‘Shark Tank Australia’ judge Robert Herjavec’s record investment

In a record-breaking episode of Shark Tank Australia, one of the show’s judges invested the largest sum of money ever seen on the series.

Canadian investor Robert Herjavec, 61, who joined the Channel 10 reality show this year, gave a lifeline to laundry business CEO Susan Toft on Tuesday night’s show, after the other four judges – known as ‘sharks’ – tapped out of investing in her company.

Susan was seeking a $750,000 investment for a 10 per cent share in her business Laundry Lady, which she founded in 2020.

The single mother started the company with a revenue of $200,000, and this year, was on track to hit $3.8 million in revenue.

“And we’re set to double that again next year,” she added. “But we’re just getting started. There’s a lot of dirty laundry out there.”

Susan launched a strong pitch for her business, a mobile laundry service the ‘sharks’ dubbed “Uber for laundry”.

But ultimately, most of the sharks felt her valuation of $7.5 million was too ambitious.

Herjavec was the last man standing, telling Susan she faced falling behind in a competitive market unless she had more money.

“So, I’ll give you more money,” Herjavec said.

“I’ll give you a million dollars,” he added, which was met with shrieks from his fellow sharks.

But, he had his own stipulations.

“I want 30 per cent,” he said. “I’ve been there, and I see the risk. I see the scale problems.

“I’m trying to price in the risk for me, so that’s my offer.”

After brief deliberation, Susan accepted the deal.

Susan said she would focus on marketing, developing the business’ digital systems and tapping into the international market.

Among the biggest investments on the local show included Boost founder Janine Allis’ $300,000 offering to healthy eating company Be Fit Food in 2017.

In 2019, Naomi Simpson and Steve Baxter invested $380,000 between them in fintech start-up Qpay, splitting the 8.4 per cent equity.

Shark Tank Australia first aired in 2015 before taking a break after the 2018 season.

After five years, it finally returned to air with its fifth season in August this year.

Five new ‘sharks’ joined the show, including Herjavec, digital marketing guru Sabri Suby, tech businesswoman Catriona Wallace, The Oodie founder Davie Fogarty and Showpo founder Jane Lu.

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