In the premiere episode of M-Net and Telkom SA’s new reality television show, Shark Tank South Africa, Vusi Ravele, 29, became the first entrepreneur to benefit from a lucrative investment.
When Vusi passionately pitched his business Native Décor in the tank, the five Sharks – business tycoons who are willing to dig deep into their own pockets to support budding businesses – all circled in to take the bait. Vusi, who designs and creates unique and trendy, yet functional, proudly South African home and décor items and then sells them online, wanted R400 000 in exchange for a 25% equity stake in Native Décor.
All the sharks wanted a piece
The feeding frenzy started with Romeo Kumalo offering the pioneering go-getter, whom he believed had a clear sense of his business, the cash he needed in exchange for 50% equity in his enterprise.
Dawn Nathan-Jones then quickly moved in to convince Vusi that he rather required someone like her to open doors in the corporate market in conjunction with tech guru Vinny Lingham’s ability for online strategy and international online sales, for only a 30% equity stake.
That’s when bean counter Marnus Broodryk decided to stir the pot, pointing out that Vinny lives far away in Silicon Valley and that someone like him could be at his side, all the time, and that it would be in Vusi’s best interest to choose him and a marketer, like fellow Shark Gil Oved.
Hustler Gil wanted Vusi, the epitome of what an entrepreneur should be, all for himself, however. For a 50% partnership and R400 000 he could provide mentorship, channel distribution and marketing and help him to turn into an exceptionally wealthy individual. He would also sweeten Vusi’s expansion plans and cash flow with a longstanding credit loan of R3m.
Ready to swim with the big fish, but not willing to give away half of his business, Vusi made Gil a counter offer – 40% for R400 000 – which sealed the first business deal in the history of Shark Tank South Africa.
But it wasn’t just the Sharks who were taken by Vusi the viewers absolutely loved him and couldn’t stop talking about the entrepreneur.
As featured by Channel24