Small Business Prices has analysed 18 seasons of the British show “Dragons’ Den” as well as the US equivalent “Shark Tank” to reveal which Dragon, or Shark, has invested the most.
Both “Dragon’s Den” and Shark Tank are reality TV shows that can be credited for helping to launch hundreds of businesses, making several millionaires along the way. The programmes have stood the test of time with over 10 seasons each featuring an ever-changing roll call of investors.
Taking a look into the show’s history, Small Business Prices reveals which Sharks and Dragons are most likely to back your business and the total amount of money each investor has pumped into startups over the years.
Peter Jones has Invested In The Most Companies on Dragons’ Den
|Dragon||Number of seasons as a Dragon||Number of Deals||Average Deals per season|
We’ve looked at every deal made from season 1 to 18 of Dragons’ Den to discover which Dragon has invested in the most business opportunities during the show. Peter Jones has been on the show since the beginning in 2005 and has taken on the most deals. Over the 18 series of the show, he has made a whopping 41 deals averaging at 2.28 deals per season. Some of these deals include, Levi Roots and his Reggae Reggae sauce, Intern Avenue by Dupsy Abiola, (an intern portal that pairs companies with youngsters looking for work) and WoodBlocx, a DIY wooden outdoor landscaping products by entrepreneurs Henry and Philip Blake.
Peter is closely followed by Deborah Meaden who has made 34 deals over 16 seasons, and Theo Paphitis who invested in 20 companies over his 8 seasons in the den- an average of 2.5 deals every season he was involved with. Although Deborah Meaden said in a Guardian interview in 2007 that she can “come over as quite blunt” and even feels she is criticised for not investing, on average she invests in 2.125 deals per season.
Even though Sara Davies has only been on Dragons’ Den for two seasons she has the highest number of average deals per season, making an average of 5.5 investments per season. Sara Davies is currently the youngest investor to be on Dragon’s Den, and has said that she’s “been a fan of the show since it started” and was even invited to pitch on the show thirteen years ago.
Peter Jones has Invested over £2 million during his 18 Seasons in the Den
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In our research we’ve tallied up all the funds that have been invested by each Dragon. Taking first place with an overwhelming portfolio of 41 investments, Peter Jones has invested £2,080,666.67 over the course of 18 seasons, averaging just over £115,500 per deal.
The Dragon that has invested the second highest amount of money is Deborah Meaden, who has invested a total of £1,799,000.00. Meaden is a British businesswoman and TV personality who made her money mainly from the travel industry and has been on the show for 16 seasons, since the third season.
Theo Paphitis, a retail magnate and entrepreneur who is also the former chairman of Millwall Football Club, has invested the third highest amount of money whilst being on the show for 8 seasons. Theo Paphitis has invested a total of £1,449,166.67 into potential entrepreneurs.
Sara Davies, the newest dragon, invests £249,583.34 on average every deal. The British businesswoman and entrepreneur is the founder and owner of Crafter’s Companion. She began the start-up, which is now a million-pound business, whilst she was a student at the University of York.
The Biggest Deals Ever Made On Dragons’ Den
One of the biggest deals ever made on Dragons’ Den occurred in 2007, when Reggae singer and chef Levi Roots pitched his Reggae Reggae sauce to the Dragons. Although Duncan Bannatyne didn’t believe in the idea, Peter Jones and Richard Farliegh invested £25,000 each to manufacture the product, with 40% shared equity in the company. The barbecue sauce, which Levi Roots began selling at Notting Hill Carnival, was a secret recipe from his grandmother and the company now has a networth of £45 million. It even outsells Heinz Tomato Ketchup, according to Sainsburys.
Another Dragons’ Den success story is Skinny Tan, created by the budding inventors Kate Cotton and Louise Ferguson from Essex. After spending 10 years in Australia, the duo came back to the UK and tried to extend their self-tan brand startup. After the company launched in 2012, the brand made profits of £600,000 in its first year. However, after its founders pitched to the Dragons’ in 2013, the company reached global success and even became one of the fastest-selling tanning products in the UK. The Dragon’s Kelly Hoppen and Piers Linney made an offer of £60,000 investment for a 10% stake in the company. In addition to this, after the investment, the company secured a deal with Boots as well as expanding to Spain, Canada, South Africa and Dubai.
