Shark Tank’s richest sharks & most successful products after 15 years on air

If you’ve ever had a dream of starting a business but aren’t sure how to get the funding you need to make it work, you’ve surely found yourself watching “Shark Tank” and daydreaming about being one of its winning contestants.

Since its debut in 2009, “Shark Tank” has offered small business owners the opportunity to pitch their products and/or services to a host of highly successful venture capitalists on television. The show has enjoyed enormous success with viewers while helping many a hopeful entrepreneur secure a much-needed financial boost to help get their fledgling businesses off the ground. 

As of early 2024, “Shark Tank” has continued to hold audience interest for a decade and a half and is preparing for its 16th season on air. Whether you’re curious about where to watch “Shark Tank”, who the richest Shark on the show is, or what the most successful “Shark Tank” products have been to date, we’ve got answers for you.

Related: Popular ‘Shark Tank’ brand files Chapter 11 bankruptcy

A brief history of ‘Shark Tank’

While “Shark Tank’s” U.S. debut was in 2009, it wasn’t an original concept at the time. Rather, it was inspired by a Japanese TV show called “The Tigers of Money” that debuted in 2001.

The show’s popularity was so explosive that it went on to be produced in 40 different countries under other names, including “Dragon’s Den” in Canada, the Netherlands, and New Zealand, “The Lion’s Pit” in Slovakia, “Who Wants to Be My Business Partner” in France, and “Chinese Partner” in China (just to name a few).

Pictured here are sharks Mark Cuban, Barbara Corcoran, Kevin O’Leary, Lori Greiner, and Robert Herjavec.

Meet the ‘Shark Tank’ cast

The “Shark Tank” cast has changed quite a few times since the show’s inception, both in terms of its core cast and its guest roster. For the show’s first season, the main Sharks were Kevin Harrington, Daymond John, Kevin O’Leary, Barbara Corcoran, and Robert Herjavec. 

Mark Cuban appeared as a guest Shark the following year in 2010, and in 2011, he formally joined the cast. Lori Greiner also appeared as a guest Shark in season 3, filling in for Corcoran several times.

On top of the regulars, “Shark Tank” has had a long list of celebrity guests over the years, including Jeff Foxworthy, Ashton Kutcher, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kevin Hart, Richard Branson, and Charles Barkley. It’s also invited high-profile CEOs — such as Sara Blakeley, the founder of Spanx, Daniel Lubetzky, founder of Kind, and Anne Wojcicki, co-founder and CEO of DNA company 23&Me — to serve as guest judges.

Although he has announced his impending departure from the program, Mark Cuban has long been the wealthiest venture capitalist on “Shark Tank.”

Christopher Willard/Getty Images

Who is the richest Shark on ‘Shark Tank’?

While all the Sharks have their own successful pursuits, Mark Cuban is by far the richest Shark, with a net worth of $6.2 billion under his belt as of 2023. Cuban, who owns the Dallas Mavericks, has announced he plans to leave the show after season 16, presumably to focus on his newest venture, Cost Plus Drugs.

After Cuban, the next-richest Shark is investor and TV personality Kevin O’Leary, with a net worth of $400 million. He’s followed by fashion maverick Daymond John, who got his start founding urban fashion brand Fubu. His net worth now sits at $350 million.

Canadian businessman Robert Herjavec is next with a net worth of $300 million, driven by his founding of Brak Systems, an internet security software that he sold to AT&T Canada in 2000 for $30.2 million. He’s followed by Lori Greiner, who built her $150 million net worth by being a prolific inventor with more than 1,000 products launched.

Real estate mogul Barbara Corcoran sits at the end of the list with a net worth of $100 million. 

What are the most successful ‘Shark Tank’ products?

While hundreds of products have been pitched to the Sharks over the years, a select few have gone on to become household names (or, at the very least, highly popular items in the world of internet shopping).

A selection of basic colors from Bombas’ sock collection

Bombas

1. Bombas

Bombas, a sock company that now also makes bras and t-shirts, came to the minds of co-founders David Heath and Randy Goldberg when they learned that the number-one most-requested clothing item in homeless shelters was socks. A key part of Bombas’ business was to donate one pair of socks to a shelter for every pair that was purchased, which has so far led to 100 million donations — and counting.

Heath and Goldberg pitched their idea on “Shark Tank” back in Sept. 2014, catching the interest of Daymond John. John chose to invest $200,000 for a 17.5% stake in the company. It’s since made $1 million in lifetime revenue and is still going strong, so it looks like John’s nose for fashion was spot-on.

A Scrub Daddy 8-pack

Amazon

2. Scrub Daddy

Most of us have spotted a bright yellow smiley sponge in the cleaning aisle at our local Target by now. The adorable sponge’s special power — getting firm in cold water and soft in warm, as well as resisting odors for up to two weeks — was its key selling point when founder Aaron Krause pitched in on “Shark Tank” in 2012.

Lori Greiner was the one to bite, offering Krause $200,000 for a 20% stake in the company. The two shook on the deal, and Scrub Daddy grew to a net worth of $300 million, which netted Greiner a cool $40 million on the deal.

The original Squatty Potty

Squatty Potty

3. Squatty Potty

We had no idea we were all pooping wrong until the Edwards family strolled into “Shark Tank” in 2014 and showed off what was originally a homemade product to help Judy Edwards overcome chronic constipation. Luckily, it worked, and the Edwards caught Lori Greiner’s attention with its first two years of sales direct-to-consumer: $1 million in year one and $2.7 million in year two.

Greiner spent $350,000 for a 10% stake, and once again, her product intuition paid off. By 2021, Squatty Potty had been acquired by private equality firm Aterian — and by 2022, it had sold eight million stools.

4. Simply Fit Board

We all wish exercise was a bit easier to get ourselves to do, and when mother-daughter entrepreneur duo Linda Clark and Gloria Hoffman walked onto “Shark Tank” in 2015, they knew it. That’s why their product — a plastic balancing board designed to help you work your core — caught the attention of not one but two Sharks!

Both Lori Greiner and Kevin O’Leary showed interest in the Simply Fit board, with Greiner offering to match the $125,000 the duo asked for in trade for a 20% stake. Despite O’Leary offering double the investment at $250,000 (but for a 30% equity stake), the inventors accepted Greiner’s offer. Reports vary on the product’s lifetime sales, but CNBC reported they were $160 million as of 2019.

Where to watch ‘Shark Tank’

“Shark Tank” airs on ABC at 8 pm CST/7 pm CT, but that’s not the only way to watch the show. In fact, it can be streamed on a wide variety of services, including Hulu, YouTube, YouTube TV, Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video, Sling TV, Vudu, and fuboTV. However, ABC still remains the only free way to watch the show — if you have cable, that is.

And if you’re in the mood to relive some past seasons, select previously aired episodes can also be streamed free on the ABC website.

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