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From Rejection to Success: Stories of Indian startups that made it big on their own

3 Startups That Thrived After Being Turned Down on Shark Tank India

9 March 2023

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Jayashri Ghorpade

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  • Not all Shark Tank contestants get investment, but some rejected businesses go on to achieve success, proving that the show's rejection is not the end for entrepreneurs.

  • Startups like Zypp, Theka Coffee and Moonshine Meadery thrived after being turned down on Shark Tank India

  • Some entrepreneurs have reported that the exposure they gained from appearing on Shark Tank helped to boost their brand recognition and lead to increased sales, despite not securing an investment on the show.

Shark Tank India, the business reality television show, is an Indian adaptation of the American show, Shark Tank. The Indian franchise of Shark Tank showcases entrepreneurs pitching their start-up ideas to a panel of investors, known as sharks, who decide whether or not to invest in their ventures. Getting a deal on Shark Tank can provide a significant boost to fledgling businesses, but not all start-ups that appear on the show are successful in securing an investment. However, some businesses that have been rejected by the sharks have gone on to achieve immense success in the world of entrepreneurship, proving that rejection on Shark Tank is not always the end of the road for budding entrepreneurs.


Zypp:

The Gurugram-based startup, which has ambitious plans to electrify last-mile deliveries in South Asia, offers a range of electric two-wheelers to ride-sharing businesses, e-commerce, food, grocery, and medicine distributors. During its appearance on the popular television show, the founders had asked for Rs. 2.2 crore for 1% equity, but were unable to secure any investors at the time. However, despite this setback, the startup has received significant funding at major stages and has experienced tremendous growth over the past year. Northern Arc, a leading fintech lender, recently provided the firm with $10 million in loan financing to help it expand its EV fleet services. With plans to deploy 1.5 lakh electric scooters in India by 2025, the company aims to use debt as a new expansion funnel. Additionally, it is focused on expanding its portfolio to increase the production of its electric scooters in order to meet the growing demand for its services.

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Theka Coffee:

Theka Coffee is not like other coffee shops, as it specializes in making all of its coffees using cold brew instead of espresso. This is achieved by steeping roughly powdered coffee in cool water for around 16 to 36 hours, resulting in a richer, less bitter, and higher caffeine content coffee. During his appearance on the show, Bhupinder Madan, the founder of Theka, asked for Rs. 50 Lakh for 10% equity. Surprisingly, the show did not hinder Bhupinder's growth, as Zenith Multi Trade located in Dubai raised Rs. 2.5 crore on behalf of Theka Coffee. Furthermore, Bhupinder has received proposals from industry giants such as Microsoft and Reliance Retail, who are interested in marketing and selling Theka Coffee products within their businesses, proving that his unique approach to coffee is catching the attention of prominent players in the industry.


Moonshine Meadery:

In 2014, Rohan Rehani and Nitin Vishwas embarked on a garage project that aimed to bring meads to the forefront of alcoholic beverages in India. Four years later, the duo's vision became a reality with the opening of Asia's and India's first meadery. Moonshine, as their venture is called, has a mission to popularize meads and to demonstrate their versatility. Made by fermenting honey, mead is often mistaken for beer or wine. To realize their ambitions, the founders asked for a staggering Rs. 80 Lakhs for 0.5% equity. As of today, Moonshine is expanding its operations and has set its sights on establishing a foothold in Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, and Karnataka.


While many entrepreneurs who appeared on Shark Tank failed to secure investment from the show's investors, some managed to gain valuable exposure for their business and went on to achieve success outside of the program. While the show has undoubtedly launched some big names in the startup world, including the likes of Scrub Daddy and Bombas, the reality is that not every pitch will result in a successful deal. However, for those who don't receive investment on the show, there are still opportunities to leverage the publicity generated by their appearance to attract investors and build their business. In fact, some entrepreneurs have reported that the exposure they gained from appearing on Shark Tank helped to boost their brand recognition and lead to increased sales, despite not securing an investment on the show.

 

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