Start-ups

'Shark Tank': Kevin O'Leary invested $250,000 in a toy that lets you pop its pimples

Source: ABC

As bizarre as it might sound, some people are obsessed with popping pimples: The Dr. Pimple Popper YouTube channel boasts over 4 million subscribers and there are a number of Instagram accounts with thousands of followers devoted to squeezing zits. On Sunday's episode of ABC's "Shark Tank," a company cashing in on the trend scored a six-figure investment from Kevin O'Leary.

Entrepreneurs Bill Pierce, Summer Pierce and Kayla Roof strode into the tank seeking $250,000 in exchange for 10 percent equity in their company, Pop It Pal, a pimple-popping simulator.

Pop It Pal is a rectangular silicon toy that resembles a sponge. It includes 16 "ready-made pimples," which, when squeezed, squirt "pus" (made from natural oils and beeswax).

According to the entrepreneurs, squeezing the fake zits is actually a way to relieve stress and "get that extreme satisfaction that comes when popping a pimple." The company also sells "pus" in a tube to refill the squeezed pimples.

After watching a demo, the Sharks looked disgusted. That was until they heard Pop It Pal's sales numbers.

In four months, the entrepreneurs told the investors, they sold $315,000 worth of the product, thanks to a number of the company's videos going viral. Pop It Pal sells for $19.99, but it costs a little over $8 to make, they said. The Sharks immediately noted the cost was too high. And the co-founders also admitted they were grappling with another issue: Keeping up with the large international demand for Pop It Pal.

The co-founders said they were projecting $940,000 in sales for 2018. That piqued O'Leary's interest, and he offered $250,000 for 5 percent equity and a royalty of $1.50 per unit until $750,000 is recouped.

He also had another condition.

"I'd like to see the pus be multiple colors, so I can add blood to it and other things," O'Leary said, prompting Lori Greiner to shout, "Ew!"

"I'd like to have different pusses that I can collect if I'm into doing this," he added.

To persuade the entrepreneurs that he's the right investor for their company, O'Leary said, "I'm the only one with creativity that can actually structure things like this.

"They're all confused about this," he said of his fellow Sharks.

"We're not confused," guest judge Bethenny Frankel said. "You just have a demented obsession with popping pimples."

Mark Cuban, though, also offered up a deal: $250,000 for a 25 percent stake in the company. The entrepreneurs ultimately accepted O'Leary's offer.

"I just popped your zit, baby," O'Leary taunted Cuban.

Don't miss: Why Kevin O'Leary and Bethenny Frankel got in a screaming match over empanadas on 'Shark Tank'

Like this story? Subscribe to CNBC Make It on YouTube!

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

VIDEO1:1801:18
Kevin O'Leary's biggest 'Shark Tank' winners
make it

Stay in the loop

Sign Up

About Us

Learn More

Follow Us

CNBC.COM