Was BeerMKR on 'Shark Tank' for publicity? Founders’ motive questioned for declining Kevin O'Leary's $500K offer
The duo came in seeking a whopping $500,000 in exchange for just a 2% stake. Despite all the odds, when they did manage to get an offer from Kevin O'Leary, they turned it down and walked out of the tank with no deal
ABC's award-winning show 'Shark Tank' is undoubtedly one of the best platforms for not only raising capital for business from some of the best investors in the game (Sharks), but also a great stage to get free publicity for the products and services being offered by the businesses pitching on the show. While most entrepreneurs enter the tank with the hopes of closing a deal with at least one of the Sharks in the tank, occasionally there are instances where some entrepreneurs come solely to get free publicity for their business.
On the latest episode of 'Shark Tank', when the founders of BeerMKR- Aaron Walls and Brett Vega entered the tank, fans were convinced that the duo were there just for the publicity from the get-go. The duo came in seeking a whopping $500,000 in exchange for just a 2% stake. Despite all the odds, when they did manage to get an offer from Kevin O'Leary, they turned it down and walked out of the tank with no deal. This had fans questioning their intentions of coming on the show.
Why did BeerMKR founders turn down Kevin O'Leary's $500,000 offer?
At the time of pitching for BeerMKR, an at-home craft beer brewing machine, on 'Shark Tank', Walls and Vega had sold only 24 units of the product. Despite having such a low fulfilled order number, the founders had no issue in evaluating their company for a whopping $25 million! As they continued sharing the numbers, each Shark slowly backed away from making the deal.
The Sharks felt that the valuation was unrealistic and were not entirely convinced about the numbers being shared by the duo. But Kevin decided to take a chance and made an offer of $500,000 as a loan for a 9% interest rate and a 4% stake in the company. Walla and Vega were okay with the loan but weren't keen on giving up so much equity of their company, so they asked Kevin if he would consider going down to 2%. Kevin once again revised his offer, but met the duo midway and came up with $500,000 as a loan for a 9% interest rate and a 3% stake in the company.
Unfortunately, Walls and Vega were still not pleased, so they turned down the only offer they received and walked out of the tank with no offer. When fans saw this they took to Twitter to question the BeerMKR founders' intentions of coming on the show. A fan tweeted, "I think #BeerMkr just came on the show to try to sell not make a deal. #SharkTank." Another fan wondered, "Hmm... Did they really want a deal? #SharkTank."
Fans also found it odd that the duo was haggling with Kevin over just 1% equity. A fan commented, "Are they really uncertain about 1% for a shark? #SharkTank." Another fan echoed similar thoughts with, "@kevinolearytv OH MY GOD! Think of the #entrepreneurs that would have LOVED any deal with you! Wow! #sharktank."
Walls and Vega left the tank feeling pleased with their decision of ditching the Sharks and trusting in themselves. They explained how it would make no sense for them to not only spend the money they made by selling BeerMKR to repay the loan, but also to give up a larger stake in the company just to get a Shark onboard. Hopefully, things work out for them.
'Shark Tank' Season 12 airs every Friday at 8/7c only on ABC. Missed an episode? Been wanting to catch up? Episodes can also be viewed the next day on demand and on Hulu. Not just that, you can also watch old seasons and episodes on Amazon Prime Video and iTunes.