After 13 seasons on ABC’s “Shark Tank,” Mark Cuban estimates that he’s had about as many hits as misses.
Some of his on-screen deals have worked out great, he says. Others, not so much. Such is the risk of investing. But even when it comes to the ones that eventually left him scratching his own head, Cuban tells CNBC Make It that he has “no regrets.”
By Cuban’s own estimation, roughly one in four of his “Shark Tank” deals “have done really well or crushed it,” he told a local Denver ABC affiliate on Friday. “Fifty percent … have been good and continue to go on, and 25% where I just think to myself: ‘What the hell was I thinking?'”
One notable example: Cuban has highlighted the Breathometer, billed as “the world’s first smartphone breathalyzer,” as his worst “Shark Tank” investment to date. Cuban said he lost roughly $500,000 on the deal, after investing in the business in 2013.
“That was my biggest beating,” Cuban told CNBC Make It in July.
In total, the billionaire investor has struck more than 200 on-screen deals worth more than $61 million in his time on the show, according to a recent online estimate. On Monday, Cuban told Forbes that the real-life figure is closer to $29 million: Not all of the deals depicted on the show make it all the way to closing.
Cuban says his “Shark Tank” deals aren’t always solely about bringing in big financial returns. “I’m good with that with my ‘Shark Tank’ companies,” Cuban wrote on Twitter in July. “I don’t do the show to get the best investments. And I don’t always invest because I think I’ll make money. Sometimes my deals are purely to help someone or send a message.”
That’s why he doesn’t seem to mind not yet being in the black when it comes to his total investments on the show. In July, Cuban told the “Full Send” podcast that he’s taken a net loss on all of his “Shark Tank” investments so far. He later clarified that he meant “on a cash basis,” only accounting for the investments he’s already exited.
“I haven’t gotten out more than I have put in. But that doesn’t account for all the ongoing, operating businesses and their valuations,” Cuban told CNBC Make It at the time.
Deals that flop are an inevitability of investing, according to fellow “Shark Tank” star Kevin O’Leary. “You make 10 investments, you get two to three huge hits. And it pays for the other seven [failed investments],” O’Leary told CNBC Make It last month.
Still, Cuban says he’s beginning to think about when he should step away from “Shark Tank” to focus on his own ventures, including the new online pharmacy Cost Plus Drugs.
“Part of me wants to quit,” Cuban told Forbes on Monday.
The investor didn’t offer any timeline for when he might depart the popular program, but said the show could likely weather his exit: “They’ll survive fine without me.”
Disclosure: CNBC owns the exclusive off-network cable rights to “Shark Tank.”
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