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.
Justin Wang’s Background
Justin Wang is of Chinese descent and 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, Wang worked as an investment banking associate at Merriman Capital, Inc. In 2010, he relocated to Shanghai City, China, to become an investor at L Catterton and held this role for three years.
Next 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.
Wang is also a nature lover who discovered that normal 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 leveraging ultraviolet-C LED technology on the bottle cap, 99.99% of odor-causing particles inside are 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.
LARQ’s Shark Tank Pitch
In 2021, Justin Wang’s company didn’t need more capital but still wanted 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 on the show.
The Sharks were in utter disbelief at the valuation at the beginning but Justin kept his cool. After the founder 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 valuations. Wang asked if the three could team up for $1.5 million. Robert said no but Kevin and Lori agreed, and the final deal was $1.5 million for 4%.
Success After Shark Tank
After a remarkable pitch, Justin Wang’s water bottle featured in online publications such as Forbes. According to SharkTankBlog.com the deal with Lori and Kevin never closed but the business received a lot of publicity from the show. Larq had $6.5 million in the bank so they had enough capital to grow.
The company now sells four products: The LARQ Bottle PureVis, LARQ Pitcher PureVis, LARQ Bottle Filtered and LARQ Bottle Twist Top. The LARQ Bottle PureVis is highly rated by customers with a rating of 4.6 from 6,069 reviews on their 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 expected to make $30 million in revenue for 2022. Currently, LARQ is worth an estimated $50 million and has 27 employees based on their LinkedIn profile.