'Shark Tank's' Kevin O'Leary talks five-shark deal: 'It made more sense'
Charles Michael Yim appeared in the second episode of Season 5 to pitch his Breathometer, the world's smallest breathalyzer that plugs directly into a smart phone. Immediately, each shark wanted a piece of the pie.
"You just hear it right away and you know it's amazing," O'Leary told reporters during a recent set visit. He, Mark Cuban, Daymond John, Robert Herjavec and Lori Greiner showed interest almost immediately. Cuban made the first offer, but balked when Greiner showed interest in colluding. O'Leary and Herjavec teamed with Greiner to create a counter offer to Cuban, hoping to reel him in.
"It made more sense to collude because were were just driving the price up," O'Leary said. "We were just driving each other into the stratosphere. So I finally just said, 'Stop the madness! Let's get together.' Every guy takes a little less, but you get a piece, as opposed to paying twice as much."
Cuban, however, held firm. "I don't want to work with the other sharks," he said. As the others tried to work John into their plan, he admitted, "I'll only go in if Mark goes in and you get all sharks."
Yim knew his stuff, though. Hoping to reel Cuban in and raise the entire $1 million he needed, he offered the resistant shark the lion's share: $300,000 for $15%, while the other four would split $700,000 for 15%.
Cuban countered: $500,000 for 15% while the others would split $500,000 for 15%. After some deliberation and a phone call with a partner, Yim accepted Cuban's proposal. Herjavec admitted, "I gotta tell ya, I didn't see that coming."
In the end, it was Yim's poise and presentation, not to mention his stellar product, that won the sharks over. "He was a really good presenter. The guy was -- he knew his numbers, he was able to answer every question so you understand the risk you're getting into, and he has a great track record of success. He's done this twice before," O'Leary says. "Those are the kind of people we love to see on 'Shark Tank.' And he'd already been backed by venture capitalists, so he already had a structure in place and he was looking to raise another round. That's never happened before. We've never had these mature companies come in here, and now everybody knows about the Tank and they want to be involved in it."
Do you think the Breathometer deserved the five-shark deal?