Out of all the premium water bottle brands in the world, LARQ is one of the more exciting products. It is the world’s first self-purifying water bottle that uses UV-C LED technology. Founder Justin Wang pitched the product on Shark Tank and bagged a deal with Kevin O’Leary and Lori Greiner. As of 2023, LARQ is worth an estimated $50 million.
About the Founder
Justin Wang is of Chinese descent but was raised in San Francisco, California. He worked as an academic research assistant for less than a year while studying economics at the University of California, Berkeley.
Right after college, he worked as an investment banking associate at Merriman Capital, Inc. In 2010, he relocated to Shanghai City, China, to be an investor at L Catterton and held this role for three years.
Justin became the vice president of the beauty technology firm FOREO in 2014 and was promoted to president after a year of overseeing product management, strategy and marketing. In 2016, he joined the board of luxury goods provider LELO.
Founding the Company
Wang is also a nature lover who discovered that conventional water bottles would eventually give out a bad-smelling odor. This means they are being infected by bacteria, which is unpleasant for users.
In 2017, he officially launched the self-cleaning LARQ water bottle. By employing ultraviolet-C LED technology on the bottle cap, 99.99% of odor-causing particles inside would be eliminated. The founder started a Kickstarter campaign that raised $1.4 million in a month.
This helped the company make $5.5 million in revenue during its first year, $9 million in its second year, and $14 million in its third year. In 2020, LARQ raised $10 million in Series A funding led by DCM and Seventure.
Shark Tank Appearance
In 2021, Justin Wang’s company was already in a good place, but he didn’t reject the invitation to appear on season 12 of Shark Tank. He offered the Sharks 1% of his company for a stunning $500,000, the highest valuation ever pitched in the show.
For the first minute of his presentation, the Sharks were in utter disbelief at the valuation but Justin kept his cool. After the businessman revealed LARQ’s sales performance, the atmosphere in the room changed.
Kevin O’Leary, Lori Greiner, and Robert Herjavec each offered $500,000 at different equity stakes. Wang asked if the three could team up for $1.5 million, but Robert said no. Kevin and Lori agreed, and the final deal was $1.5 million for 4%.
After Shark Tank
After a remarkable pitch, Justin Wang’s water bottle was featured in many online publications. According to SharkTankBlog.com the deal with Lori and Kevin never closed but the business did receive a lot of publicity from the show. They had $6,5 million in the bank so the business had enough capital to grow.
The business now sells three products: The LARQ Bottle PureVis, LARQ Pitcher PureVis and LARQ Bottle Filtered. The LARQ Bottle PureVis is highly regarded by customers with a rating of 4.6 from 5288 reviews on their official website.
In addition to their website, LARQ products can be purchased on Amazon, Best Buy, and other well-known e-commerce platforms. In an interview with Forbes, Justin revealed he expects to do $30 million in revenue for 2022. Currently, LARQ is worth an estimated $50 million.