Actor, producer and entrepreneur Kevin Hart is one of the world’s highest paid comedians and owns a successful venture capital firm, but he hasn’t got to where he is in the business world without learning from his mistakes.
On Friday’s episode of “Shark Tank” on ABC, guest Shark turned down an offer from Candi – a celebrity dating and hospitality network – simply because of her previous personal experience.
“A lot of mistakes early in my business career were made in this space,” Hart said after dismissing the founders’ speech. “It’s all based on” Oh, this person has so many followers. If we get them to do that, then it will be a success. “It’s not true.”
Since the Chicago-based company launched in April 2020, husband-and-wife team Keithan and Quiante Hendrick said Candi has made more than $ 100,000 connecting fans with influencers and entertainment stars via video calls. live. The talent, which ranges from famous TikTokers to Grammy-winning artists like Chaka Khan, sets their own rates for five-minute conversations. The personalities pocket 75% while the Hendricks keep 25% of the winnings.
At the time of filming, however, Candi lacked “traditional forms of marketing,” meaning the promotion of the company relied entirely on promoting its 350 celebrities.
From his own experience, Hart said Candi’s reliance on endorsements meant the company was lacking “an engine.”
“The talent pool will guarantee your return, this is where I have trouble because these [platforms] have existed before, ”Hart said. “The reason they come far, little and in between in a place of success is because they fall apart. “
Hart refers to a competitive industry of similar sites and apps that connect fans to celebrities through recorded video greetings. Cameo, for example, is perhaps the best known and made $ 100 million in 2020 alone.
The Hendricks argued that Candi’s platform is “more personal,” as their site sets up direct-to-consumer video calls with the stars. They said they just needed some “validation” from Shark to grow their tech and talent acquisition team.
Hart still couldn’t see how Candi’s platform could hold its place.
“We’re not really sure if this is something that not only works, but who’s to say someone won’t rush out and make the bigger version of Candi,” the comedian said.
Hart also said their argument of $ 500,000 for 15% equity was “extremely aggressive.” The other Sharks agreed, and Mark Cuban called the request a “fundamental Shark Tank mistake.”
“You only gave up 15% and you expect us to be that opener,” Cuban said. “It’s a lot of work. It’s a lot of obligations.”
Lori Greiner said the pitch was also “much higher than [Candi has] actually sold. ”
The Hendricks left the tank without an offer from any of the Sharks, but said they had learned some valuable lessons from the experience anyway.
“We regret the amount of the request, but it was great to meet Kevin Hart,” Keithan said. “Anytime you have a guest shark like this that can give you such valuable advice – I feel like we just had a free counseling session.”
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Disclosure: CNBC owns the exclusive rights to the off-grid cable of “Shark Tank”.