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Why Richard Branson Is Investing in This ‘Shark Tank’ Failure

8/20/15 10:19 AM EDT
Richard Branson is investing in a smart doorbell startup that once failed on TV’s ‘Shark Tank.’ The company, Ring, just received $28 million in Series B funding from multiple investors, including billionaire Branson, who is also founder of Virgin Group. Ring allows users to see who’s at their doorstep via smartphone. Branson came across the device and contacted the startup’s CEO James Siminoff. ‘When Branson talked to me, I wasn’t sure if he was just curious about the product or wanted to invest,’ Siminoff said. ‘But when I told him about how our actual mission is to reduce crime in communities, I think he saw a good business today and a great business tomorrow.’ But Siminoff is grateful to have appeared on ‘Shark Tank’,’ which airs on ABC, owned by the Walt Disney Company (DIS). The only ‘shark’ on the show to make an offer was Kevin O’Leary, which Siminoff rejected. ‘It was a pretty tough offer that included residual payments and giving cash out right off the bat in an early stage company was something we couldn’t do,’ Siminoff said. But the appearance paid off, as Siminoff saw a huge bump in sales once the episode aired.
Stocks in this video: AAPLDISBBYHDLOWTGT
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