Shark Tank Products That Failed

Shark Tank Products That Failed: Worst Deals & Investments

Not all Shark Tank products become a success. Some of the products cut great deals from the sharks on the show but end up failing completely and the sharks are left regretting. Others fail to get an investment from the sharks but they become successful. So, what are some of the worst investments ever made on Shark Tank? What are some of the Shark Tank products that failed?

Our article below will walk you through our compilation of all the Shark Tank products that failed. For each product, we have compiled crucial info like the details of the pitch, why it failed, and even the post-show outcome. We’ll also discuss some of the million-dollar ventures the sharks miscalculated and missed.

Shark Tank Products That Failed

Here are some of the biggest Shark Tank failures and key details you need to know about each of them:

Body Jack

Jack Barringer, an entrepreneur and infomercial star, walked to Shark Tank in season 1 confident that his invention would be a success.

He needed one of the sharks to invest $180,000 in his business. Fortunately (or unfortunately), he was able to convince Barbara Corcoran and Kevin Harrington whom he cut a deal with.

The idea behind his invention, the Body Jack, was that it would make pushups much easier and it’d also help improve other muscles.

Body Jac

According to Shark Tank Tales, Jack’s doctor had instructed him to lose 30 pounds but found some of the suggested exercises to meet this goal hard on his joints. As a result, he did “think outside the box” and his invention was born!

However, it’s not clear why the product didn’t kick off.

Barbara Corcoran, one of the investors, told Forbes that her worst Shark Tank deal was investing her money in a fast-talking cowboy who needed to lose up to 50 pounds selling exercise equipment.

Toygaroo

Toygaroo is also among the worst Shark Tank deals. The idea behind it was to offer a subscription-based service for renting toys.

This allowed parents to keep their children engaged with various types of toys while at the same time avoiding the clutter of ownership.

In this subscription mode, the parents would rent toys for a given period and then return them when their children were done playing and then receive a new set of toys. This would greatly help reduce unused toys.

Toygaroo

Despite this idea sounding too good, it did not succeed. When they pitched the idea on Shark Tank Kevin O’Leary and Mark Cuban were impressed and offered the founder $250,000 for 35% equity in the business.

Toygaroo made a good impression not just on the investors but also on the viewers who watched the pitch.

The demand went so high that they were unable to keep up. It grew so fast that they were unable to keep up. With the pressure of high costs and low stock, the bubble eventually burst and the company eventually filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Their distribution model was also flawed; they had promised free shipping. However, it turned out to be not so viable due to the different sizes and shapes the toys come in, which affect the cost of delivery.

Breathometer

When Breathometer made it to the Shark Tank stage, every shark wanted a piece of it because it sounded too good!

The product was pitched as a game changer for all individuals concerned about their alcohol consumption and how it impacted their ability to drive.

The device simply connected to a smartphone via a mobile app and pledged to deliver real-time results, allowing you to make an informed decision about your alcohol intake.

After presenting his idea, Charles Michael Yim, the founder of this product, was able to secure $1 million in funding from 5 sharks for 30% equity. The investors included Mark Cuban, Kevin O’Leary, Daymond John, Lori Greiner, and Robert Herjavec.

Breathometer

Unfortunately, the product didn’t make it big. Firstly, it was unable to fulfill all the orders placed. Secondly, the device was unable to produce accurate results.

In response, the Federal Trade Commission ordered the company to remove the product from sale and refund all the customers that were affected.

According to Mark Cuban, the breathometer was the worst execution in Shark Tank’s history. He put the blame on the founder of the product, claiming that he mismanaged the funds.

Note that the company is still operating. However, they’re now marketing a completely different product that helps measure biomarkers of gum diseases and bad breath.

They’ve partnered with Philips’ oral hygiene department for this particular product

Show No Towels

Show No Towels was another great product featured on the Shark Tank TV series. It was a great idea aimed at providing a creative and functional solution to parents and kids during bath time.

Shelly Ehler, the mind behind this idea, presented it to the sharks as a reinvention of the traditional bath towel.

The towel, simply towel/poncho crossover, featured fun and colorful graphics one on the side while the other side featured a waterproof lining. This means the children would be able to wear them like capes when bathing.

Ultimately, it would make bathing more fun and enjoyable for kids while making it a less messy affair for the parents.

Show No Towels

The sharks were impressed and they were quick to bite! The deal was finally made between the founder and Lori Greiner.

The shark gave Ehler $50,000 on the spot for 25% equity in the company, making history as the first time in the history of the show that an entrepreneur received cash on demand.

