There are no shortage of awkward or tense moments on Shark Tank. Whether it’s Mark Cuban serving up some signature sass, or Lori Greiner calling out entrepreneurs for being chauvinistic, a lot can go wrong when presenting to the panel of very rich pro judges.
Which is why it should come as no shock that Kevin O’Leary found himself in a tough spot on a recent episode. Stéphane Jean-Baptiste and Yve-Car Momperousse pitched their ethical beauty line, Kreyol Essence, which caught the attention of Mr. Wonderful. So much so that he wanted to offer $400,000 for 37% equity—which the business owners did not want.
First, they offered him 20% to which he replied, “Never, never, never.”
“Look, I’m impressed by you, now we’re having a tough love discussion,” he said. "It’s about money, I want to make money.”
He continued to rebuff their counters, until even Lori stepped in to tell Stéphane and Yve-Car, “If you don’t like it, don’t take it.”
Unfortunately, this back-and-forth caused Stéphane to break down, even admitting their company almost didn’t make a few years earlier.
“That time period was really tough for us in 2016. I mean, even to the point where we almost just closed the business down,” he said through tears. “It challenged our relationship, you know, feeling as if we sort of…failed our community, failed ourselves.”
His partner stepped in, “It’s not just about the great products, it’s about the mission of helping to create a blueprint for poverty alleviation, which is a huge problem around the world.”
“It’s my culture. It’s my identity. It’s everything that my parents scarified to get us here. We shouldn’t be here,” he finished.
If the speech pulled at Kevin’s heartstrings at all, we couldn’t tell. He wasted no time in saying, “But you are here and you have an offer. What have you decided to do?”
Finally, Yve-Car offered up a royalty option. “That brings a tear to my eye,” Kevin joked.
To everyone’s shock, they finally settled on a deal proving even the most intense pitches can have happy endings.