The hugely popular businessman is one of the stars of the TV show Shark Tank.
Mark Cuban, 64, is an exception among billionaires.
He is popular, and his popularity transcends political affiliations.
Both Republicans and Democrats hail his business acumen and instinct which have the potential to disrupt an industry.
It helps that the billionaire is present in two industries that are part of everyday life, sports and pharmaceuticals.
In sports, he owns the Dallas Mavericks NBA franchise which won its first-ever title with Cuban in charge. The billionaire has recruited huge talents like Dirk Nowitzki and current superstar Luka Doncic, European stars who have allowed him to export his popularity outside the American borders.
Cuban has been disrupting the pharmaceutical industry with Cost Plus Drugs, an online pharmacy that sells prescription drugs directly to consumers at low cost. The company is the vehicle through which Cuban is demonstrating that it is possible to have drugs at prices that do not ruin the most vulnerable and financially fragile households.
Cost Plus Drugs “fills and delivers prescriptions at cost plus a fixed 15% margin,” the company said on its website.
Will Cuban Give Up Shark Tank?
This enterprise has earned him many messages of thanks from consumers on social networks.
“Just a friendly reminder based upon my personal experience: http://costplusdrugs.com fills prescriptions online for much less money than my local pharmacy. My $250 prescription is $13.40 on http://costplusdrugs.com. #costplusdrugs.com,” posted a Twitter user on Oct.8.
And from time to time, social media users encourage Cuban to run for president in 2024.
Cuban is also involved in the young crypto industry. This allows this baby boomer to extend his notoriety to Gen Z, who are very active in a sector which wants to disrupt traditional financial services.
But it was his appearance on the TV show “Shark Tank” that made him a household name.
The concept: on one side, entrepreneurs who have a creative project, or an existing business that they want to take to a new level. On the other side, investors, all “self-made” entrepreneurs, who have earned tens or hundreds of millions of dollars with their businesses and who are on the lookout for innovative concepts that have the power to change the game.
Entrepreneurs present their projects and try to convince at least one “shark” to invest in their business, in exchange for a stake in their company. They often look to benefit from the skills and the relationship networks of the “sharks” as much as their money.
The result is a program full of brilliant ideas… or absurd ones, pitches of entrepreneurs succeeding in convincing… or failing miserably, hard negotiations, real moments of emotion, screams, laughter and tears. Above all, many lessons to be learned for entrepreneurs, or even for investors, on negotiation, sales and the art of influencing and convincing.
Cuban is one of the iconic investors on the show. After having participated for several years, the billionaire has just announced that this season may be the last for him.
“I hear, and please tell me as a Shark Tank fan that this is not true, that you are so committed to Costs Plus Drugs that you are considering leaving the show,” journalist Chris Wallace asked the billionaire in an interview for CNN, which will air on October 9.
“It’s not so much Costs Plus Drugs as it is having a daughter who just went away to college,” Cuban responded. “When they were all in high school and went to the same two schools all of our schedules can be worked out together. But it was more a question of wanting to spend more time with my family.”
He added that the Shark Tank team came to see him recently after the premiere of the live show to ask him to “promise I’d come back for at least one more season.”
“But after that I don’t know,” Cuban said.
A departure of Cuban from Shark Tank is likely to leave a great void as the billionaire has succeeded in injecting his personality and his infectious energy.
Until last July, the investor has been on 111 episodes of Shark Tank and closed 85 deals for a total investment of $19.85 million, according to Sharkalytics. His biggest individual investment was in the company Ten Thirty One Production, in which he invested $2 million against a 20% equity stake.
In general, Cuban has invested an average of $233,529 in exchange for an average participation of 23% in the capital of the companies in question.
“On a cash basis I’m down on my shark tank investments,” he admitted on July 23, without saying how much his losses amount to.
“But that doesn’t include private valuations of operating companies. Which is the majority. I’m not a fan of the ‘mark to market’ games PE/VC firms play. Should illiquid valuations count?” he added.
Cuban was referring to private equity, or PE, and venture capital, or VC.