The Floating Mug Company: Here's What Happened After Shark Tank

Tigere Chiriga and his wife had just purchased their first home when a pesky problem threatened their marital bliss: Chiriga loved drinking hot tea and coffee in mugs, but his wife wasn't thrilled about the ring-shaped stains they left on the new furniture. "I would get yelled at all the time," the entrepreneur confessed on his company's Kickstarter campaign — later joking on "Shark Tank" that he was a "dead man walking" every time his wife bellowed out his name after discovering another stain.

That's when the idea for The Floating Mug Company struck. Chiriga worked with a Chinese manufacturer on a prototype of a porcelain mug with a built-in base that acted as a coaster. Inspired by the shape of a banana holder, which is used to store bananas without bruising them, the design allowed the mug to sit a few inches above the coaster, connected by an extended handle. This gave the mug the appearance of floating in the air.

Chiriga later partnered with a manufacturer in the U.S. to localize production, and launched a Kickstarter to fund the first batch of mugs. His initial goal was to raise $15,000 for 500 mugs, but the campaign far surpassed that and made a total of $39,981. In fact, the floating mugs were such a hit that they quickly sold out, and Chiriga needed an investment to restock his inventory. That's where his 2014 appearance on "Shark Tank" came in.

What happened to The Floating Mug Company on Shark Tank?

Tigere Chiriga walked into Season 6, Episode 2 of "Shark Tank" hoping for a $75,000 investment in exchange for a 15% stake in The Floating Mug Company. At the time, the company had made $105,000 in sales since its launch. However, each mug cost $12 to make and sold for a steep $29.99. Chiriga explained that he could bring the manufacturing costs down to $4 if the mugs were produced in larger quantities, which would knock $10 off the price tag. But Kevin O'Leary pointed out that this was still fairly expensive, considering that people can buy regular mugs and place them on cheap coasters to solve the same problem for a fraction of the price.

Further probing from the Sharks revealed that the floating mug wasn't the end of Chiriga's ambitions. His plan was to create a whole line of functional drinkware with built-in coasters to prevent spills and messes. He even brought a second prototype product to the show: A glass with a built-in silicone ring that caught condensation from cold beverages.

Although the Sharks were more intrigued by the glass than the mugs, it wasn't enough to convince them. They remained unsure of the superiority of Chiriga's products over classic coasters, and backed out in quick succession, leaving the entrepreneur without an offer on the table. However, it wasn't all bad news: Chiriga actually found an investor after leaving the Tank — and a Shark no less!

The Floating Mug Company after Shark Tank

In 2016, Tigere Chiriga made an appearance on "Beyond the Tank," a "Shark Tank" segment that shares updates on businesses with successful deals, such as RuckPack and Zipz Wine. Chiriga confessed that he was heartbroken about not getting an offer during his initial appearance. Without an investment, he didn't have the means to restock his inventory. This means he missed out on the publicity that leads to a huge spike in sales, for most businesses that appear on the show.

However, Lori Greiner tweeted Chiriga on the night of his "Shark Tank" appearance, asking him to reach out if he kept working on those glasses with the silicone rings. Chiriga snatched the lifeline that Greiner had thrown, gathered the last of his funds, and worked on improving the prototype of the glass. 

Chiriga finally met with Greiner six months after filming his episode, and this time around, the Shark did make him an offer: She would invest the $75,000 that he had originally asked for, but would take 51% of equity in return. Greiner explained that she would be doing 90% of the work to get the company off the ground, so she needed the deciding vote in its affairs. Chiriga happily accepted this offer, even if it meant parting with the majority share.

Is The Floating Mug Company still in business?

After Tigere Chiriga and Lori Greiner shook hands on "Beyond the Tank," the Shark took to X (formerly Twitter) to say that, "I loved Tiggs & his idea when he came into the tank... 2nd chances really do happen!!" However, there's no news on whether that deal materialized or not. The Floating Mug Company's website has been taken down, it has practically no presence on social media platforms, and it does not appear on Greiner's portfolio of "Shark Tank" investments, either. 

All signs indicate that The Floating Mug Company is no longer in business. That doesn't mean its founder went down without a fight, though. Chiriga launched another Kickstarter campaign in 2017 to raise funds for an improved glass version of his floating mug. Labeled as the Floating Mug Clear, the new cup could hold 12 ounces of liquid, as opposed to 9.2 ounces for the original porcelain version.

Although the campaign exceeded its $20,000 goal, updates indicate that there were troubles with packaging that resulted in shipping delays. The project was officially ended in 2019. It's unclear what happened to the drinking glass that Greiner had expressed interest in, but regardless of how far Chiriga got with that product, The Floating Mug Company has met its end.

What's next for The Floating Mug Company's founder?

Tigere Chiriga worked for the United States Postal Service while juggling his ventures as an entrepreneur. Although there's little news about what really happened to The Floating Mug Company and whether or not a comeback might be in the future, Chiriga has moved up the ranks at USPS. He joined as a sales, service, and distribution associate in 2012 and works as a senior data analyst as of 2024.

Hopeful fans and Kickstarter backers might hope that we haven't seen the last of The Floating Mug Company. However, if his "Beyond the Tank" segmeny is any indication, Chiriga was at the end of the rope long before the business went MIA. During the segment, Chiriga said that his "Number one priority is ensuring my family's financial security" (via Dailymotion). The entrepreneur had put his all into the business, but admitted that "At some point you kinda need to cut your losses. I don't need to risk my family's future." 

He also confessed that he would likely have to walk away from The Floating Mug Company if he didn't get an investment. Lori Greiner's offer would have given Chiriga what he needed to keep the business afloat. But without the deal actually materializing, Chiriga may have left his functional drinkware behind for a more financially secure future.