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‘Shark Tank’: Mark Cuban and Maria Sharapova invested nearly $1 million in a wearable weights company

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Wearable wrist and ankle weights company Bala Bangles caught the attention of all the Sharks on Friday’s episode of ABC’s “Shark Tank,” including guest Shark and retired tennis star Maria Sharapova– but there was one catch. Sharapova wanted to only invest with another Shark, and as a result, most of the Sharks fought to team up with…

Wearable wrist and ankle weights company Bala Bangles caught the attention of all the Sharks on Friday’s episode of ABC’s “Shark Tank,” including guest Shark and retired tennis star Maria Sharapova– but there was one catch.

Sharapova wanted to only invest with another Shark, and as a result, most of the Sharks fought to team up with her.

“It’s the first time in history I’ve seen Sharks actually fight to be a partner [with another Shark],” investor Kevin O’Leary said during the episode.

The Bala Bangles co-founders, Natalie Holloway and Max Kislevitz, asked the Sharks for a $400,000 investment in exchange for a 10% stake in their company.

“Bala is designed to be additive to a workout that is already exhausting. These [weights] are going to make it incrementally harder,” Kislevitz told the Sharks, as each looked at the product and tried it on their wrists. 

The Bangles are either one- or two-pound weights, each in a variety of colors, that can be worn as wrist or angle bracelets.

Each of the Sharks were impressed by the look of the weights, and Sharapova was “impressed by the outside texture as well,” as she said during the episode.

“You know what I really like about these? I like the fact that you don’t have to hold anything,” Shark Lori Greiner added, referring to holding dumbbell weights during a workout.

“It looks spectacular,” O’Leary said. 

But the bidding-war did not begin until the couple revealed the company’s sales numbers.

In 2018, Holloway told Sharks that they brought in $260,000 in sales, and at the point of filming, they projected to end 2019 with $2.2 million in sales. She also revealed deals with Bloomingdale’s and Nordstrom department stores, which impressed the Sharks.

“I like this a lot. I think it fits in my category very well. I have actually been using the one- and two-pound weights for my shoulder recovery in the past year, so I know all about it. I like the look and feel of it. I like your design,” Sharapova told the co-founders. “I will make you an offer, but I would like to bring in another Shark with me.”

She wanted to split the $400,000 investment with another Shark, but asked for a 30% stake in their company, rather than the 10% the co-founders offered. Holloway and Kislevitz said they would be willing to give away 30% of their company for two Sharks, but for a $900,000 total investment. 

Shark Daymond John, Greiner and Cuban all wanted to split the investment with Sharapova.

“[Sharapova] can take this to the next level,” Cuban told the co-founders. “We haven’t even discussed globally yet, and that’s where really she distinguishes herself from anybody else on the panel. And because we both believe in it, we’d like to offer you $900,000 for the 30%” stake.

And the Bala Bangles co-founders accepted.

“Snakes, snakes, snakes,” Greiner said in response. “Snakes in the grass!”

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Disclosure: CNBC owns the exclusive off-network cable rights to “Shark Tank.”

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