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Barbara Corcoran Reveals Her Best 'Shark Tank' Investment Has Made Her $468 Million So Far — And Nobody Wanted It

Labeled a "dumb kid" by her teachers during her childhood, investor and TV personality Barbara Corcoran has defied all odds and emerged as a prominent figure in the realms of real estate, authorship, entrepreneurship, investment and television. Her most recognizable role comes as one of the pioneering investors on the popular ABC show "Shark Tank."

During an interview on "The Daniel Mac Show" podcast in June, Corcoran was asked about her most profitable investment from her 14-year run on "Shark Tank." Without hesitation, she said, "That would have to be The Comfy. I took the deal myself. I acquired a one-third stake in the business for, I believe, $50,000."

Just how much profit has she made from these oversized, wearable blankets since striking the deal during the show's ninth season in 2017? "They made me $468 million dollars in three years," she said. As she put it, it's undoubtedly "a good investment."

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The Comfy, introduced by brothers Brian and Michael Speciale in Season 9 of the show, originally sought $50,000 for a 20% stake in the company.

In a follow-up episode in Season 10, the Speciale brothers shared sales milestones. Within five weeks of appearing on "Shark Tank," they achieved their first $1 million in sales. In under a year, their sales soared to $15 million.

"Nobody wanted it ... I never anticipated," Corcoran said.

It is crucial, however, to avoid comparing The Comfy to the Snuggie. "Don't you dare say Snuggies," Corcoran said.

Cousins Maine Lobster is another successful investment Corcoran made on "Shark Tank." Cousins Maine Lobster is an international food franchise that brings the Maine lobster shack experience to various neighborhoods through its food trucks and brick-and-mortar restaurants.

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Founded by cousins Sabin Lomac and Jim Tselikis in 2012, Cousins Maine Lobster began as a food truck in California, aiming to fill the gap in the market for the authentic Maine lobster experience. Despite facing initial disinterest from four of the Sharks on the show, Lomac and Tselikis secured a deal with Corcoran. The agreement involved offering her a 15% stake in the company in exchange for a $55,000 investment. The company now grosses $86 million in sales annually, according to insiders at the company.

Since her debut on Shark Tank in 2009, Corcoran has closed between 650 and 700 deals, but only about one-third of them have been profitable.

Despite the fact that many of her "Shark Tank" investments haven't been financially successful, Corcoran has expressed no regrets. In a May episode of Barstool Sports' "Chicks in the Office" podcast, she explained that she has reached a point in her tenure on the show where she is no longer impressed by products or services. Instead, she is captivated by the ambition and vision of the entrepreneurs themselves.

"The No. 1 trait I'm looking for is ambition," Corcoran said. "Someone who envisions where they're going, and I fall for it when they tell me they're going there."

Corcoran's investment strategy centers on trusting her instincts and the people running the businesses, with the belief that they will eventually achieve financial success.

Even if things don't pan out as expected, Corcoran remains unfazed. She is not the type to dwell on such matters, as she considers it a waste of time. Instead, she looks ahead and seeks out new opportunities.

Shark Tanks Impact on Startup Investing

Stories like these show the lucrative but risky nature of startup investing. Small amounts of money can turn into massive paydays if the companies make it big. But many times the startups fail and investors lose everything. Regardless, the popularity of Shark Tank has helped fuel the meteoric rise of retail startup investing through platforms like StartEngine and Wefunder. StartEngine has already raised over $15 million from retail investors this year, and retail investors have invested over $320 million in startups in the past twelve months. Kevin O’Leary even hopped on board as a spokesperson for StartEngine, and many other sharks have joined equity crowdfunding based ventures.

See more on startup investing from Benzinga:

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