Billionaire Mark Cuban invested $300,000 in vegan model Pan’s Mushroom Jerky in change for 18 % fairness within the firm throughout a current episode of actuality collection Shark Tank. Based in 2008 by Portland, OR-based entrepreneur Michael Pan, the corporate makes vegan jerky from shiitake mushrooms in Authentic, Zesty Thai, Applewood BBQ, and Salt & Pepper flavors. Pan was impressed to create the corporate after visiting his household in Borneo the place his vegetarian Buddhist cousin handled him to a mushroom snack that Pan initially thought was pork. Pan will use the funding to launch new flavors and broaden distribution of his mushroom jerky.
Through the Shark Tank episode, Pan—who initially needed a $300,000 funding in change for 10 % fairness within the firm—obtained provides from a number of of the traders (“Sharks”). He finally selected to go together with Cuban’s provide given the Shark’s earlier investments into plant-based corporations. “It was validating and humbling to see how a lot the Sharks liked our jerky,” Pan stated. “You’re employed so onerous and for thus lengthy to construct a enterprise, and to see them compete to be part of it was unbelievable.”
Cuban—who not too long ago went vegetarian—has beforehand invested in a number of vegan manufacturers on Shark Tank, together with dessert hummus firm Delighted by Hummus, pork-free rinds model Snacklins, and date-based spreads firm Wanna Date?. In 2019, vegan meat model Mrs. Goldfarb’s Unreal Deli obtained $250,000 in funding from Cuban in change for 20 % of the corporate. Since then, the model expanded the provision of its plant-based corned beef throughout the nation, together with at delis in a number of cities, choose Complete Meals Markets, Veggie Grill places nationwide, and 16 check places of Quiznos within the Seattle space. Earlier this month, Cuban predicted that Unreal Deli is poised to generate $50 million in gross sales this yr.