As I said before, Season 4 was kind of mean. But it’s proven to be a very interesting season in a lot of ways.
Firstly, check out the updated chart of investments, season by season:
The single largest deal was How Do You Roll? at $1 million to Kevin O’Leary versus Ten Thirty One Productions in Season 5 ($2m) to Mark, Zero Pollution Motors in Season 6 ($5m) to Robert, XCraft in Season 7 ($1.5m) to Mark again, and Fizzics in Season 8 ($2m) to… yeah, Mark again.
As a whole though, it was a pretty small investing season. A total of $8m versus $14m in Season 5, $23m in Season 6, and $15m in Season 7. Season 8 has only aired nineteen episodes and the total is already $9.6m. So… relatively small numbers. As were the total number of deals. Check out my favorite new chart below.
But it also had some of the largest and most bragged out investments made in the show’s history. Things like Cousins Maine Lobster, Tom + Chee, and Wicked Good Cupcakes that Barbara and Kevin still go on about.
It also had some notable duds, including Track Days and Baby’s Badass Burgers.
Track Days was just a dud from the beginning. It was too speculative and, to me, the pitch just struck all the wrong notes. It felt like a fraud even if it was structured like a lot of movie packages are put together these days.
Baby’s Badass Burgers was just wrong from the start. They could’ve been the next Cousins Maine Lobster except for the fact that they came in with a food truck and pitched building a retail outlet. They showed “A” but wanted to pitch “B”. Even the sharks seemed to express that, had they come in wanting money to build out one, three, ten more trucks, they might have left with a deal. Instead, they left with nothing.
Honestly though, I thought the most interesting pitch was Mee-Ma’s Louisiana Gumbo Brick. The founder was a single mother from Compton, CA, and truck driver who had figured out a way to make a gumbo base and was trying to fulfill orders from Costco. Beyond the fact that I just love gumbo, I found her story compelling and everyone said that they loved her product. She almost walked away with no deal until Kevin (Kevin!) came back in and got Lori to go in half for the $200k being asked for in exchange for 50% of the company.
Ordinarily, I’d consider a 50% equity ask fairly predatory but, since she was on the verge of leaving with nothing and it seemed like she needed the money to continue her business, it was a lot better than nothing and as a viewer I was relieved that even Kevin’s heart was human enough to come to the rescue.
Now I’m on to Season 3, Mark Cuban’s first full season and Lori’s guest season. It’s only fifteen episodes which means that total investments and deal counts will be a lot smaller but it’ll be interesting to do some proportional comparisons and see how it stacks against the rest!