Electra Beverages: Here's What Happened After Shark Tank

Athlete Fran Harris played basketball at the University of Texas and went on to play for the WNBA's Houston Comets. Sometime after her professional basketball career ended, she jumped into a 5K race on a whim but quickly found out that her endurance was lacking. She reached for a sports beverage for a boost and suddenly realized that the nutrition label did not reflect what she wanted to put in her body. Harris was inspired to create a beverage that did not have artificial colors, tons of sugar, or extra salt. Instead, it was sweetened with monk fruit. The base consisted mainly of filtered water, fruit juice, various vitamins and minerals, and coconut water, a hydration powerhouse. Harris knew a thing or two about what an athlete needs to refuel.

Despite having a delicious product, it was going to be an uphill battle. Because of huge companies that dominate the sport's beverage space like PepsiCo, The Coca-Cola Company, Genomma Lab Internacional, and Lifeaid Beverage Company, it can be incredibly challenging for a small business to break in. Kevin O'Leary went so far as to call it "the bone-crushing business of sports beverages" (per YouTube). On top of that, Harris was attempting to grow this company in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, which had a multitude of its own challenges. But, Harris also had a champion's commitment and a winning mentality. Would her confidence be enough to convince the Sharks to take a bite?

What happened to Electra Beverages on Shark Tank?

Fran Harris appeared on Season 12, Episode 9 of "Shark Tank," which aired in January 2021. She asked for $350,000 cash in exchange for a 20% equity stake in Electra Beverages. With confidence and enthusiasm, Harris pitched her product as "a better-for-you, functional hydration beverage company" (via YouTube). The drinks that the Sharks sampled had fun names like Litty Lemonade, Passion Punch, and Oh Yeah! Orange. After nods of approval, Harris revealed a major challenge — she had not yet had any sales. Electra Beverages launched on Kickstarter 10 days prior to filming.

Mark Cuban really liked the product, but he had to bow out due to existing investments in competing products. Lori Greiner was not a huge fan of sports drinks in general. The business was just too young and the industry too risky for Kevin O'Leary's tastes. Similarly, Daymond John was not up for the challenge.

Barbara Corcoran started in on a direct line of questioning about production and distribution, arriving at the understanding that Harris needed to secure a "Shark Tank" investment to fund the first production run. Because Corcoran was not willing to put that much cash on the line, she countered with a $100,000 investment, a $250,000 line of credit, and 40% equity. Harris countered for 25% equity. Corcoran said she would take 30% if Harris could secure a cash investment from a prominent athlete Harris had on the back burner. With that, the two struck a deal.

Electra Beverage after Shark Tank

Electra Beverage definitely got a boost in sales from appearing on "Shark Tank," but because of the sudden surge in interest, it was very challenging for the small company to fulfill orders correctly in a timely manner. Similar to other "Shark Tank" products like MealEnders and Salad Sling, supply chain issues due to COVID-19 also put a serious strain on the business. Electra Beverage definitely had problems with sourcing, production, and shipping delays, but founder Fran Harris did her best to keep fans of the product apprised of the situation.

Despite challenges, Electra Beverage continued to make progress. Initially, the drink was only available online, but by May 2021, it was stocked in around 170 H-E-B supermarkets, with each bottle priced at $2.99. Later, Electra was selling online through Amazon as well — though the extremely limited reviews showed that a couple purchasers strongly disliked the taste and another found mold on the inside of the sealed bottle cap.

By February 2022, the company expanded into powdered versions of its products, which sold for between $20 and $22 for 12 packets of powder. Because of the astronomical costs of shipping bottles of liquid, Mark Cuban asked why she did not consider making a powder instead when Harris appeared on "Shark Tank." At the time, she spoke to a consumer's need for immediate hydration after working out, but it looks like she realized Cuban was on to something.

Is Electra Beverages still in business?

Despite Frances Harris' regular updates on both the successes and challenges of Electra Beverages primarily through Instagram, the company's page went abruptly silent. At the time of writing, the last post was on May 7, 2023. Interestingly, a single day prior, there was a post promoting free shipping of the Electra powders. A very sparse website for the company now states that it will be relaunching in Summer 2024 with a "new look," "new flavors," and "new attitude."

According to Harris' LinkedIn, she appears to be more focused on her other business consulting and entrepreneurial adventures. Most recently, The Athletic Club sports complex that Harris co-founded in January 2021 announced a partnership with the Dallas Hornets major league soccer team. She also produced a women's basketball documentary called "A League of Our Own" through Fran Harris Studios. Between speaking engagements, being interviewed on podcasts, and providing televised commentary on WNBA draft picks Caitlyn Clark and Angel Reese, Harris is certainly staying busy. While it is unclear exactly what happened with her "Shark Tank" venture, it seems like Harris will be taking another shot with Electra Beverages in the near future.