Whatever Happened To Acton Skates After Shark Tank?

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All these years later, "Shark Tank" is still one of television's most popular series. The show exploded onto the scene in 2009 and became an instant hit thanks to its riveting premise: a panel of wealthy investors collectively stare gaping holes into the entrepreneurial victims hoping to score a wad of cash from their wallets.

Aiding its excitement is the fact that many of the investors, affectionately referred to as "sharks," are notable in their own right. Some fan favorites include outspoken and eclectic Dallas Mavericks owner and technology enthusiast Mark Cuban, celebrity fashion designer Damon John, the abrasive software mogul Mark O'Realy, and everyone's favorite real estate investor, Barbara Corcoran (who is, in fact, out).

As great as the show is, now 14 seasons deep, the follow-up stories from "Shark Tank" can be more entertaining, heartwarming, and interesting than the episodes themselves. Sometimes, they get what they want, but usually not without having a few teeth pulled. It's anyone's guess whether the winning formulas eventually flounder.

The rejections can be equally plentiful. It's not always that the idea is bad – sometimes, the numbers just don't make sense, and there can be other petty grievances sprinkled in. But you can't always count out the hopeful inventors and business owners who are forced to take the walk of shame back to the green room. Acton's Rocket Skates, the brainchild of owner and founder Peter Treadway, was one such disappointment. If you're wondering how that venture turned out, keep reading.

Rocket Skates not cleared for takeoff

Acton's Rocket Skates can only be described as the three-way amalgamated son of the hoverboard, electric scooter, and a pair of Heelys. The battery in the most expensive pair allowed it to roam up to 10 miles at speeds up to 12MPH. The concept was interesting, and it was a financial success with $1 million in sales in its first year.

But one of the Sharks, Robert, found them hard to control. Granted, he didn't have long to break them in, and this is the sort of product you need to spend extra time with to see if it's not just user error getting in the way, but first impressions are everything on "Shark Tank."

As for other judges, Ashton Kutcher, who was filling in as a celebrity guest for this 2014 episode, thought the asking price – upwards of $500 – was too steep for the target demographic. The rest were uninspired by the demo. The exception was Kevin O'Leary, who actually attempted to give him the $1 million investment he was after. But O'Leary doubled down on his hard-nosed, no-nonsense negotiation style after Peter tried meeting him in the middle of a 15% equity valuation.

Sure of himself and his grand idea, Peter didn't budge from his single-digit proposal and ended up packing his things for a long trip home. However, he ended up showing those Sharks who's boss – his company eventually raised nearly $6 million, according to Crunchbase.

Acton became a huge success

If you're wondering where Peter and his company, Acton, are today, you might be happy to learn that it's alive, well, and thriving even better than he imagined. There's just one hamper on this otherwise heroic tale: the original product seemingly never caught on.

While there's evidence that it eventually rolled into Best Buy stores, the listing has long been inactive, and if you head to Acton's site now, you'll see the company exclusively peddling e-bikes and electric scooters to cities and B2B customers. These product categories have proven to be safer bets in the world of electric vehicular singularity.

But Acton's inventive spirit never died. It introduced a patented technology that claimed to actively sanitize any surface, which it would apply to the grips and handles of its riding gear. Plus, Acton has been big on smartening up the electrics to make them safer to use on the road, such as its new vehicle tracking technology.

A big part of its commercial success is owed to cities across the globe that have tapped Acton to equip their residents with short-term micro-mobility rentals, surely a significant chunk of the $6 million in revenue it reportedly generated back in 2021. Hell, it even has enough money to buy other companies now – take that, Kevin!

In case none of this sounds familiar, the episode is going to re-air very soon. You'll be able to tune into that episode on February 15.