Connect with us

Business

Mark Cuban Invested $640k In This Company That Started As A Prank

Published

on

In what turned out to be a ruse, a startup disguised their business as a prank to raise over $640k from investor Mark Cuban on Shark Tank.

Minneapolis-based entrepreneurs, Ryan Walther and Arik Nordby, founded Prank-O, a business that was built around amusing their friends with bizarre and fake products.

In their pitch to the Sharks, they introduced a string of products in gift boxes — ranging from coffee-maker shower heads to snack hats — only to reveal later that the novel products were fake.

The duo looked to snag an investment of $640k for an 8% stake in the business, before revealing their declining sales — from $10M five years ago to an estimated $2.8M this year.

The dip in sales came after the team tried to branch into creating the prank products, stringing together debt worth nearly $1M.

Despite the numbers, Mark Cuban bit. “I’ll make you an offer, but you’re going to have to listen,” Cuban said.

“You’ve got a great product, you’ve got great comedy minds, but your track record speaks for itself, and I don’t mean that in any disrespect, but all entrepreneurs go through this,” he said, offering $640k for 25%, more than three times what the company initially pitched.

Business

This Ex-NBA All Star May Just Have The No.1 Wine In The World

Published

on

Source: Forbes

Former NBA All Star Yao Ming had his career cut short by injuries. But he’s rebounded, big time, with big scores off the court.

(LOL at these sports cliches…)

Ming founded Yao Family Wines in California’s Napa Valley in 2011. Which is not a major deal; lots of celebrities make mediocre wines that eventually drop off.

Anyway, back in 2015, Ming raised $2M on crowdfunding platform Crowdfunder to scale his own wine. Here’s how it looked back then, according to the Wall Street Journal:

With Beijing’s anti-corruption campaign sapping demand for expensive wines, Yao Family Wines, the biggest seller of high-end Californian wine in China by value, is shifting its focus from Chinese banquet tables to U.S. steak houses. Now 15% of the winery’s revenues come from the US, compared to almost zero at the beginning in late 2011. The company said it has managed to grow its sales in a tough environment, without giving more details.

And now, Ming’s wine—legitimately—is now one of the best in the world, with an approval rating of 95+ from the world’s single most influential wine critic, Robert Parker of The Wine Advocate.

Here’s what he wrote:

“I am aware of all the arguments that major celebrities lending their names to wines is generally a formula for mediocrity, but that is not the case with Yao Ming. These are high-class wines. The two Cabernets are actually brilliant, and the Reserve bottling ranks alongside just about anything made in Napa.”

Another influential voice of wine the Wine Enthusiast went even further, awarding his wines 97 and 95 points respectively.

Check out his winery here.

Continue Reading

Business

Uber Goes Public And Immediately Loses Over $6B In Value

Published

on

UBER just went public in the most anticipated IPO since Facebook went to Wall Street.

The ride-sharing company officially hit the New York Stock Exchange Friday, pricing its IPO at $45 a share, which put the ride-hailing company at $81B at 180M shares available—far below their initial $120B projection in their filings.

Uber ended the day at $41.60—down nearly 8% from its listing price, leading to a $6B+ valuation loss.

For perspective: Uber’s last private valuation was about $76B. It’s now worth $75.5B.

What’s happening?

Uber’s not the only one crashing out the gate. Even though Lyft beat Uber to the IPO punch, since going public in March, Lyft has lost 29% of its value.

Uber’s been plagued by a number of issues, compounded by the fact that none of the tech unicorns are profitable yet. Uber, for instance, burned through $1B in Q1 alone.

“They waited too long to go public,” Former NYSE President Tom Farley said. “Some of the issues they had — I’ll call it culture — some of the issues they had with their culture would’ve been solved in a public market. You wouldn’t show up on a quarterly conference call every quarter and have three or four new stories like they were having for 18 straight months.”

Did Uber IPO too late?

Although early investors made out like straight BANDITS—just look at Lance Armstrong—investors in the later stage haven’t been as lucky.

“I mean, you look at all the money invested in Uber — 25 billion bucks,” Farley said. “Their pre-money valuation last night was [$]73 [billion]. This is a 2.8x investment.

“That’s great and all, but the initial investors got 10,000 times their money. So the recent people, they haven’t been making money. This is a company that has needed public discipline, this is a company that has needed a public currency, and it’s a company that should have gone public three or four years ago.”

Continue Reading

Business

Morgan Stanley Just Released Its List Of Top 10 Companies They’re Investing In

Published

on

Prev1 of 11
Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse

Morgan Stanley just announced the second cohort of its Multicultural Innovation Lab, an accelerator program for technology and technology-enabled start-ups in the post-seed to Series B funding rounds.

The program—now in its second year—targets companies with a multicultural or woman founder, co-founder, or any Chief (insert) Officer in charge of what it calls “innovative solutions across sectors.”

According to various studies, female founders, founders of color—and both—receive as little or less than 1% of venture capital funding—a gap Morgan Stanley says it wants to bridge.

“There is a compelling business case for investing in startups led by women and multicultural founders, yet, as found in our recent report, there is a large market inefficiency to accelerate businesses led by these founders,” Managing Director Alice Vilma says. “We are working to directly address this funding gap, one cohort at a time.”

With less than 3% admitted into the program, each startup will take a seat on its on floor inside Morgan Stanley’s global headquarters in Times Square, New York.

In addition, the companies funded receive pretty precious billboard space all over Times Square. It’s real fancy.

(Oh, snap!)

Here are the 10 companies that were selected:

Prev1 of 11
Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse

Continue Reading

Trending