When Mark Cuban invests $500,000 for 25% equity in a company, you’re going to want to know what happened. This is exactly what we’re here to talk about in our Shark Tank Dino Don update, after Don Lessem and his wife, Valerie Jones, headed into Season 12 to pitch Dino Don and ask for a $500,000 investment in exchange for 10% equity.
Shark Tank Dino Don Update
- Entrepreneur: Don Lessem and Valerie Jones
- Business: Life-sized dinosaur animatronics
- Ask: $500,000 for 10% equity
- Result: $500,000 for 25% equity
- Shark: Mark Cuban
Don Lessem and his wife, Valerie Jones, appeared in the season finale of Shark Tank Season 12 to pitch the sharks their company, Dino Don, Inc.
Dino Don’s extensive resume extends back to the original Jurassic Park films. He was the dino advisor to the director, Steven Spielberg. Since then, he’s led excavations of the largest dinosaurs in the world and has authored more than 40 books on dinosaurs.
So, when Don headed into the Shark Tank, you’d best bet that the sharks were intrigued, especially since he brought his dinosaur friends with him. Unfortunately, while excited about the idea, the sharks weren’t too enthusiastic when Don started talking about the numbers. Kevin O’Leary referred to Don as being “all over the map” and didn’t feel confident that Don could execute, so he backed out. Daymond John also went out because he felt that he couldn’t add anything to the table.
As for Lori Greiner, she felt that the presentation was a bit lacking, so she went out as well. The only shark to make an offer was Mark Cuban, who loved the idea. After expressing his interest, Robert Herjavec went out as he referred to Mark’s offer as “generous.” The Dallas Mavericks owner then offered Don $500,000 but for 25% of the company. He explained that his increased ask reflects the amount of effort that he’ll have to put into the company.
Don understood this and accepted Mark’s offer. Now, considering Mark made such a big investment in a pretty unique company, you may want a Dino Don update after Shark Tank.
In a recent interview with Technical.ly, the husband and wife duo explained that the funding will go towards making a shift in how the company operated and its business model. He also explained that part of it will go to technical upgrades that will allow the dinosaurs to use Numatic motion control products.
Further, since airing on Shark Tank, Dino Don has grown from 150 robots to over 400 robots and has added birds, ice age animals, and even dragons. Even better, sales before Shark Tank were $1.8 million, and it’s now grown to $4.2 million annually.
Don and Valerie have since used Mark’s money to create a traveling show, to help bring their dinosaurs to more and more people. They even have dinosaurs in England, Finland, and a few other countries.
Suffice to say that our next Dino Don update might be when the company opens up its own Jurassic Park of sorts.
For more updates on companies from Shark Tank Season 12 Episode 25, check out:
For more on Shark Tank Season 12, be sure to check out our Season 12 Products Page!