Investor Shark Tank India failed to deliver on promises

More than a year after the inaugural season of the Indian edition of Shark Tank, seven respectable investors made less than half of their investment pledges, according to a new analysis, the latest in series of criticisms for show.

“Sharks” as a whole only invested in 27 of the 65 investment pledges featured on the TV show, said research firm PrivateCircle. Sharks overall committed $4.87 million to the startup, but only invested $2 million last week, said PrivateCircle. The company reached its conclusion by combing through company filings, he said.

The prospects seem all the more precarious for the second season of Shark Tank India, which ended in March this year. Although the shark panel promised 115 deals, only one investment has been disclosed to the local government ministry.

Some qualifications are required. There is the distinct possibility that some investments may still be undergoing the due diligence process. Additionally, the ongoing technical glitches on the ministry’s website could be a plausible explanation for the sparse disclosure numbers.

Sony Network India, India’s broadcaster of Shark Tank, declined to comment Tuesday.

“Our findings suggest that some of the deals done on the show may fall through due to concerns in corporate due diligence. Also some startups seem to have passed on Shark Tank deals to raise funds at higher valuations from other investors,” said Sumanjan Kumar, Lead Financial Analyst at PrivateCircle, in a statement.

The new analysis is the latest criticism of the event, which Sony estimates has reached more than 250 million people. Several startups appearing on the Indian version of Shark Tank have criticized the event, saying many investors had overshadowed them after promising deals on TV.

Anupam Mittal, who founded and serves as a co-investor in Shark Tank India, said in a recent LinkedIn post that 66% of the deals presented during the show’s inaugural season were executed successfully, a figure he claims surpasses his US counterpart. Most deals take three to six months to materialize, he said.

Aman Gupta, co-founder of consumer electronics brand Boat and also an investor in Shark Tank India, also recently defended the event, saying that many entrepreneurs prefer to negotiate investment deals or reject them outright after the broadcast.

PrivateCircle analysis corroborates those claims, noting that at least six startups are continuing their Shark Tank deals and are pursuing funding from a variety of investors with higher valuations.

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