Which Shark Tank judge is swimming around with the biggest net worth? And which is floundering around with the least?
Since its debut in 2009, Shank Tank has seen “$100 million in deals” (via ABC) between contestants and its esteemed panel of money moguls, each hoping to get a bite out of the next big thing in business. As aspiring entrepreneurs “next into the tank” pitch their company — from the hugely successful (and passed-on) Ring security system to this… questionable door lock presentation that everyone got a “kick” out of — the sharks openly discuss what is and isn’t worth their investment (from the comfort of their Eames chairs). So truly: cold, hard cash is to the ABC reality series what open-concept kitchens are to… any HGTV show. But for which shark is that potential check a little smaller of a bite?
The core group of Robert Herjavec, Mark Cuban, Damon John, Kevin O’Leary, Lori Grenier, and Barbara Corcoran have spent all 12 seasons and nearly 200 episodes a piece on Shark Tank, per IMDB. So it’s safe to say each is successful in their own right and deserves their seat. But who is the Great White of the bunch, and who is more like a dwarf lantern-shark that even a packed beach wouldn’t be evacuated for? Our aquatic puns may be sinking, but if money is everything on Shark Tank, it’s worth asking!
Here are the Shark Tank sharks ranked from most to least wealthy.
Mark Cuban is oceans ahead of the other sharks
So who is the wealthiest Shark Tank shark? Surprise, surprise, it’s Mark Cuban. The reality show’s intro once toted Cuban as a “notorious billionaire entrepreneur,” and they’re not wrong. Cuban is worth a massive $4.3 billion to date, per Celebrity Net Worth.
In addition to owning the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, the Texas-born tech titan owns, “Magnolia Pictures, Landmark Theaters, and is chairman of HDNet, an HDTV Cable Network,” per Celebrity Net Worth. It’s no secret Cuban is filthy rich, but putting the numbers to paper makes his wealth pretty amazing. According to Forbes, Cuban — who is No. 177 on the Forbes 400 list — made his wealth by founding, “video portal Broadcast.com with fellow Indiana University alum Todd Wagner in 1995,” selling it, “to Yahoo for $5.7 billion in 1999.”
In other words, the likable shark got in on the tech boom early. And he’s got the zeroes to show for it.
Kevin O'Leary is the second wealthiest in the tank
Candid Canadian Countryman Kevin O’Leary is arguably the Simon Cowell of Shark Tank. He doles out some of the harshest critiques, often speaks on behalf of the audience when things are going awry (which, if you watch, you know), and is never shy to offer contestants his famed “royalty deal.” But does he have the net worth to back up the flair? According to Celebrity Net Worth, Mr. Wonderful has a wonderful net worth of… $400 million. He’s the second-wealthiest shark.
According to ABC, O’Leary launched his company, SoftKey Software Products, “from his basement” in the 1990s, soon picking up steam and moving HQ to an office in Massachusetts, buying up other software competitors along the way. In 1999, he sold the company to Mattel (the makers of Barbie) for 3.7 billion dollars, per ABC, “one of the largest deals ever done in the consumer software industry.”
O’Leary may not be the top net worth-wise, but he truly embodies the viciousness of a shark.
Daymond John is the third richest Shark Tank judge
Sharp-dressed man Daymond John is the third wealthiest judge on Shark Tank. According to Celebrity Net Worth, he is worth an estimated $350 million.
His riches are mostly due to his being the founder, former CEO, and president of the clothing brand FUBU. Plus, John embodies the entrepreneurial rags-to-riches journey (though John would look dapper in anything) Shark Tank promotes. According to Celebrity Net Worth, he co-founded FUBU, “at his mother’s house in Queens when he was 20 years old,” sewing many of the items himself.
According to NBC, “at its pinnacle, FUBU had netted $350 million in sales through 5,000 retail stores,” and it has grossed “more than $6 billion globally” to date. Standing for “For Us, By Us,” and targeting “young African American consumers,” per the outlet, the duds have been rocked by Beyonce, TLC, and more. It’s just a cool brand, and John always keeps his temperature cool on Shark Tank. “I’ve been really fortunate to have been part of something that’s a globally recognized brand,” John told NBC in 2017. “I don’t know necessarily the effect or impact that I’ve had, but whatever it is, I’m grateful.”
Robert Herjavec is the fourth wealthiest shark, but his story is something
Coif-haired Canadian Robert Herjavec is a pleasant presence on Shark Tank, and has been since Season 1. He is the fourth wealthiest shark, worth $200 million to date, per Celebrity Net Worth. And his story also captures the self-made spirit of the show.
According to CNBC, Herjavek’s family immigrated from Croatia to Canada with “a single suitcase and just $20.” As Fortune wrote, “by the time he was 10, they relied on him to read their apartment lease.” A few decades later, the businessman would sell his company, BRAK Systems, to AT&T Canada for an adjusted $20 million in American dollars, and by 2015, his cybersecurity firm, the Herjavec Group, had $130 million in yearly revenue, per CNBC.
But Herjavek has made savvy decisions in the tank, too. He bought in on the company Tipsy Elves for $100,000 for a 10 percent share, and by 2018, they had generated $70 million in sales. Money moves aside, Herjavek also participated in Season 20 of Dancing with the Stars in 2015, where he was paired with dancer Kym Johnson, whom he ended up marrying. Though it seemed slightly messy, it’s quite a story!
Lori Greiner is fifth-wealthiest, but her Shark Tank track record is amazing
Queen of QVC Lori Greiner has quite an impressive portfolio, having “created over 500 products,” and holding “over 120 U.S. and international patents,” per ABC. But what is her net worth? According to Celebrity Net Worth, Greiner is worth an estimated $150 million. That being said, the “warm-blooded shark,” as she describes herself on her website, may have the best Shark Tank track record of the whole pack.
According to Greiner’s site, she “has a 90% success rate on new items launched,” and “has 10 of the top 20 most successful companies on Shark Tank to date.” So perhaps that “warm-blooded” technique on the show has paid off! One of those products is Scrub Daddy, which, according to Smart Company, she locked into a deal on-air in 2012 for $200,000. Per Money Inc, Greiner “sold more than 2 million Scrub Daddy sponges in one day on QVC.” And it’s, “the most successful product ever pitched on Shark Tank,” having “generated over $75 million in revenue to date.”
TLC may have wanted “No Scrubs,” but clearly, America does! Greiner may not be the wealthiest shark, but she may be the one you want to swim with.
Barbara Corcoran is the least wealthy of the Shark Tank judges
Barbara Corcoran has the smallest net worth of the Shark Tank cast; she’s worth $100 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. That’s less than one-fortieth what her neighbor Mark Cuban is worth. Ouch. But her story is still amazing, and definitely fits with the self-made ethos of the show.
According to Entrepreneur, when she was 23 years old, “Corcoran was making ends meet by waitressing when she met future husband,” who gave her a $1000 loan to start a joint real estate business, which he left soon after, as well as leaving her to “marry his secretary.” He claimed, per the outlet, that she would “never succeed without him.”‘ Well, we have a counter-offer! Over the next 23 years, per Entrepreneur, Corcoran built that New York City real estate brokerage company into the real estate empire the Corcoran Group, which she sold in 2001 for $66 million.
As each of the sharks’ fascinating stories show (if not their huge respective wealth), sometimes it’s the journey and not the destination that makes them all so worthy of an entrepreneur’s partnership.
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