Another one of the biggest deals ever made on Dragon’s Den was when Deborah Meaden and Theo Paphitis invested in a Magic Whiteboard. The product was founded by husband-and-wife team Neil and Laura Westwood back in 2006 and is a roll of A1 whiteboard sheets that will stick on anything thanks to static. Meaden and Paphitis invested a respectable £100,000 for a 40% share in the company. The Magic Whiteboard is now stocked in all major office supply stores with a global customer base. In 2008 the product was stocked in 230 Ryman stores, in 2016 over 1 million rolls were sold and it is now the largest Pegboard range in the UK since 2018.
Duncan Bannantyne is the Dragon with the Highest Net Worth
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Our research shows that the Dragon’s with the highest net worths are Duncan Bannatyne, Peter Jones and Tej Lalvani with net worths of £472.75, £293.18 and £203.02 million respectively.
Bannatyne’s business interests include health clubs, hotels, media, TV, stage schools, property and transport. He has written seven books including Anyone Can Do It, which sold more than 200,000 copies and has invested approximately 0.16% of his wealth over the 12 seasons he was involved in the show.
The British businessman and entrepreneur, Peter Jones, has an estimated net worth of £293.18 million and has invested 0.71% of his wealth during his 18 seasons on the BBC’s Dragon’s Den.
The Dragon with the third highest net worth is British businessman and the CEO of the UK’s largest vitamin company Vitabiotics, Tej Lalvani. The company was founded by his father Kartar Lalvani in 1971 who was a scientist Professor and the family business now turns over £300 million annually. Lalvani has an estimated net worth of £203.02 million and over 4 seasons invested 0.30% of his wealth into the den.
James Caan and Deborah Meadon have invested 4.94 and 4.09 percent of their net worth during their times on the programme. These two entrepreneurs and business people invested the highest amounts of their net worth compared to the other dragon’s. Over 4 seasons, James Cann invested an impressive £724,166.67 in potential start-ups and Deborah Meadon has invested £1,799,000.00 during her 16 seasons on the programme.
Mark Cuban is the Shark that has Invested In The Most Companies
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We’ve looked at every deal made over the 12 seasons of Shark Tank to discover which Shark has invested in the highest number of companies in the show. Our research reveals that Mark Cuban tops the list with 168 investments over 10 seasons, averaging 16.8 deals per season.
Cuban is an American billionaire entrepreneur, television personality and philanthropist who built his fortune in 1990 with the sale of his technology startup, MicroSolutions. Other business ventures and stakes in the sports and entertainment industries have helped skyrocket his net worth over decades.
Coming in second place is Lori Greiner, who was involved in 138 deals over 9 seasons and has an average of 15.33 deals per season. The inventor-turned-Shark, created and patented a plastic earring organizer which turned it into a multi-million dollar international brand. One of the products she has invested in was Scrub Daddy, a company that produces a texture-changing household sponge. This is regarded as one of the biggest successes in Shark Tank history.
Robert Herjavec is the shark with the third most investment deals, over 12 seasons he invested in 92 deals and invests in 7.67 deals per season. Some of the Canadian businessman, investor, and television personalities investments include Aira, wireless charging surfaces, Buttercloth, the world’s most comfortable shirt and Bad Birdie, unique golf apparel.
Mark Cuban Invested over $40million during his time on Shark Tank
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In our research we’ve tallied up all the funds that the Sharks have invested over the years. Taking first place with an overwhelming portfolio of 85 deals during his time on Shark Tank, Mark Cuban has invested $43,154,166.67 over the course of 12 seasons.
Lori Greiner is the shark who has invested the second largest amount in the history of the show. Her investments sit at $29,786,666.67 over 9 series of Shark Tank. Some of Greiner’s top investments include Scrub Daddy’s, the versatile cleaning sponge, the Squatty Potty, a toilet footstool designed to improve posture on the loo and the Simply Fit Board. The board workout tool by mother and daughter duo Gloria Hoffman and Linda Clark, managed to successfully acquire a $125,000 investment by Greiner. The business has made an impressive $160 million in lifetime sales as of August, 2021.
