Tonight’s Shark Tank was as epic as promised, and though it took placeand took place after a pitch ended. The fight wasn’t over actual offers, but over Lori Greiner–and then Daymond John–making an offer so early in the pitch, preventing the other sharks from being able to ask questions. It was one of those annoying “make a decision right now” offers, but this time it really irritated the other sharks.
Each pitch can take 45 minutes to an hour, and Lori said in a pre-show statement, below, that she made her offer 10 minutes into the pitch. It was for Scholly, an app that helps find scholarships, and it was being pitched by Christopher Gray, a junior in college who said that he’d won $1.3 million in scholarships and uses that to help get PR for his app.
Lori offered $40,000 for 15 percent, exactly what he wanted. Lori and Robert were asking questions, such as about how the database was updated. Lori said, “I don’t care how we’re going to monetize it. I just want you to take my hand and say ‘deal'”
“How can you believe in it when you haven’t even asked about the entire business?” Robert asked Lori. After that, Lori and Daymond joined in together, and Lori insisted he make a decision while Mark shook his head.
After he left the tank, the entrepreneur, Christopher, seemed to confirm Mark and Robert’s fears and/or questions by saying, “I’m really happy to find two sharks who care more about what Scholly’s going to do for the public than the bottom line.”
After he’d left, Robert turned to Lori and, referring to the time when he was poor, said, “I hated when people wanted to give me a break because they felt bad for me.” Lori said, “Sometimes it’s about helping America and making the world a better place.”
Robert said, “Lori, that is such crap. We are not the charity tank” and asked her, “How are you going to grow that business?” Mark was silent during all this back and forth, but Kevin O’Leary said that the entrepreneur “wasn’t allowed to talk because you had to force $40,000 down his throat like a goose for pate.”
Mark finally said, “You just bent over backwards for $40,000. If you’re truly trying to help the guy–what I wanted to do was ask him questions.” Robert then told Lori, “you’re really pissing me off right now” and walked off, as Lori said, “You’re not the guy to walk away and walk off.” Kevin O’Leary left next, and then Mark Cuban left as Lori said “we feel great.”
“We feel great,” Lori said to an empty stage. “I love it,” Daymond said, and there was silence.
Ultimately, while Robert and Mark may have been intrigued by the app, they seemed skeptical enough that I’m not convinced they were just angry Lori and Daymond got the deal. They seemed genuinely irritated that another shark gave a deal to someone without properly vetting them.
All deals made on camera are subject to due diligence, and a third to a half of deals made on the show fall apart at that stage, so there’s always a possibility of learning more later and backing out. But based on her statement below, Lori and Daymond are still in.
Earlier, Friday at 8:45 p.m.: The Shark Tank fight between Lori Greiner, Mark Cuban, Robert Herjavec, and Daymond John that’s been teased for weeks now will air starting at 9 p.m. ET, but already one of the sharks is doing damage control.
Lori Greiner’s representatives sent out a statement, which spoils the conclusion of the pitch and only has one sentence that addresses the actual conflict. It writes off the fight as the sharks being “like a family” who “are not always going to agree.”
Here’s the statement, which does give away the end result of the pitch by Scholly, a scholarship app by Christopher Gray:
“Within about 10 minutes of Scholly’s pitch to the sharks, I had heard enough to know that Scholly was already doing well, and it was clear Chris was a very smart entrepreneur. I didn’t need to hear a lot more, the algorithm was already working and I knew going forward anything else we could figure out together. It was shocking to learn that $100 mil in scholarships go unused each year. I wanted to get behind Scholly to help bring these scholarships and aspiring students together. I’m so glad to be working with the Scholly team and Daymond John now and we have just re-launched an enhanced website and the database is fully up to date and growing. Scholly is a HERO. Sometimes it’s not all about the money, it’s about what you believe in. In regards to the shark fight, every shark has a unique approach to business, we’re like a family and we are not always going to agree.”