Daymond John, a Shark Tank investor and African-American tycoon, stands as a dynamic force — an entrepreneur and philanthropist. From the vibrant streets of Queens, New York, John’s entrepreneurial journey began with a tie-dye hat, sparked by a music video and brought to life through his mother’s sewing skills.
FUBU, catapulted by support from LL Cool J, swiftly rose as a leading urban clothing brand, influencing styles beyond urban confines to international markets, reaching a pinnacle of $350 million. John, not just the founder of FUBU, a brand Forbes notes has grossed over $6 billion globally, has expanded his influence with ventures like Crown Holder, Kappa USA, Coogi, and Heatherette. His business acumen has fostered partnerships with tech giants and a successful stint as a Shark Tank investor.
Beyond the boardroom, John’s impact resonates as a philanthropist and mentor, reflecting the ethos of “For Us, By Us” (FUBU). Launching programs like “Daymond John’s Success Formula” (now “Next Level Success”), he supports entrepreneurs and awards scholarships to foster the next wave of business leaders.
Honored with prestigious awards like Marketer of the Year and Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year, John’s influence extends to best-selling books and an ambassadorial role appointed by U.S. President Barack Obama in 2015.
His wealth narrative epitomizes boundless possibilities. A beacon for resilience, vision, and street smarts, he transformed hats into headlines, empowered a generation with fashion, and inspires millions through Shark Tank, one pitch at a time.
Billionaires.Africa has identified several companies linked to John, showcasing his diverse and impactful business portfolio:
- The Shark Group
Based in Manhattan, The Shark Group, led by John, is a beacon for diverse leaders. As CEO, John prioritizes seizing opportunities and fostering rapid business growth. Specializing in branding, marketing, and advertising, The Shark Group aims to transform entrepreneurship and philanthropy, promoting systemic change and nurturing future leaders.
Founded in 1992 by John, FUBU began with a $100,000 mortgage and quickly grew into a global lifestyle brand. Signifying “For Us, By Us,” FUBU champions inclusivity and has generated over $6 billion in global sales. Its success reflects the fusion of entrepreneurship and cultural significance.
- The Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE)
John is actively involved as a board member and volunteer for NFTE, a global non-profit organization. NFTE provides entrepreneurship training and educational programs in 12 countries, primarily focusing on underserved communities. John’s support aligns with NFTE’s mission to equip youth with essential entrepreneurial skills, fostering future leaders.
Founded in 2013, Bombas is a New York-based apparel brand initially specializing in T-shirts and socks. John’s $200,000 investment on Shark Tank in 2014 propelled the company to surpass $100 million in revenue by 2018. Beyond its commercial success, Bombas has donated millions of pairs of socks, reflecting John’s commitment to impactful and socially conscious ventures.
John’s $500,000 investment in Spikeball during Season 6 of Shark Tank showcased his keen eye for potential. While the initial deal faltered, Spikeball went on to achieve impressive revenue, indicating the resilience and growth potential of businesses even after the televised negotiations.
- Hells Bells Helmets
John’s initial 50 percent stake in Hells Bells Helmets, a custom motorcycle helmet business, demonstrated his early commitment to innovative ventures. The company’s rebranding to Bad Ass Helmets in July 2021 underscores its enduring success, with John maintaining a pivotal role as an investor and advisor.
- Bubba’s Q BBQ
Bubba’s Q BBQ encountered both success and controversy on Shark Tank. Initially offered $300,000 for a 30 percent stake, the deal was later adjusted to $100,000 for a 35 percent stake, leading to legal disputes. Despite the challenges, this venture showcases the complexities of business negotiations and the importance of clear communication.
John’s strategic investment of $300,000 secured a substantial 20 percent stake in Sun-Staches. This partnership significantly contributed to the company’s growth, enabling major licensing deals with brands like Nickelodeon and Marvel. John’s enduring role as a crucial stakeholder highlights his impact on Sun-Staches’ sustained success.
John’s endorsement of Shefit, an innovative fitness apparel brand for women, marked a significant moment in Season 12 of Shark Tank. With a $300,000 investment for a 20 percent stake, John not only provided financial support but also imparted strategic guidance, amplifying Shefit’s reach and fostering its growth.
- FUBU Foundation
Founded by John in 1997, the FUBU Foundation focuses on funding non-profit initiatives that uplift disadvantaged youth. Through arts and cultural support, the foundation aims to alleviate the burdens of poverty, racism, and discrimination. With an annual fundraising goal of $1 million, the foundation extends the legacy of FUBU beyond fashion.