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8 rejected ‘Shark Tank’ products that are worth millions in 2021

Fun fact: Ring is a "Shark Tank" reject that was later bought by Amazon for $1 billion. Here are eight products the Sharks were wrong about. ...

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The Bouqs company pitches on Shark Tank
  • We love watching "Shark Tank" because it gives us a preview of startups that have potential to make it big.
  • As these eight products underscore, contestants don't necessarily need a deal from the investors to succeed. 
  • Notable examples of "Shark Tank" rejects that became very successful include Ring and Kodiak Cakes

Throughout its 12 seasons, the show "Shark Tank" has averaged millions of viewers. It's the biggest public platform that an entrepreneur could hope for, and a 10-minute pitch on the show can translate to huge sales.

Household names like the Scrub Daddy and Tipsy Elves all got their start after successfully striking deals on the show, but even companies that walked away without securing an investment have done as well as — if not better than — companies that did. 

The founders of these companies took their "Shark Tank" rejections in stride, using them as learning lessons to make millions in sales. Money from the judges would've been nice, but it turns out the national exposure can be just as valuable. 

Check out eight companies you'll be surprised didn't get deals on "Shark Tank": 

The Bouqs Co.

The Bouqs 5

Shop flower bouquets at The Bouqs Co.

Online flower delivery service The Bouqs Co. left the Tank in 2014 without an investment, but Robert Herjavec kept them in mind three years later when he was planning the flowers for his wedding. Herjavec eventually ended up investing after getting a firsthand glimpse into the process behind creating beautiful arrangements. Co-founder and CEO John Tabis said that there were several days in 2017 when the company sold $1 million in flowers in a day. It has since raised more than $88 million in funding, including a $30 million round at the beginning of 2020. 

Check out our guide to the best flower delivery services.

Ring

ring doorbell 2

Ring Video Doorbell 3

This smart video doorbell gives homeowners peace of mind about who's at their door, whether they're at home or not. When Ring founder Jamie Siminoff appeared on the show, he valued his company, then called DoorBot, at $7 million.

Since then, it's counted prominent investors like Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers, Qualcomm Ventures, Goldman Sachs, and Richard Branson among its supporters. Amazon bought Ring in a deal worth over $1 billion, a testament to its versatile capabilities beyond home security.

Ring has evolved beyond video doorbells since. Most recently at an Amazon devices event, Ring introduced a new drone surveillance cam, car alarm, and car cam. 

Check out our buying guide to the best home security systems.

Kodiak Cakes

kodiak cakes 2

Kodiak Cakes Power Cakes Protein Pancake Flapjack and Waffle Mix (3-Pack)

The co-founder and COO of Kodiak Cakes, a natural food brand that makes whole grain, protein-rich breakfast options, went on the show seeking a $500,000 investment for 10% of the business. Though the Sharks all liked the taste and nutritional benefits of these pancake mixes, none of them agreed with the valuation. 

Now, it boasts $160 million in annual sales and has a whole lineup of products, including oats, granola bars, graham crackers, protein balls, and microwavable flapjack cups. 

Nerdwax

nerdwax

Nerdwax

Glasses that are always sliding off your nose are an annoying distraction, but according to the "Shark Tank" judges, not annoying enough to justify the cost of $10 per tube of Nerdwax. The natural, non-irritating wax can be applied directly to the nose pads of your glasses to help them stay up and now has thousands of mostly favorable reviews on Amazon. 

Before appearing on the show, the founders say their sales were $136,000, but glasses-wearers across the country who watched the show loved the concept and helped bring sales to $1 million. 

The Lip Bar

lip bar 2

The Lip Bar lipsticks

Former Wall Street executive Melissa Butler sought to create an affordable, vegan-friendly, and cruelty-free makeup brand that showcased more diverse imagery than the rest of the current beauty industry. In an interview with Rolling Out, she said she saw the harsh "Shark Tank" rejection more like a "spring forward" because it made her realize that she needed to focus more on an audience that understood the problem she was solving.

Actress Taraji P. Henson wore The Lip Bar lipstick to the 2018 Oscars ceremony, and the products — which now also include eyeshadow, lip liner, brow gel — are now available in Target stores nationwide.

Xero Shoes

xero shoes

Xero Shoes

After constantly getting injured while running, cofounder Steven Sashen switched to barefoot running and loved the effects, so he created a thin running sandal. He and his wife Lena Phoenix ultimately turned down the $400,000 for a 50% equity offer from Kevin O'Leary for Xero Shoes.

Though they didn't find a celebrity investor, they did find plenty of other supporters among the public and have raised $1 million through crowdfunding. In July 2020, USA Artistic Swimming announced Xero Shoes as its official footwear partner. 

MealEnders

Mealenders being pitched on the TV show Shark Tank

MealEnders Signaling Lozenges

The idea of MealEnders, a two-layered candy lozenge meant to prevent overeating, intrigued the judges, but some did not like the taste. Others doubted its expensive marketing strategy. However, it still caught the attention of plenty of viewers. 

When the episode aired in early 2017, the company had sales of a modest $1.2 million. One short year later, sales were at $5 million. 

Copa Di Vino

a manicured hand holds a glass of wine from Copa di Vino

Shop wine at Copa Di Vino

Copa Di Vino founder James Martin walked away from Sharks' offers not just once, but twice, and he's now notoriously known as one of the most disliked entrepreneurs on the show. Despite his arrogant attitude, you have to admit that his patented, single-serving wine containers are a fun idea. The appearances on the show led sales to skyrocket from $500,000 to more than $14 million. 

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