They worked on the company together for up to a year and Greiner even managed to bring the Show No Towel to Disney and struck a deal with them to sell it in Disney water parks.

However, despite appearing to be well-positioned for success, the company would later go broke.

Things didn’t go the way the founder expected them to go or the way she presented them on TV, so she had to go out of business.

Sweet Ballz

Sweet Ballz, a cake ball company, is also among the Shark Tank ideas that failed to kick off. The product aimed to capture the hearts of all dessert lovers with its unique approach to cake pops.

The entrepreneurs behind this idea presented it on Shark Tank as a delightful twist from the traditional cake pops.

These spherical treats were available in different flavors, and their moist, dough-like texture was their selling point and what set them apart from the usual cake pops.

The investors at Shark Tank loved the pitch from the founders, James McDonald and Cole Egger. Barbara Corcoran and Mark Cuban jumped into the wagon and invested $250,000 for a 25% stake in the company.

Sweet Ballz

The deal went on well and at some point, the cake company clocked up to $700,000 in sales from between 7 and 11 franchises alone.

However, their success was short-lived, as McDonald would later sue his partner Egger for breach of contract. This was after he started a competitor company on the side known as CakeBallz.

At some point, McDonald even tried seeking a restraining order. While the company still exists today, the partnership between the founders doesn’t.

Foot Fairy

Foot Fairy was an iPad App designed to measure the foot size of children. Its founders were Nicole Brooks and Sylvie Shapiro.

The idea sounded promising, as it would solve a common problem that’s usually overlooked.

Many parents usually rely on guesswork when it comes to their kids’ footwear. This may seem normal, but if you get the sizing wrong, it can be harmful to the little ones.

Just imagine the pain and discomfort of wearing shoes that aren’t properly fitting. It gets worse for kids.

Foot Fair jumped in to solve this problem by creating an app that enabled parents to take measurements of their kids’ feet using an iPad. This way, you’ll be able to get the right size of shoes for your kids when you go shopping.

Foot Fairy

In their business model, they partnered with Zappos as well as other online shops which would then be promoted via the app.

At Shark Tank, they got a deal with Mark Cuban whose terms include $100,000 for a 40% stake in the business.

Unfortunately, their app was so buggy that it couldn’t capture the commission payments. This prevented them from making money through their idea.

The deal with Mark also didn’t go through and they shut down within 6 months after appearing on the Shark Tank.

Today, there are many shoe-sizing smartphone apps from people who probably borrowed the idea from Fairy Foot.

CATEapp

CATEapp was a privacy app (Call and Text Eraser) designed to hide messages and calls from some selected contacts. In other words, it was a message app for cheating.

When Neal Desai presented the idea on the Shark Tank, she was seeking $50,000 for 5% of the business.

Luckily, he was able to strike a deal with two sharks namely Daymond John and Kevin O’Leary for $70000 for a 35% stake in the company.

CATEapp

After the episode aired, the privacy app received 10k new downloads, mostly from women. Neal also believed his app could work for the government and law enforcement, so he was quick to pursue those markets as well.

However, the app seems to have not become too popular and it went offline. The last post ever made from its social media accounts was around 2013.

You Smell Soap

Megan Cummins founded the “You Smell Soap,” a luxury soap brand and she had no doubt in her mind that all it needed was one of the sharks to jump into it.

And so, she made an appearance on Shark Tank and pitched her idea to the judges. She was seeking $55,000 for a 20% stake in the company.

By the time she appeared on the show, she had already moved 1200 bars of soap in two scent varieties for market testing. It was, therefore, logical that her next step was funding to take her business to the next level. Robert Herjavec gave her an offer.

However, things didn’t go as Megan would have hoped. After the show, she was unable to get hold of Robert. She had to wait for up to 6 months before she could hear from him.

You Smell Soap

When they finally communicated, Robert tried adjusting his offer to $50,000 in exchange for a 50% stake in the company. Megan didn’t agree to this and opted out of the deal.

With the demotivation and frustration she went through, she still managed to push through with her business with the help of another investor.

The investor would later buy the company and shortly after it closed doors.

HyConn

Jeff Stroope came up with HyConn to help produce easy-to-attach connectors for garden hoses and fire hydrants.

He needed $1.25 million to get the company running. When he appeared on Shark Tank, he got exactly what he wanted.

Mark Cuban saw great potential in this idea and gave Stroope an offer that amounted to 100% equity at the company. Moreover, he agreed to put in $100,000 every year for the next 3 years. Above all this, Jeff was entitled to a 7.5% royalty.

