Aura Bora: Here's What Happened After Shark Tank

When Paul and Madeleine Voge walked into Season 12 of "Shark Tank" with Aura Bora — a business that put a fresh spin on age-old sparkling waters – one of the first things that Kevin O'Leary told them was that he admired the entrepreneurs' courage to pitch another beverage business, especially considering the sheer number of such businesses that have appeared on the show before them. Wanting to know about Aura Bora's distribution plans, Mr. Wonderful hoped that the entrepreneurs would give him just "one aura of hope" that their business had what it would take to survive in the competitive beverage industry. Impress, they did.

Paul and Madeleine Voge both come from the tech industry, and that's where they stumbled upon the idea for Aura Bora. Noticing that sparkling water was the most popular drink of choice in their office pantry, the Voges wondered why there weren't more options and better flavors for such a widely consumed drink. They bought themselves a soda maker at home, began experimenting with all kinds of flavors, and tested their creations on friends. Armed with the approval of their friends and family, the Voges test marketed their first batch of all-natural sparkling waters made from fruits, flowers, and herb extracts in October 2019.

What happened to Aura Bora on Shark Tank

Aura Bora's sparkling waters were a quick hit in the Tank; Sharks raved about the Basil Berry and Lavender Cucumber flavors, their fun packaging received a thumbs up, and the fact that the sparkling waters had zero calories and no artificial sweeteners positively intrigued the Sharks even more. Robert Herjavec admitted that he was "expecting yet another bubbly water" but was pleasantly surprised by Aura Bora's flavors, and though Mark Cuban wasn't a big fan, he agreed with the entrepreneurs that herbal flavors were simply not everyone's cup of tea.

Mr. Wonderful was the first to offer Aura Bora a deal, albeit one that the entrepreneurs weren't too keen on. The Voges hoped to secure a $150,000 investment in exchange for 5% of equity but O'Leary offered one of his infamous royalty deals instead: a royalty of 5 cents a can on top of the 5% equity until the entrepreneurs paid back his $150,000 investment twice over. Lori Greiner backed out because she couldn't get behind all of Aura Bora's flavors; Daniel Lubetzky found sparkling waters to be a very niche business, and Cuban sensed troubles with high-volume nationwide distribution in the future. Ultimately, the Voges walked out with Herjavec in their corner, accepting his $200,000 investment in exchange for a 15% stake in Aura Bora.

Aura Bora after Shark Tank

Viewers may watch giddy entrepreneurs shake hands with the Sharks after successfully negotiating a deal but it's not uncommon for things to fall through after the show. Aura Bora, however, seems to have met a better fate because not only did the deal with Robert Herjavec actually go through, but it only catapulted the company into more success.

At the time of its appearance on the show, Aura Bora was already working with two of the largest natural food distributors in the U.S. to put its sparkling waters in 488 stores across the country. With Herjavec's backing, Aura Bora made its way to more supermarkets, including Whole Foods, Walmart, Sprouts, and Thrive Market, making it one of the fastest-growing companies in the American sparkling water industry.

Besides winning over a Shark, his investment, and his expertise, Aura Bora also received nationwide publicity and exposure from its appearance on "Shark Tank." As viewers were introduced to sparkling waters that tasted like peppermint, watermelon, lemongrass, and coconut, Aura Bora had a wave of new customers shopping on its website within minutes of their episode's screening – generating more revenue in one day than ever before. Even better, the entrepreneurs have said in interviews that customers who originally came in through "Shark Tank" in 2021 continue to remain loyal patrons of Aura Bora to this date.

Aura Bora is still in business

Not only is Aura Bora still in business, but it's fast on its way to becoming one of the biggest sparkling water brands in the market. Despite setbacks caused by cold temperatures that had their sparkling waters exploding into icy slushies upon delivery, Aura Bora has raised several rounds of funding to fuel its expansion since "Shark Tank." The Voges raised $2 million in seed funding in 2021 to restock their inventories at major grocery stores, which included an investment from actor Scott Eastwood.

In 2022, Aura Bora closed a Series A funding round to increase brand awareness, improve operations, and expand its retail presence, bringing the total investment to date to over $10 million. With the help of a handful of new investors and their financing, Aura Bora has expanded from the 488 stores that it was present in before "Shark Tank" to more than 7,500 retailers. As of publication, its sparkling waters are present in major national stores such as Natural Grocers, Wegmans, and Target. Aura Bora even offers regular sales on its website and hosts giveaways on its social media pages; it also accepts applications for "Herb Club" — a community of ambassadors for its sparkling waters.

What's next for Aura Bora?

When asked for plans for Aura Bora's future, the entrepreneurs had only three words to say: "more weird water" (via Foodboro). And more weird water, it seems, has been Aura Bora's motto since its appearance on "Shark Tank" and what may very well continue to be its motto for the future. When the Voges pitched Aura Bora to the Sharks, the company had five sparkling waters: Lemongrass Coconut, Peppermint Watermelon, Cactus Rose, Lavender Cucumber, and Basil Berry. Aura Bora has come a very long way since and now offers more than 15 flavors, including Lime Cardamom, Mango Chilli, and Guava Eucalyptus — all a delicious mix of herbs, fruits, and flowers.

Aura Bora also rolls out limited-edition seasonal flavors. If previous years' Christmas-themed Chai Cranberry, Thanksgiving-inspired Green Bean Casserole and Persimmon Clove, or Halloween-themed Honey Pumpkin sparkling waters are any indication, fans can expect more fresh and fun new flavors in the holiday seasons to come. But it's not just new flavors: The Voges also partnered with olive oil brand Graza in 2023 to launch an entirely new form of sparkling water. Combining Graza's Extra Virgin Picual Olive Oil with Aura Bora's yuzu and juniper-laced herbal sparkling water, the non-alcoholic Olive Oil Martini is unlike any flavor that the company has released in the past. Considering the Voges' track record of pushing the envelope of what sparkling waters can be, it's safe to say that there's a whole lot more that fans can expect from Aura Bora's fizzy drinks in the future.