They came in with a product the Sharks didn't understand and tried to raise at a valuation higher than any other company to appear on Shark Tank ever had.
And Nootrobox, a San Francisco startup known for its energy and productivity supplements, found itself empty-handed at the end of Friday's episode.
"I think you guys are flying very close to the sun," Kevin O'Leary told them.
"You came in and you gave us sugar cubes," said Lori Greiner, referring to the startup's flagship product, caffeine-infused coffee-flavored gummies called Go Cubes.
Explaining that he was worried about the long-term consequences of biohacking practices, Chris Sacca was the first of the Sharks to say, "I'm out."
The Andreessen Horowitz backed company with $2.57 million in publicly stated funding was unable to interest any of the Sharks in its offer of a 5 percent stake for $2 million. That would have worked out to a $40 million valuation.
The failure to make a deal doesn't bother Nootrobox CEO Geoff Woo. He tells Inc. it wasn't about the money so much as the exposure. The company saw six times more orders over the past weekend than it did over a weekend one month prior, according to Woo.
"I think our community, the biohacking community, and the products just totally went over the heads of the other Sharks on the show. And I think they're just of a different generation, a different segment of humanity," he said, mentioning that he felt Sacca and Mark Cuban understood the products better than others on the panel.
Nootrobox might have seemed absurd to the panel, but Woo thinks that may just be a sign the company is worth even more than it has valued itself. Many of the highest-profile and most successful Silicon Valley startups have seemed ridiculous, he says, listing Airbnb and Snapchat as examples.
"And hopefully Nootrobox and biohacking fits that kind of ridiculous," he says. Biohacking is a subculture in which people believe you can essentially program your body like a computer by feeding it enhancing chemicals and following certain sleep and exercise regimens.
Setting aside the Sharks' lack of interest in investing, one thing that surprised Woo about appearing on the show was how chaotic the experience felt. He described Sharks talking over one another, like kids in a classroom. "They are interrupting each other," he says, and getting flustered if you don't answer their questions first, unlike in a typical meeting with a venture capitalist firm, where conversation is "a lot more civil."
"I guess it's called Shark Tank for a reason," he says.