Why Mark Cuban Rejected ‘Shark Tank’ Engagement Ring Company Do Amore

Krish Himmatramka’s engagement ring company, Do Amore, sounds like every investor’s dream: Its diamond products are ethically sourced and carefully produced, and the company makes a lot of money.

The company brought in $ 11.5 million in 2021 revenue, eight years after its launch in 2013. But in Friday’s episode of ABC’s “Shark Tank,” Mark Cuban rejected Do Amore for one crucial reason: He anticipated competition and did not believe Himmatramka’s company could stand up to it.

“You deserve a lot of credit,” said the billionaire investor and entrepreneur. “But it’s hard to maintain because everyone else can walk in the door and try to do the same. There are no barriers to entry to compete with you, and that makes it hard to invest.”

Himmatramka started Do Amore, which he said was profitable after he himself went shopping for an engagement ring – and was deterred by the moral price tag on some of the diamonds he found. Diamond mining is often environmentally unsustainable, and diamond miners have a long history of being underpaid or exploited for their work.

The experience re-emerged a childhood memory for Himmatramka: When he was young, in India, Himmatramka saw a child die of water poisoning. Seeing for himself how a lack of clean water could affect communities held on to him as he built an engineering career, learning that clean water was often available to these communities – they just needed resources to drill for that.

So Himmatramka set out to build a company that could help solve both problems at the same time. He took $ 18,000 from his savings to launch Do Amore, and strived to retrieve natural or laboratory-created diamonds from ethical sites of sustainable practice. Since the episode’s recording, the company has also given back 20.5% of its net profit to help build clean water wells in nine different countries.

At the time of filing, the company had earned $ 26 million in lifetime sales of jewelry. Himmatramka said he wanted more financial help to expand its distribution and marketing, asking the Sharks for $ 600,000 in exchange for 6% of Do Amore.

Cuban was one of the first sharks to reject the deal, explaining that although he was impressed with Do Amore’s revenue and philanthropy, he believed that any engagement ring company could simply start donating a percentage of sales to charity – which negated Do Amore’s competitive advantage.

“I do not think anyone can add [charity] to what they do, “replied Himmatramka.

At least a couple of Sharks agreed with Himmatramka. First, Kevin O’Leary offered $ 600,000 for 6% of Do Amore, with a $ 100 royalty on each sale, until he got his investment back three times. Lori Greiner advised Himmatramka to accept the offer and noted O’Leary’s experience in the wedding industry.

But Himmatramka expressed hesitation and went against $ 600,000 for 10% with no royalty. “What do you think I do with all my businesses?” asked O’Leary. “I’m reducing their customer acquisition costs. That’s what ‘Shark Tank’ is all about … I know this place inside and out.”

Then guest shark Daniel Lubetzky, the founder of the snack company Kind, jumped in and offered $ 600,000 for 15% of Do Amore. Himmatramka corresponded with 12%. Lubetzky said he was not willing to budge, but would donate the difference between their offerings – 3% – to Do Amore’s social mission.

Neither Do Amore nor Lubetzky responded immediately to CNBC Make Its request for clarification regarding the donation.

Himmatramka accepted Lubetsky’s offer. “Daniel understood what we were trying to do,” Himmatramka said. “All of Daniel’s life’s work has been social impact … We’re going to bring so many people clean water and sell so many rings.”

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