Season 9’s Sharks By The Numbers

It’s been interesting to wrap up Season 9 and see how the numbers have played out again this year.

Mark Cuban is always the one to watch. He seems to view deals in the Tank like a Texas Hold’em player viewing the table, keeping his opinions really close to his chest until he’s either folded or has gone all in. (It’s times like this that I wish I kept track of whether a Shark actually made an offer for a company to compare against the number of times that they were accepted…) In seven of the eight years that he’s been on the show, he’s either made the most deals, invested the most amount of money, or done both. The only exception to this was last season when Lori not only made more deals but just edged him out money-wise as well.

Season 6 was a bit of an outlier also because Robert made that crazy deal with Zero Pollution Motors (fronted by none other than Pat Boone) for $5m that skewed his overall investment total by… you know… a lot.

This year, Mark is back on top in both categories, having out invested Lori by over $2m but also having made more deals than all the other Sharks combined except for Lori. It’s even more interesting that on NPR’s How I Built This he said that the whole Shark Tank experience had been more or less breakeven for him.

But I suppose when you are hands down the richest Shark on the show (despite Kevin’s implications to entrepreneurs that he might be), what’s a few million dollars every season?

Some of these numbers should be taken with a slight grain of salt because it’s not just that a few of them had a smaller season than previous years but that there were a lot more guest shark appearances that happened who have investments that aren’t represented in the above chart. And, unlike previous years, it wasn’t like they added chairs to the room. This year, the guest sharks temporarily replaced members of the regular panel. When viewed through that lens, it’s interesting that Daymond still invested $1.26m versus last year’s $1.8m and not appear as frequently as he did.

One thing this has me thinking about doing is weighting the investment amounts against the number of appearances a particular Shark has made to get a sense of the overall likelihood of investment and value in a new chart. I might create a temporary one to see if it adds any value.

My sense is that it probably won’t. And trying to discern value from a number like that turns the tank into something more akin to gambling than what it should be: the matching of entrepreneurs to investors with an interest in the space. I believe that this is the reason you always see at least one clothing pitch every time Daymond is on or some kind of beverage attempting to start a new category when Rohan appears.