Not all who appear on “Shark Tank” leave with a life-changing deal from one of the investors. That was the case for Jan Goetgeluk, founder of Virtuix Omni, who asked for a whopping $2 million in exchange for a 10% stake in his virtual reality gaming company.
But that wouldn’t be the last time he’d have a shot at funding from one of the Sharks.
“My Shark Tank experience was excellent,” Goetgeluk said in an email to CNBC. “Although we didn’t do a deal on the show, the exposure was invaluable. Still today, we meet customers who claim that “they saw this on Shark Tank”. As a bonus, Mark Cuban invested in our company in a financing round that took place a year after the show.”
At the time of the show, Cuban said he had faith in the potential of the omnidirectional treadmill with virtual reality gaming features but was ultimately concerned with competition.
“I could see you creating $20 million in sales, $25 million in sales with this. But you’re competing. Just like headsets are going to be competing … just like the consoles are going to be competing. You’re just one more outlet competing for consumer dollars.”
Kevin O’Leary said he thought the product was interesting but with its valuation — $20 million — it was way overpriced.
“We overestimated our value at that time, while the sharks correctly assessed the early stage of our business and the risks and perils ahead of us,” Goetgeluk said.
Aside from numbers, Barbara Corcoran said she was more concerned with logistics — specifically the size of the product.
“Here’s my thinking on it,” Corcoran said. “If my husband brought this into my house, I would divorce him immediately. I think it’s a problem because of its size in the home. I also think it’s a tremendous problem to sell this in retail. I sell a lot of product now through retail; I couldn’t get anybody to give the floor space to this.”
Since “Shark Tank,” Goetgeluk said Virtuix Omni has shipped more than 3,000 Omni motion platforms all over the world, through a global distributor network of 18 distributors covering 45 countries.
“Today we are a company with 30 employees and offices in both the U.S. and China,” Goetgeluk said. “We raised over $20 million from investors since the show and shipped nearly $10 million worth of product. We recently launched our product at Dave & Buster’s.”
Goetgeluk’s advice to budding entrepreneurs hoping to land a deal on “Shark Tank”: “Don’t get hung up on valuation. Startups cease to exist for only one reason: they run out of money. Raise as much money as you can. If a shark offers a deal, take the money. You will not fail by raising too much money or by doing a deal with a shark. You may certainly fail by not doing so.”
Catch episodes of “
” on Tuesday starting at 7 p.m. ET on CNBC.