Vegetarian billionaire “Shark Tank” investor Mark Cuban has invested in Snacklins, a vegan pork rind brand.
Described as a “delicious, guilt-free crunch,” Snacklins — which are 80 calories a bag — are made from just three simple ingredients: yuca, mushrooms, and onions.
Founder Samy Kobrosly told “Shark Tank” investors during his appearance on the ABC reality TV show last October, “they’re made with real ingredients that a six-year-old can pronounce.”
Kobrosly owns 30 percent of the company; he gave a 10 percent stake to each of his employees, and his angel investors and some family members also have stakes in the business. Cuban — who has been on “Shark Tank” since 2011 — said that Kobrosly’s decision to give employees a stake each was “awesome.”
Snacklins are currently available in 850 stores nationwide, including select Walmart, 7-Eleven, and Whole Foods locations. Kobrosly thinks he can take the business even further, with a little help.
He asked for $250,000 for a 2.5 percent stake in the business, but Cuban offered him $250,000 for a 5 percent stake in the business and 5 percent in advisory shares. He accepted.
“I think a strategic partner like you is what I set this up for,” Kobrosly said to Cuban. “I used to own 100 percent of nothing. I am living the American dream. I am a Muslim, first-generation American, who is now pitching a vegan pork rind on ‘Shark Tank.'”
Vegan Business on ‘Shark Tank’
Snacklins isn’t the first vegan brand Cuban has expressed interest in. Los Angeles-based vegan fried chicken startup Atlas Monroe also recently appeared on the show. Cuban said during the episode, “I went vegetarian three months ago. This is important to me. I love products I can eat.”
Together with guest shark Rohan Ozo, Cuban offered Atlas Monroe a deal, which the brand declined. The pair offered $1 million for Atlas Monroe with a 10 percent royalty for founders Deborah and Jonathan Torres, but the couple didn’t want to give up control of their brand.
In 2014, vegan cinnamon bun chain Cinnaholic appeared on the show, walking away with $200,000 for a 40 percent stake in the business. In 2018, vegan sushi chain Beyond Sushi received $1.5 million to expand, and in March 2019, vegan pet food startup Wild Earth left with $550,000.