”