HyConn

Mary Cuban must have thought beyond any doubt that this was the deal of a lifetime! Unfortunately, as sweet a deal as it was, nothing really came out of it and there was a fallout.

Jeff would later release a statement on Facebook stating that Cuban tried changing the terms of the deal. However, what ultimately led to the dwindling of the business was a design licensing issue.

HyConn would later go on to run on its own and would earn as much as $5 million in the year 2015.

However, in 2016, the business eventually went out of business, probably due to a lack of funding as well as a lack of experience on Jeff’s part.

Biem

Biem was a kitchen utensil designed for spraying butter which would have been a better way to apply butter than rather than pat it as we traditionally used to.

Doug Foreman was behind this idea and he entered the Shark Tank seeking $500,000 in exchange for a 5% stake in his company.

Lori Greiner was quite impressed with the presentation that she hopped in and offered Doug what he asked for but for a much higher equity of 14%.

Despite having the backing of the Queen of QVC, Biem still failed. The reason behind this was that the final product did not meet the hype already created by the prototypes.

Biem

Moreover, Biem had already crowdsourced funding from Kickstarter before appearing on Shark Tank. Thus, the Kickstarter was unhappy and not ready to continue backing Biem when its first faulty came out.

The product was such a failure that the company was flooded with Better Business Bureau complaints.

Going back to the design board and coming up with a better, improved version of the product could’ve saved their face.

However, the supporters have already jumped ship, including Lori, leaving the company without the necessary funding. As such, they had no choice but to close their doors.

Note that the Biem website is still accessible but their products have also been listed as out of stock for the longest time.

Shark Tank failures that made millions

There are always two sides of the coin! While we have discussed deals that were made on Shark Tank but fell through, the opposite is also true. Some of the ideas didn’t get the deals they were hoping for but went ahead to make millions.

Below are some of Shark Tank biggest misses:

  • Ring (Doorbot): If you’ve ever wondered what is the most successful pitched product on Shark Tank that was turned down, this is it! Ring is a smart doorbell company that failed to secure an investment but grew on its own to become a massive success. Amazon later acquired it for over 1 billion dollars!
  • Xero Shoes: Xero shoes are aimed at producing lightweight minimalist footwear for outdoor enthusiasts. Though the product didn’t secure a deal on the show, it found huge success on its own and currently has a net worth of $20 million.
  • Qubits: This was an innovative STEM-based toy that would be ideal for educational fun for kids. The founder initially made a deal with Daymond John (and later on, Kevin O’Leary), but the deal eventually fell through.
Shark Tank failures that made millions

However, he was able to get another investor, the Discovery Toys, LLC. Thanks to their wholesale ordering system, he was able to make enough sales, enabling him to become debt-free. Today, the company’s retail sales in the North American market fetch them six figures.

  • Proof Eyewear: Proof Eyewear is a sustainable eyewear brand using wooden frames. Although it failed to secure a deal, its appearance on the show helped create awareness for its eco-friendly products. Currently, they do up to $6 million in annual sales.
  • The Lip Bar: Lip bar is a cruelty-free, vegan lipstick designed by a woman of color for use by women of color. When she appeared on Shark Tank, her product impressed none of the sharks and they only offered her criticism. Today, the brand pulls in an estimated $5.5 million in annual revenue.

These are just a few of the big opportunities that the sharks missed. They show that the sharks can easily miss opportunities that grow to become highly successful ventures.

If you’re interested in the other side of the Shark Tank story, our article on Most Successful Shark Tank Products delves into the remarkable products that found immense success after appearing on the show. And for those curious about the net worth of the Shark Tank cast, check out our article on Shark Tank Net Worth of the Cast to see just how lucrative the world of entrepreneurship and investing can be.

Conclusion

While Shark Tank has seen many ideas come to fruition and grow to become multi-million dollar empires, not all of them always succeed. This guide has just discussed some of the worst Shark Tank investments including Body Jack, Toygarooo, Breathometer, Sweet Ballz, Show No Towels, CATEapp, HyConn, and Biem, among others. For most of these products, the deals fell through due to the founders’ mistakes, and they closed down the business.

These stories of Shark Tank failures should serve as powerful cautionary tales of the need for aspiring entrepreneurs to do thorough market research, realistic valuation, and have a better understanding of their target audience. It is also a reminder that you may have the best product but if you do not have proper execution, it may easily fail.

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