Krish Himmatramka (pictured), founder of Houston-based engagement ring e-tailer Do Amore, scored a $600,000 investment for his company on the March 21 episode of ABC’s Shark Tank—but not without a bit of haggling first.
Himmatramka asked for $600,000 for 6% of his 8-year-old Houston-based e-tailer, which sells both lab-grown and natural diamonds and raked in $11.5 million in 2021. He said his company was different from others because it gives 20% of its net profits to Charity: Water, which provides clean water wells in nine different countries.
But he was met with immediate resistance from “shark” Mark Cuban.
“[Anybody] can walk in the door and try to do the same thing,” said the entrepreneur. “There are no barriers to entry to compete with you, and that makes it hard to invest.”
Himmatramka tells JCK that he and Cuban had a lengthy back-and-forth based on what he considered his company’s true differentiator: its genuine charitable orientation.
“I was out there for 54 minutes,” he says. “They condensed it into an eight-minute clip.”
His counterargument was: “I think that the consumers are smart enough to decide if a [charitable component] is truly built into a company’s mission and values, instead of just a marketing ploy.
“I wish Shark Tark could have showed more of that conversation. To me, the differentiation is that when you get engaged, it’s about this special moment. How can you add to that moment by also changing another person’s life? The answer is, you can do that, by giving another person access to clean water. We are able to do that without charging extra to the consumer because, if we just put a charity tax on it, the consumer could just [donate the money] themselves.”
But Cuban and fellow “shark” Barbara Corcoran—who said she’d never received an engagement ring—both backed out.
Kevin O’Leary, the Canadian businessman known as “Mr. Wonderful,” eventually agreed to put in $600,000 for 6% of Do Amore, with a $100 royalty on each sale until he made back three times his investment.
O’Leary said he was an expert in “reduc[ing] customer acquisition costs.… That’s why you have to pay more for a shark, any shark. But one that’s in the wedding industry you have to pay even more for. I know this space inside and out.”
Himmatramka countered by offering to sell 10% of his company for $600,000 with no royalty. But he and O’Leary couldn’t come to terms, and eventually Daniel Lubetzky, founder of snack company Kind, offered to put in $600,000 for 15% of the company. Himmatramka counteroffered 12%.
Eventually, the two made a deal: Lubetzky stuck by his 15% offer, but said he’d put 3%—or 20% of his offer—of any profits following an eventual exit or acquisition toward Charity: Water. (Lubetzky donated $10,000 to the group following the segment.)
Himmatramka says he’s happy with how things turned out: “Daniel is the original social impact entrepreneur.… We’re super proud to be the only engagement ring company on the show. We feel we left a good impression on the good that jewelry can do.”
And it was certainly good for business: After the segment ran, his website crashed, and when it ran on the West Coast, it crashed a second time.
A scene from the segment can be seen below.
(Photo courtesy of Krish Himmatramka)
CORRECTION: This article has been corrected to note that the “shark” who never received a ring was Barbara Corcoran.Follow JCK on Instagram: @jckmagazine
Follow JCK on Twitter: @jckmagazine
Follow JCK on Facebook: @jckmagazine