Will Shark Thank India be able to replicate the success of different Shark Tank editions worldwide? This is what everyone was wondering when the first season of Shark Tank India was announced by Sony Network. It gave a renewed hope to young Indian entrepreneurs who had watched the unique Shark Tank pitches previously and now had a chance to prove their mettle.

The concept of a business reality show was new to the Indian audience. Traditionally, if any household in our country had to raise capital, it would turn to their own fixed deposits, mutual funds, or their close relatives at best. However, with the world-popular show making its mark in India, terms like equity, investments, bull run, gross margin, revenue, etc. have now become a part of regular dinner-time conversations.

The Indian edition saw several Shark Tank pitches that were received well by the ‘Sharks’. Not only did the pitches by budding entrepreneurs and start-up founders manage to impress the multi-millionaire judges, but they also managed to garner the capital they were seeking.

However, not all the pitches on Shark Tank were up to the mark. Many pitches on the reality show failed to get any investment from any of the investors on the show. Nonetheless, there were several Shark Tank pitches that didn’t get investment but ended up doing well.

We bring you a list of the top 6 Shark Tank India pitches that couldn’t attract any investment while it aired but are doing well now.

Shark Tank India pitches that are doing well despite not getting any investment

1. Agri Tourism – Pure Holidayism | Founded: 2003 Valuation: Rs 40 crores

Founder Pandurang Taware’s startup idea of ‘agriculture tourism’ connects farmers with tourists directly, which helps in making it a one-of-a-kind experience for travel enthusiasts.

In his Shark Tank pitch, the founder had asked for Rs 50 lakh for 5% equity. However, it failed to attract any interest while on the show.

Nonetheless, Namita Thapar, co-founder of Emcure Pharmaceuticals and co-investor on Shark Tank India, had expressed regret for not being able to invest in the startup then. Two months after the show got over, Namita invested in Pandurang’s Agri Tourism.

2. Moonshine | Founded: 2016 Valuation: Rs 160 crores

Startup founders Rohan Rehani and Nitin Vishwas aim to bring back the world’s oldest alcoholic beverage based on meads. It is also Asia’s and India’s first meadery, which creates its beverage by fermenting honey mixed with several fruits and spices.

In his Shark Tank pitch, the founders asked for Rs 80 lakhs for 0.5% equity. However, the deal got rejected as none of the sharks invested in the idea.

This, however, didn’t dampen the founders’ spirits. Moonshine is currently in expansion mode and is increasing its footprints in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Goa, and the Himachal region.

3. Qzense Labs | Founded: 2019 Valuation: Rs 400 crores

Another startup that bit the dust at Shark Tank was Qzense Labs. Founded by Ruhal Chib and Dr. Srishti Batra in 2019, their main product was a rotten fruit detection device that aimed to reduce food wastage in the agricultural sector.

In their Shark Tank pitch, the founders asked for Rs 1 crore for 0.25% equity. However, due to a lack of sales (Rs 15 lakh) in the last year (2020), none of the sharks invested in the startup.

Despite all the obstacles, the startup led by Ruhal and Srishti has featured in Forbes Asia’s newly introduced “100 to watch” list, which talks about the 100 emerging companies in the Asia-Pacific region.

4. Keto India | Founded: 2018 Valuation: Rs 120 crores

Inspired by his mother’s recovery from a brain surgery, founder Sahil Pruthi came up with the idea of Keto India. His healthcare tech startup busts the myths about proper health, food, and diet. It aims to spread awareness about the ‘right diet’ by offering personalised and comprehensive nutrition plans.

In his Shark Tank pitch, Sahil asked for Rs 1.5 crore for 1.25% equity. 4 of the 5 sharks on the show showed interest in the pitch by countering the offer by Rs 1.6 crore and 16% equity. However, it was the Keto founder who respectfully declined their counter offer.

In the recent move by the company, Sahil is now rebranding Keto India as ‘Livofy’, while it aims to broaden its focus in the health segment. The company has recently raised over 550,000 USD in its latest round of funding.

5. Theka Coffee | Founded: 2017 Valuation: 5 crores


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After humble beginnings and 7 failed ideas, founder Bhuvinder Madaan came up with the concept of Theka Coffee. The startup has cold coffee as its premier product with 12 variants. It aims to attract millennials with its premium-look packaging, where he offers different flavours of coffee in beer bottles.

In his Shark Tank pitch, the founder Bhuvinder had asked for Rs 50 lakhs for 10% equity. Though the sharks looked interested initially, but eventually opted out by giving some solid reasons.

However, this didn’t deter Bhuvinder’s determination. The brand Theka Coffee has recently raised Rs 2.5 crore via Dubai-based Zenith Multi Trading. Not just that, Bhuvinder has also offers from Microsoft and Reliance Retail, wherein he’ll be selling Theka Coffee products in the companies’ premises.

6. ExperientialEtc | Founded: 2017 Valuation: Rs 50 crores

Founders Karan Bhardwaj and Prashant Pandey started ExperentialEtc to build world-class experiences when it came to experiential marketing. Based in Mumbai, the startup uses state-of-the-art technology like holographic 3D displays, magic LEDs, projection mappings, etc. as per the clients’ requirements.

In his Shark Tank pitch, the founders asked for Rs 2 crore in exchange for 4% equity. However, the sharks didn’t look much involved in the idea and eventually didn’t commit any investment.

Nonetheless, the founders have planned to scale the startup’s operations globally. ExperientialEtc has also received 350,000 USD (Rs 2.86 crores approx)  in its latest round of funding recently.

The first season of Shark Tank India was an absolute success. Not only did it educate the masses, but also entertained them immensely. The popular reality show aired from December 20, 2021 to February 4, 2022, where a total of 35 episodes were telecast. The Shark Tank India team also featured on the famous comedy show hosted by Kapil Sharma – Comedy Nights with Kapil, and on Kaun Banega Crorepati, which is hosted by Amitabh Bachchan.

Speaking about the sharks (investors) on the show, there was a team of seven people on the jury panel, who appeared sporadically throughout its first season. The show was hosted by actor Rannvijay Singha.

A look at the team of sharks at Shark Tank India, Season I:

  1. Vineeta Singh – Co-Founder and CEO of Sugar Cosmetics
  2. Peyush Bansal – CEO and Founder at Lenskart
  3. Ghazal Alagh – Co-Founder of Mama Earth
  4. Ashneer Grover – Former Co-Founder and MD at BharatPe
  5. Aman Gupta – CMO and Co-Founder at Boat
  6. Namita Thapar – Co-founder of Emcure Pharma
  7. Anupam Mittal – CEO & Founder of People Group

The first season saw more than 60,000 applications, where only 198 were finally selected when the season premiered. The sharks had collectively invested approximately Rs 42 crores in 68 startup ideas. After its splendid success in the first season, Shark Tank India is returning for the second season. However, Ashneer Grover – one of the audience’s most favourite sharks – has been replaced by Aman Jain, co-founder and CEO of CarDekho.

The dates are not out yet, but Shark Tank India – Season II will telecast live soon, going by the latest TVCs. The registrations are open for budding entrepreneurs to apply and try their fortune at India’s popular business reality show.

Do share your views on which startup idea you think should have gotten the investment by the sharks on Shark Tank India’s first season. Also, it would be interesting to read some of the Shark Tank India pitches you remember, before the second season commences.

Hero Image: Courtesy Agro Tourism; Featured Image: Courtesy Theka Coffee

This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia India


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Shark Tank India: 6 Pitches That Became Success Stories Without Getting Any Investments