The “sharks” are in the water and making a killing.
ABC’s “Shark Tank,” a competition among entrepreneurs seeking investors, has returned for its 11th season and stands to rack up even more in valuable business deals. The latest list of the top 20 successful products in the show’s history adds eight new entries, totaling more than $1.8 billion in retail sales, according to a report by USA TODAY.
Taking the top spot is sock line Bombas, backed by investor Daymond John. Founders Randy Goldberg and David Heath built their buzzy sock start-up on a socially conscious business model that matches each pair sold with a donation to the homeless. The friends, inspired by the “buy one, give one” model used by Toms and Warby Parker, have donated over 18 million pairs of socks to those in need, CNBC reported.
What’s more, data amassed by show producer Sony Pictures Television shows the business has grossed $225 million in sales since its inception in 2014.
“We didn’t grow up dreaming of starting a sock company,” Goldberg, 40, told CNBC’s Make It earlier this year. “I’m not sure anybody ever has. But we got obsessed with socks.”
“We looked at every pair of socks in the market [and] we realized that what most people were wearing just weren’t that comfortable,” the chief brands officer added. “And there were ideas and features that we started to notice that we could improve upon, [and] we just set out on a … journey to create one, amazing pair of socks.”
After quitting their day jobs and launching a crowdfunding campaign to start their business, Goldberg and Heath pitched their idea on “Shark Tank” in 2014. Their idea caught John’s attention, and the FUBU founder agreed to invest $200,000 for 17.5 percent stake in the company.
The terms were later renegotiated, and Bombas went on to become one of John’s most successful “Shark Tank” investments.
“Every consumer at the end of the year wants to say, ‘I didn’t give at the end of the year; I gave every time I purchased. So I gave to a thousand organizations,'” John said of the company’s philanthropic mission. “And that’s more important now to always have a social cause than ever before.”
Other products on the show’s top 20 list include super sponge Scrub Daddy, which has since been bumped to the No. 2 spot; the Squatty Potty, a footrest for the toilet; oversized sweatshirt/blanket The Original Comfy; and Simply Fit exercise board.