The third highest shark investor is BRAK Systems founder, an integrator of Internet security software, Robert Herjavec. Over 12 seasons, Herjavec has invested $26,598,999.33 with his biggest deal being Tipsy Elves, a company that sells holiday-themed apparel.
Tipsy Elves was started by two friends Evan Mendelsohn and Nick Morton in 2011 after they realized they didn’t have enough festive wear for holiday parties they attended. Herjavec invested $100,000 and owns a 10% stake in the company. According to USA Today, the company has reached $125 million in sales, since 2019.
The Biggest Deals Ever Made On Shark Tank
The product that remains the biggest deal in Shark Tank history to this day are the comfort socks created by Bombas. For every item purchased, the company donates an item to organizations that help the homeless. Bombas has donated over 40 million items to more than 2,500 community organizations to date.
Daymond John, the co-founder and chief executive of sportswear maker FUBU, believed in entrepreneurs Randy Goldberg and David Heath when he invested $200,000 for a 17% stake in the company. This deal seems to have paid off, as the sock company, Bombas, now has sales of $225 million in lifetime sales, making it the biggest Shark Tank deal of all time.
Another big investment and Mark Cuban’s most profitable whilst he was on the show was Ten Thirty One Productions; he invested $2,000,000 for 20% of the business. Ten Thirty One Productions is an American entertainment company based in Los Angeles that creates, owns, and produces live attractions in the horror genre. The company generated $400,000 in revenue during its first year of business in 2009.
Another very successful deal made on Shark Tank was the$50,000 investment by Barbara Corcoran in exchange for 30% of the business, the Original Comfy. The product is an oversized hooded sweatshirt with a soft microfiber exterior, and was created by two brothers Brian and Michael Speciale. After the success from Shark Tank, the product sold out in 24 hours after the episode aired. In 2017 on the Shark Tanks Holiday Special episode. The Original Comfy is now sold on QVC, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Amazon and has earned US$150 million in sales since 2017.
In 2012 co-founders Jim Tselikis and Sabin Lomac of Cousins Maine Lobster, a seafood truck business, appeared on season 4 of Shark Tank. Barbara Corcoran offered them $55,000 in exchange for a 15% stake in the company and “Barbara’s influence on the company was felt from day one” according to the co-founders. The pair were able to grow their business from one truck to four within a few months. The business has now generated $65 million in lifetime sales since 2019, according to USA Today.
The US Sharks’ with the Highest Net Worths and the Amount They Invested Into the Start-ups
|Shark||Net worth ($) million||Number of seasons||$ invested||% of net worth invested|
Our research shows that the Sharks’ with the highest net worths are Mark Cuban, Kevin O’Leary and Daymond John with net worths of $4.3 billion, $400 and $350 million respectively. Cuban is a billionaire entrepreneur who made his primary sources of wealth by being a shareholder in Magnolia Pictures and AXS TV, investments and being the owner of the Dallas Mavericks. He even expressed a passing interest in running for president in 2020. Over the 10 seasons he was in the show, the billionaire invested 1% of his wealth in 168 investments.
Kevin O’Leary made his millions by building his billion-dollar software company. Over 12 seasons, the software developer invested 5.38% of his wealth into Shark Tank, with his most promising investment being Plated, a Meal Kit Delivery that was sold to Albertsons for $300 million in 2017.
The Shark with the third highest net worth is the sportswear maker, Daymond John who has invested 4.82% of his wealth over 12 seasons. Some of John’s successful deals include Mission Belt, a company that makes ratchet belts, VPcabs, a company that makes virtual pinball machines and Bubba’s Q, a barbecue business.
Lorei Geriner, the inventor and entrepreneur has invested nearly 20% of her net worth during her time as a Shark; she has invested $29,786,666.67, 19.86 percent of her net worth over 10 seasons. The entrepreneur who made her first million with her invention of a jewelry organizer that she sold on QVC in 1996, has invested the highest amount of her net worth on Shark Tank.
Methodology and Sources
We compiled the data by researching every series of Shark Tank and Dragons’ Den. We looked into each individual investor who were the investors to reveal how many seasons they were involved in the respective show and the details of their deals.