Of all the premium water bottle brands in the world, LARQ is one of the most exciting products. This is the world’s first self-purifying water bottle that uses UV-C LED technology. When its creator, Justin Wang, appeared on Shark Tank, he struck a deal with Kevin O’Leary and Lori Greiner. In 2022, LARQ is worth around $50 million.
About the Founder
Justin Wang is of Chinese descent but grew up in San Francisco, California. He worked as a university research assistant for less than a year while studying economics at the University of California, Berkeley.
Right after college, he worked as an investment banking partner at Merriman Capital, Inc. In 2010, he moved to Shanghai, China to become an investor at L Catterton and held that position for three years.
In 2014, he became vice president of beauty technology company FOREO and was promoted to president after a year overseeing product management, strategy and marketing. In 2016, he joined the board of directors of luxury goods supplier LELO.
Wang is also a nature lover who discovered that conventional water bottles would end up smelling bad. This means that they are infected with bacteria, which is unpleasant for users.
In 2017, he officially launched the LARQ self-cleaning water bottle. By using ultraviolet-C LED technology on the bottle cap, 99.99% of the odor-causing particles inside would be eliminated. The founder launched a Kickstarter campaign that raised $1.4 million in one month.
This helped the company make $5.5 million in revenue in its first year, $9 million in year two, and $14 million in year three. In 2020, LARQ raised $10 million in Series A funding led by DCM and Seventure.
Shark Tank Appearance
In 2021, Justin Wang’s company was already in a good place, but he didn’t reject the invitation to appear in season 12 of Shark Tank. He offered the Sharks 1% of his company for the eye-popping sum of $500,000, the highest valuation ever featured on the show.
For the first minute of his presentation, the panel was in total disbelief at the assessment, but Justin kept his cool. After the businessman revealed LARQ’s sales performance, the atmosphere in the room changed.
Kevin O’Leary, Lori Greiner and Robert Herjavec each offered $500,000 for different entries. Wang asked if the three could team up for $1.5 million, but Robert said no. Kevin and Lori agreed, and the final deal was $1.5 million for 4%.
After Shark Tank
After a remarkable pitch, Justin Wang’s invention was the subject of numerous media publications. According to SharkTankBlog.com, the deal with Lori and Kevin was never done, but the company received a lot of publicity from the show. They had $6.5 million in the bank, so the business had enough capital to grow.
The company now sells three products: the LARQ PureVis bottle, the LARQ PureVis pitcher and the LARQ filtered bottle. The LARQ PureVis bottle is highly rated by customers with a rating of 4.6 out of 5288 reviews on their official website.
In addition to their website, LARQ products can be purchased on Amazon, Best Buy, and other well-known e-commerce platforms. In an interview with Forbes, Justin revealed that he expects to make $30 million in revenue for 2022. Currently, LARQ is worth around $50 million.