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This wellness hack was the most important ‘Shark Tank’ investment of the 12 months

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The most important investment on ABC’s “Shark Tank” in 2022 didn’t go to a robotics company or a vegan food empire. As a substitute, it went toward cold-water baths.

On a May 2022 episode, Robert Herjavec offered $2.4 million to Plunge, a Lincoln, California-based company that sells tubs designed for cold-water immersion. The baths cost nearly $5,000 and brought in $4.9 million in its first full 12 months of sales after launching in 2020.

Soaking in freezing water, even only for 60 seconds, is a wellness practice with health advantages, co-founders Michael Garrett and Ryan Duey said on the show.

Research regarding how cold or how long it’s best to submerge yourself in freezing water is mixed. But early studies, like 2020 research from the University of Portsmouth within the U.K., found that open-water swimming in cold temperatures did improve participants’ mood.

A 2018 case study from a group of British universities moreover found that the activity may very well be used to treat depression and anxiety.

Garrett and Duey asked the Sharks for a whopping $1.2 million in exchange for five% of their company, noting that they were ahead of their competitors on each price and convenience. Some luxury ice baths cost as much as $10,000, and you may have to manually fill a few of those tubs, they said.

As compared, the Plunge comes with a water filter that attaches to the typical household hose, and a cooler to moderate the water’s temperature.

The Sharks didn’t blink on the seven-figure request. Kevin O’Leary offered Garrett and Duey $1.2 million for 18% of Plunge, while Barbara Corcoran offered $600,000 in money and $600,000 in loan or line of credit for 20% of Plunge.

The co-founders declined each offers, saying they needed more money to construct their inventory.

Then Herjavec, who’d already hopped right into a model Plunge tub on set, said he’d invest $2.4 million — half money, half line of credit — for 15% of the corporate.

Mark Cuban, noting that players on his Dallas Mavericks NBA team use similar products to scale back inflammation, also made a suggestion: He’d invest $1.2 million and finance all of Plunge’s purchase orders for 15% in equity.

Garrett and Duey asked Herjavec and Cuban if either would take 10%. Herjavec responded with 12%, and the co-founders accepted.

“Twelve months ago we were in my garage constructing cold plunges,” Garrett said. “And now here we’re. We now have a take care of Robert for $2.4 million. It’s incredible.”

CNBC Make It reached out to Plunge for an update, but the corporate declined to comment on the present status of their partnership with Robert Herjavec.

Disclosure: CNBC owns the exclusive off-network cable rights to “Shark Tank.”

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