Davie Fogarty didn’t need much persuading to join the new-look Shark Tank when producers reached out via email.
He had, after all, been watching US seasons of the show since high school.
Now at the ripe old age of 28 he is worth $500m, described as an Ecommerce whizkid who went from $500 to $500m in 5 years, with consumer brands including The Oodie, Pupnaps and Calming Blankets.
“I think I was picked simply because I’ve got a product that is very, very fun and lots of Australians can relate to,” he tells TV Tonight. “Lots of my brands are in Australians home. So they reached out and there was obviously zero hesitation from me. I was in straight away. I’ve been watching Shark Tank since I was in Year 12, I think it was. So it didn’t take much convincing. I love to help Australian entrepreneurs as well. So it was a no-brainer.”
Joining him from Shark Tank USA, is OG Shark, Robert Herjavec, now a bonafide colleague in the new 10 season.
“Robert’s a seasoned veteran. I was watching it in school, trying to figure out how to stream it in Australia, which was actually quite difficult back then,” he reveals.
“I was always kind of obsessed with the US (series).”
The Davie Group owns 10 brands while Fogarty builds an empire through social media engagement. His YouTube channel has over 230,000 subscribers and 59,000 on Instagram.
In joining Shark Tank he hopes to partner with Australian entrepreneurs and help them realise their dreams. Across the series he will hear a range of pitches.
“Most of them are at quite early stage. There was some really, really impressive businesses that were quite mature and ready for global expansion. But a lot of my investments were younger Ecommerce brands where I have walked that path. I know exactly the problems they’re going to face, and the excitement that they’re going to have. So they’re the ones that I really want to be a part of,” he explains.
“But with the amount of money that’s at stake in these investments it’s not a charity. We work very, very hard for our money and to give it away just for the show’s sake doesn’t make any sense. So there is always an element of seeing yourself in some of the entrepreneurs, and how badly they want it. That sometimes take some reason out of it. But emotion can be useful sometimes. There were a couple of entrepreneurs that I just really wanted to support and see win, despite the financial reward.
“I make it my priority that even if a deal doesn’t go through, I still give them some guidance and make sure that they’re better off from going on the show.”
Also joining the new series produced by Curio Pictures are marketing king Sabri Suby, AI guru Dr. Catriona Wallace and fashion phenomenon, Jane Lu.
Behind the scenes each Shark will undertake due diligence on proposals they invest in, to ensure the pitches were fairly representative of the businesses.
Fogarty also outlines how he makes time for mentoring his new partners.
“I think it’s imperative to create time for these investments, especially in the early stage.,” he continues. “Over time, they require less, ‘hand holding.’ But really, the learning curve is show aggressive, if you can put them on the right path and the first year, they are just going to be a considerably bigger and more sustainable business. So I invest a lot of time. If it was maybe my 10th season in Shark Tank, maybe I wouldn’t be able to invest as much time. Right now I made sure that I could.”
Although he is yet to see a completed episode, Fogarty was enamoured by his first television experience.
“It was infectious,” he observes. “The TV industry has so much energy, so much excitement.
“It was really amazing to see how the Curio team, and Channel 10 as well, all operated. It was a very streamlined process. I’m used to shooting YouTube videos with one videographer, pumping them out and hoping that they go well. There was meticulous thought into every element which made me appreciate the industry.”
Shark Tank premieres 7:30pm Tuesday on 10.