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17 Shark Tank Deals That Failed

Despite the initial promise, some Shark Tank deals didn’t materialize as expected. While hopeful entrepreneurs pitched their innovations with passion, certain partnerships faltered post-show. 

Let’s delve into a few instances where promising collaborations failed to bear fruit, shedding light on the complexities beyond the Tank’s spotlight.

What Are Some of the Shark Tank Deals That Failed?

1. Breathometer

The Breathometer, a smartphone app for measuring blood alcohol levels, gained traction on “Shark Tank” with a $1 million investment from all judges. However, the Federal Trade Commission stepped in due to unmet orders and inaccurate readings. This led to customer refunds and a complete halt in sales.


2. Toygaroo

With dreams of becoming the “Netflix of toys,” Toygaroo earned $200,000 from “Shark Tank” investors. Yet, its rapid growth proved detrimental. Struggling with soaring expenses and inadequate inventory, the company’s downfall came swiftly. The eventual outcome? Bankruptcy due to unsustainable expansion.

3. HillBilly

HillBilly Clothing’s founders, Mike Abbatichio and Shon Lees, scored almost $300,000 in sales pre-“Shark Tank.” Three judges bit and invested. Surprisingly, the duo had no intentions of sealing the deal. They pulled out, admitting their motive was the show’s publicity, not partnership.

4. ShowNo Towels

ShowNo Towels emerged from Shelly Ehler’s parental exasperation, combining a poncho and towel. Backed by a “Shark Tank” investor, it initially thrived. Though the brand later fizzled, Ehler embraced it. 

In a 2020 post, she expressed self-accomplishment and the ability to gracefully progress beyond, having achieved her goals.

5. Coffee Meets Bagel

Coffee Meets Bagel isn’t about brunch. It’s a dating app. The founders, three sisters, declined Mark Cuban’s $30 million buyout offer. They opted to raise $23 million themselves. Lesson: Entrepreneurs, value your worth. Investors, adapt your terms.

coffee meets bagel

6. Chef Big Shake

Chef Big Shake’s Shawn Davis aimed to impress “Shark Tank” with a range of frozen offerings and $30,000 in sales. Judges passed. But in a surprising twist, within a year, Chef Big Shake flourished, amassing $5 million in sales. 

The initial hesitation has investors proven wrong and the business with remarkable success.

7. Sweet Ballz

While frozen foods failed, cake balls triumphed with Sweet Ballz founders James McDonald and Cole Egger. A $250,000 deal from Mark Cuban and Barbara Corcoran [1] was clinched. 

Yet, sweetness soured as Egger’s competing venture prompted legal conflict. A lawsuit and restraining order ensued between the once-partners, casting a shadow on Sweet Ballz’s success.

8. The Bouqs Company

The Bouqs Company aimed to charm judges as a farm-to-table florist shop. Despite the “arrangement,” the judges weren’t swayed. Ironically, investors missed out. 

The Bouqs Company

Founder John Tabis persevered, and by 2019, the company flourished with 10,000+ employees and 4,000+ acres of flower fields, turning the initial setback into impressive success.

9. CoatChex

CoatChex’s Derek Pacque aimed to modernize coat checking with facial recognition, avoiding paper tickets. Mark Cuban demanded a hefty stake, leading to no deal. Nevertheless, CoatChex evolved into Chexology, thriving. 

Now catering to top clients like Barclays Center and MoMA, the refusal became a stepping stone to success.

10. Proof Eyewear

Proof Eyewear’s sustainable approach, crafting glasses from wood and plant-based plastic, lured the “Shark Tank” judges. Kevin O’Leary bid $150,000 for 25% equity and royalties, but the founders declined. 

Their independent journey proved fruitful – with $2.5 million in sales within a year. A case where sticking to their vision paid off handsomely.

11. Body Jac

Body Jac, designed by Jack Barringer, aimed to make push-ups accessible. Kevin Harrington and Barbara Corcoran invested $180,000, seeing its promise. Yet, issues emerged; the website shut down in 2012. 

Jack Barringer

Corcoran now deems it her worst deal. A tale of missed potential and challenges faced in the journey of innovation.

12. Doorbot

In 2013, Jamie Siminoff introduced a camera doorbell on “Shark Tank.” Despite rejection by most judges, he declined the sole offer. The story didn’t stop there. 

Remarkably, Doorbot rebranded as Ring and soared to a billion-dollar triumph, highlighting a significant “Shark Tank” miss. A tale of turning a setback into unparalleled success.

13. CATEapp

Following its TV appearance, the CATEapp scored 10k downloads, mainly from women. Privacy features caught the government and law enforcement’s attention. However, despite its potential, the app vanished, last posting in 2013. 

Despite initial traction, it appears the app couldn’t sustain popularity, fading into obscurity.

14. You Smell Soap

After a televised handshake deal, Megan Cummins struggled for 6 months to reach Robert Herjavec, who later returned with a 50% offer. Megan declined. As seen with Show No Towel, sharks altering terms isn’t uncommon. 

You Smell

However, the lengthy indecision harmed her business. Partnering with another investor, Megan sold the company but later shut it down. Would quicker action by Herjavec have rewritten the story?

15. HyConn

The HyConn deal soured as Mark Cuban altered terms. Cuban aimed to license the product for quicker market entry, lowering costs and boosting profits, sidelining founder Jeff Stroope. 

Stroope declined, and despite patenting the product, it never launched. HyConn’s post-“Shark Tank” shutdown was likely due to funding and inexperience issues.

16. Foot Fairy

Foot Fairy aimed to tackle kids’ shoe problems, but issues plagued its app and business model. Commission-based earnings from Zappos and others flopped due to a buggy app, built by inexperienced founders, Shapiro and Brooks. 

Foot Fairy

The Mark Cuban deal fizzled, and Foot Fairy folded within six months. Numerous smartphone shoe-sizing apps have since emerged.

17. Biem

Biem’s downfall traces back to a failed Kickstarter, with the initial butter-spraying utensil disappointing backers. Complaints of faulty items filled the Better Business Bureau. Despite Shark Tank exposure, the Lori Greiner deal collapsed, likely impacting funding for improvements. 

Although the website remains, products have been sold out for years. Biem’s issues seem unsolvable, leading to its effective shutdown.


These stories of failed Shark Tank deals remind us that even promising concepts can stumble in the complex world of business. Whether due to operational challenges, mismatched partnerships, or evolving markets, success is never guaranteed. 

These experiences offer valuable insights into the unpredictable nature of entrepreneurship.

Charles McMillan
Charles McMillan
Charles is a family man, an entrepreneur, and a writer. He is skilled in finding the balance between efficiency, affordability, and high-quality offerings when it comes to business services. He’s on a continuing mission to discover and rediscover the most popular LLC services, while sharing his most accurate assessment and review to help business owners like himself.