Entrepreneur Melissa Carbone got some laughs when she strolled into the room trailed by a growling zombie on the latest episode of “Shark Tank.” But the chuckles stopped when she asked for a $2 million investment.
Carbone’s proposal — $2 million in exchange for a 10% equity stake — meant she valued her entertainment company, Ten Thirty One Productions, at a massive $20 million. To the potential investors on ABC’s reality pitch show, it seemed a big ask for a company that specializes in creating and producing live horror attractions.
Backed by a cast of zombies and other ghoulish creatures, Carbone walked the Sharks through her company’s most popular attraction, the Los Angeles Haunted Hayride. But the hayride through the “pitch black woods” didn’t scare her audience nearly as much as her valuation. That is, until Carbone began to run through her numbers.
“We do attractions all year long. We have the Los Angeles Haunted Hayride, which is our seasonal attraction here in LA,” she explained. “Seventeen nights we sell out every single night. We do about $1.8 million right now per October.”
That got a collective “whoa” from the Sharks.
What’s more, with the production costs for the haunted hayride at $1.2 million, Carbone said her company is able to walk away with $600,000 in cash at the end of the 17 days.
“You sell out every night for 17 days?” investor Kevin O’Learyechoed, in disbelief.
“Every night,” Carbone said.
“Two million for 20%,” Carbone countered.
“Done!” Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban yelled, sealing the largest deal in “Shark Tank” history.