Season 5 | Episode 511 | EP511
In Season 5, Episode 11 of Shark Tank, Al Baker approached the Sharks seeking an investment of $300,000 in exchange for 15% equity in ‘Bubba Q Boneless Back Baby Ribs’. The company is currently based in Avon, Ohio.
Bubba Q Boneless Baby Back Ribs is the brand name for a smoked meat product. Each rack of ribs cooked by this company is carefully de-boned by hand. Al Baker claims that there are a number of benefits to cooking ribs this way. The main benefit here being the fact that people do not have to deal with the mess of eating ribs but they still get to enjoy the delicious taste of the ribs.
Al Baker was looking for funding for a variety of different reasons. First he would be using the funding to boost his retail operation in Ohio which was already well-established in the region. He would also be using a small amount of the cash received to take his product to the mass market. This would involve not only extending the reach of his website (where you can purchase the ribs and a variety of different sauces and rubs) but also attempting to target large retail outlets. One of the things which struck the Sharks was the fact that Bubba Q Boneless Baby Back Ribs were actually patented. This means that nobody would be able to jump in there and just ‘steal’ the idea. Being able to obtain a patent in the food industry is actually remarkably rare and this impressed the Sharks.
Most of the Sharks stated that the Bubba Q Boneless Baby Back Ribs were delicious. This most likely played a major role in the success of Al Baker when it came to securing investment in his product. After all, the Sharks have stated time and time again that they will only invest in products which they truly believe in and feel passionate about.
Kevin O’Leary: $300,000 in exchange for 49% equity in the company.
Daymond John: $300,000 in exchange for 30% equity in the company. There was a caveat attached to this deal however. In order for Daymond John to supply the cash Al would have to achieve a licensing deal with a large meat distributer. If he was unable to do that then the funding would be withdrawn.
Al decided to accept Daymond John’s offer. He lost more equity than he anticipated however he was able to receive the amount of cash that he needed to bring Bubba Q Boneless Baby Back Ribs to the mass market.
Daymond John prefers to invest in people; not companies. In order to secure an investment with Daymond you’ll need to communicate value as to how it will enrich lives, leverage portfolios or bring in money. Avoid self-fulfillment statements if you want him to take the bait.