Billionaire Mark Cuban Struggles with a Big Decision

Mark Cuban, 64, does not need to prove himself. 

The billionaire with his contagious passion, has distinguished himself for two decades as one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the country. 

He touches on everything: tech, sport, cryptocurrencies. Cuban does not hesitate to venture into sometimes surprising sectors. He has already invested in more than 400 startups and has founded more than 10 companies.

In January, he dared what few people have tried: to disrupt the pharmaceutical industry. Cost Plus Drugs is an online pharmacy that he co-founded to lower the cost of medications.

Disrupting Big Pharma

“People having to choose between medication, housing, and food–that’s just not right,” the billionaire told Katie Couric Media in an interview. “That’s why this is so important to me.”

“This is what I want to be remembered for,” he added.

The Cost Plus Drug Company is the only firm to which Cuban has attached his name, which shows the importance of this venture for the entrepreneur. Indeed, the full name of the firm is Mark Cuban CostPlus Drug Company.

Cost Plus Drug Company “fills and delivers prescriptions at cost plus a fixed 15% margin,” the company says on its website.

Cuban is able to provide those prices because there’s no middlemen. 

“In 2020 alone, Medicare could have spent $3.6 billion less on generic acid-reflux, cancer and other drugs if purchased through Cost Plus Drug Company, a new online pharmacy backed by Mark Cuban,” a study from Harvard Medical School researchers found.

The billionaire’s popularity is also the result of his participation for several years in the hit television show “Shark Tank.”

The concept is simple. On one side, you have entrepreneurs who have a creative project, or an existing business which they want to expand. On the other side, you have investors, all “self-made” entrepreneurs, who have earned millions of dollars with their businesses and who are on the lookout for disruptive innovative concepts.

Entrepreneurs present their projects and try to convince at least one “shark” to invest in their business, in exchange for a stake in their company. They often look to benefit from the skills and the relationship networks of the “sharks” as much as from their money.

‘Family First’

The show is currently in its 14th season. But this could also be the last for Cuban. The billionaire, however, hesitates to make a final decision. Last season or not? The suspense has been building for several weeks. And Cuban himself doesn’t seem to know what he’s going to decide.

“I committed to come back for season 15 next year,” Cuban recently told the People Every Day podcast with host Janine Rubenstein. “But after that, you know, I don’t know yet.”

“And it’s not cause I don’t love the show. I absolutely love the show,” the billionaire added. “I love what it represents. I love that kids watch it. And now we have entrepreneurs coming on that started watching when they were 12, 13, 14 years old.”

As he told CNN in early October, Cuban wants to spend more time with his family. He has three children: two daughters, Alyssa and Alexis, and a son, Jake.

“But now, you know, family first, always. And so I wanted to try to make sure I spent as much time with my daughter as I can, and my family as I can,” he said.

What complicates things even more is that the Shark Tank team is willing to adapt in order not to lose one of its stars.

“Shark Tank is saying they’ll move this shooting schedule around for us,” he said. “So, hopefully we can make it all work out.”

A departure of Cuban from Shark Tank is likely to leave a great void as the billionaire has succeeded in injecting his personality and his infectious energy.

Until last July, the investor has been on 111 episodes of Shark Tank and closed 85 deals for a total investment of $19.85 million, according to Sharkalytics. His biggest individual investment was in the company called Ten Thirty One Production, in which he invested $2 million against a 20% equity stake. 

Overall, Cuban has invested an average of $233,529 in exchange for an average participation of 23% in the ownership of the companies he chose to fund.

Here is the list of companies he has invested in via Shark Tank.

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