How The Cast of Shark Tank Made Their Millions

Shark Tank, from Disney's (NYSE: DIS  ) ABC network, is one of the most popular shows on television -- but how the Sharks made their money may surprise you.

Now on its fifth season, Shark Tank has taken the world by storm, as people everywhere are exposed to entrepreneurs seeking financial support for their businesses. Yet ABC is one of the biggest winners in the whole showcase, as the most recent episode of Shark Tank registered 7.3 million viewers, which was 40% more than any other show on Friday. 

Just like the businesses that walk through the doors to greet the Sharks are diverse and across a whole host of industries, so too are the ways the Sharks themselves made their money.

Source: Kris Krug.

Mark Cuban
While Mark is best known for his ownership of the Dallas Mavericks NBA team, Cuban actually made almost all of his money in the technology and broadcasting world. Mark's principal source of income was the fortune he amassed from the sale of to Yahoo! (NASDAQ: YHOO  ) for $5.7 billion in April of 1999. In addition to that, he's now the owner and chairman of HDNet, an independent TV network.

As a final source of income, Cuban also co-owns the Landmark Theater movie chain -- the largest independent theater chain in the U.S. -- as well as Magnolia Pictures and Magnolia Home Video. Cuban is worth an estimated $2.5 billion, placing him in spot No. 222 on the Forbes 400. 

Barbara Corcoran
A true self-starter, Barbara Corcoran made her fortune in the New York real estate market. After working as a waitress, she received a $1,000 loan to start her own real estate business. Corcoran sold the firm she started in 2001, 28 years after it was founded, for almost $70 million. 

Source: RandstadCanada.

Kevin O'Leary
Next is Kevin O'Leary, who often comes across as the most ruthless on Shark Tank. O'Leary made his money after he built his education software business from the ground up, then bought out his competitors. In 1999, O'Leary unloaded his business to Mattel for $3.7 billion. He now runs his own mutual fund company based in Canada, O'Leary Funds, that principally invests in dividend paying stocks. O'Leary is estimated to now be worth more than $300 million. 

Daymond John
Jumping across from technology and real estate to fashion is Daymond John, who started fashion brand FUBU in 1992. Thanks to the help of friend LL Cool J to promote the brand, and high demand, just six years later, FUBU had revenues that topped $350 million at its peak in 1998. In total, FUBU has registered over $6 billion in sales, and some have estimated that Daymond's net worth is as high as $250 million.

Lori Greiner
The proclaimed "Queen of QVC," Lori Greiner is perhaps best known for her products, not her businesses. In fact, she has made more than 400 products in her lifetime and is actually the holder of more than 120 U.S. and international patents. Her specialty is retail home goods, and she started by designing and creating an earring organizer in the mid 1990s.

Source: Home Magazine.

Robert Herjavec
Lastly, there's Robert Herjavec who, like Mark and Kevin, found success in the technology world. Robert's parents were Croatian immigrants, and in the early 90s, he found himself waiting tables. Yet he started his own company BRAK systems and capitalized on the success of the 90s Internet craze. He then sold that business to AT&T for $30 million according to public records -- not $100 million as widely reported -- and then, after joining Ramp Networks as a vice-president of worldwide sales, helped negotiate its sale to Nokia for $225 million.

He is now the CEO of The Herjavec Group, which is an IT services and security firm based in Toronto and has reported annual sales of $65 million. 

All told, the Sharks certainly have expertise in wide-ranging areas, from technology and fashion to consumer goods and real estate, and much more, so it's no surprise they all seek to invest in the next big thing.

Becoming the next Shark
While the cast of Shark Tank all started out as entreprenuers, they're all now big-time investors. How did they do that? The key is to learn how to turn business insights into portfolio gold by taking your first steps as an investor. And we're here to help with "Your Essential Guide to Start Investing Today," where The Motley Fool's personal finance experts show you why investing is so important, and what you need to do to get started. Click here to get your copy today -- it's absolutely free.

Read/Post Comments (8) | Recommend This Article (13)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

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  • Report this Comment On January 20, 2014, at 6:55 AM, alejandroillini wrote:

    I hate when people play the gender or race card but the author did not even try. he left the picture of the women and the minority out. I am not PC at all but try not to be so obvious

  • Report this Comment On January 20, 2014, at 8:58 AM, princesshaitian wrote:

    This is already mentioned at every opening of the show. what is the point of this article?

  • Report this Comment On January 20, 2014, at 9:43 AM, Burstedbladder wrote:

    They failed to mention that they steal other people's inventions that have been turned down on their show and keep them for their own greedy selves.

    These people are far from being innocent and honest workers. They literally screw over others for profits.

    Also, they failed to mention about how these people came from 'wealth' had more opportunities handed to them than what most people are given, and then had insider connections to continue making more.

    The real question that was dodged in the article is... Are they paying their taxes in full, or are they taking advantage of all those tax loopholes like Donal Flunky /trump and all other rich folks do?

    My guess, they don't pay their taxes like the rest of the rich people don't pay.

  • Report this Comment On January 20, 2014, at 10:28 AM, miteycasey wrote:

    I'm sure they pay all the taxes they owe, but not a penny more.

  • Report this Comment On January 20, 2014, at 12:01 PM, gklr wrote:

    Some of theses people invented some simple stuff that didn't exist back in the day. They definitely had a massive first mover advantage. Now everyone is trying to invent stuff and it's harder to get your product into the market. So these people have recognized that and are just taking advantage of it to make more money for themselves. If you start with millions and a famous person to promote your product, you can make money on almost anything.

  • Report this Comment On January 20, 2014, at 12:22 PM, szeret wrote:

    Comon...she started a real estate businiss in New York with $ 1,000 ? Who do you think you are kidding?

    It costs more just to prepare for the test/exem for a "lales-person license" in NY. Than must spend so many years as a "sales-person" before permitted to apply for test for a broker's license. Than to open an approved location an office. Hmmm? All that from a $1,000 loan in the very start?!

  • Report this Comment On January 20, 2014, at 12:29 PM, szeret wrote:

    "Bursteadblader" and "Miteicasey"; Sure they all paid their taxes,and not one penny more.

    Hope not like "Facebook", that paid $0,00 federal income taxes on a $ 1 billion sales. On top of that received from our tax-dolars a "tax-refund" of $ 247 million. Now, just what's "fair-tax"?

  • Report this Comment On August 07, 2014, at 10:20 PM, dorothygray wrote:

    Hello Everybody,

    My name is Mrs. Levetinno Sandy. I live in Russia and i am a happy woman today?

    Well, i told my self that any lender that rescue me and my family from our poor situation, i will refer any person that is looking for loan to the Lender. He brought happiness to me and my family, i was in need of a loan of 250,000EUR to start my life all over again , after i have been cheated and reaped of. As a single mother with 3 kids I met this GOD fearing man (Mrs.dorothy gray of Global Financial Empowerment Network) a loan lender that help me with the loan of 250,000EUR, which made me to be one among the much in the world to be called CEO of a group of company, he is a GOD fearing woman and i pray that has God has used her to help me and so many people that have confirmed my testimonies and also to people that i have direct to her, May God continue to bless him and his family and prosper her more, for more information you can add her on facebook, her name on facebook is Dorothy Gray or Email,

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Patrick Morris

After a few stints in banking and corporate finance, Patrick joined the Motley Fool as a writer covering the financial sector. He's scaled back his everyday writing a bit, but he's always happy to opine on the latest headline news surrounding Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffett and all things personal finance.

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