Over a year after Shark Tank India Season 1 aired on television, seven so-called sharks (investors) completed only 27 of the 65 soft commitments they had agreed to deploy in startups participating in the show, according to an analysis by PrivateCircle research.
The analysis revealed that, in terms of value, out of the Rs 40 crore the sharks had committed to invest in, only Rs 17 crore was invested till12 July 2023.
Shark Tank is a reality television show in which entrepreneurs pitch their business models to a panel of investors. It was conceived and aired for the first time in the United States.
PrivateCircle Research, a private market intelligence firm, analyzed filings at the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, updated to July 12, made by the Shark Tank Companies to arrive at these findings. The analysis does not include debt.
Season 1 investors included BharatPe founder Ashneer Grover, Lenskart founder Peyush Bansal, Shaadi.com founder Anupam Mittal, BoAt founder Aman Gupta, Mamaearth founder Ghazal Alagh, Sugar Cosmetics founder Vineeta Singh and Emcure Pharmaceuticals CEO Namita Thapar.
Among the seven, Thapar fulfilled the maximum percentage -- 59 -- of investment commitments. She has committed to invest in 22 companies, out of which 13 companies have submitted investment filings. On the other hand, Mittal had the lowest investment percentage at 29. He invested in 7 out of 24 committed deals.
Notably, six startups from the first season have passed on the Shark Tank deals offered to raise money at higher valuations than other investors, PrivateCircle Research added in its report.
Individually, Thapar invested the highest amount of Rs 7 crore while Alagh made the lowest investment of Rs 40 lakh. Alagh's participation in the show was limited to only a couple of episodes.
“Our findings show that some deals committed in the show may have failed due to concerns about company due diligence. Also, some startups seem to have passed the Shark Tank deal to raise funds at higher valuations than other investors,” said Sumanjan Kumar, lead financial analyst at PrivateCircle.
Overall, 117 startups participated on Shark Tank Season 1, out of which 65 startups got deal commitments. Private Circle added that Lenskart notional Re 1 on Shark Tank Season 1, so it was excluded from the count.
In addition, two rejected companies, Agri Tourism and Jhaji Achaar, got investment from sharks after the completion of the show. Agri Tourism received an investment of Rs 5 lakh from Thapar in April 2022 while Jhaji Achaar got a joint investment of Rs 30 lakh from Thapar and Singh in September 2022.
On the other hand, 10 Companies That Failed to Make a Deal in Season 1 managed to raise fresh funding at higher valuations than their original ask on the show. These companies include SweeDesi, KetoIndia, ExperientialEtc, On2Cook, Woloo, Theka Coffee, Aliste Technologies, Good Good Piggy Bank, Anthyesti, and Mommy's Kitchen.
For Shark Tank India Season 2, which ended in March 2023, 166 companies pitched on the show. Of those, 115 have secured a deal commitment, but only one of them has made investment filings till now: coffee brand VS Mani & Co.
The dataset was released in the wake of allegations by some contestants of Shark Tank India that investors have resorted to delaying tactics when it came to actually putting in money.
Last month, Mittal took to LinkedIn to say finalizing the deal for approved investments in the reality show could take anywhere from three to nine months, depending on the companies' willingness.
Some of the contestants said they received soft commitments on the show in September 2022. “Normally it takes two to three months to finalize a fundraising transaction, but the sharks (investors) are dragging things to purpose (after the episode is shot) even.” The tone explodes. They want extra paperwork, their legal team won't return their calls, and their team members will make silly excuses like they're on vacation or the new year is here," one such contestant told.
While some founders said they were still waiting for a final word from investors on the promised funding, others have moved on, writing off the show as just a marketing opportunity.
Also Read: Rekha Jhunjhunwala buys over 6,00,000 more shares of this Tata Group stock in Q1