Shark Tank India investors fall short on pledges

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Over a year following the inaugural season of the Indian edition of Shark Tank, the seven esteemed investors made good on less than half of their investment pledges, according to a new analysis, the latest in a series of criticisms for the show.

The “sharks” overall invested in only 27 of the 65 investment pledges shown on the TV show, research firm PrivateCircle said. The sharks overall committed $4.87 million to the startups, but had only invested $2 million as of last week, PrivateCircle said. The firm reached its conclusion by combing through corporate filings, it said.

The outlook appears increasingly precarious for the second season of Shark Tank India, which concluded in March of this current year. Despite the panel of sharks promising 115 deals, only a single investment has been disclosed to the local governmental ministry.

A couple of qualifications are necessary. There is a distinct possibility that several investments may still be undergoing the due diligence process. Additionally, ongoing technical glitches on the ministry’s website could be a plausible explanation for the sparse disclosure figures.

Sony Network India, the broadcaster of Shark Tank in India, declined to comment Tuesday.

“Our findings show that some deals committed on the show may have fallen through because of concerns in company due diligence. Also some startups seem to have passed on the Shark Tank deal to raise funding at higher valuations from other investors,” said Sumanjan Kumar, Lead Financial Analyst at PrivateCircle, in a statement.

The new analysis is the latest criticism for the show, which Sony estimates has reached over 250 million people. Some startups that have appeared on the India version Shark Tank have criticized the show, saying many investors have ghosted them after promising a deal on the TV.

Anupam Mittal, who founded Shaadi.com and serves as one of the investors on Shark Tank India, said in a recent LinkedIn post that 66% of the deals presented during the show’s inaugural season were successfully executed, a figure he claimed surpasses that of its U.S. counterpart.

Aman Gupta, co-founder of the consumer electronics brand Boat and also an investor on Shark Tank India, also recently defended the show, saying that many entrepreneurs prefer to either negotiate the investment deal or decline it entirely after the telecast.

More to follow.

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