Expedition SubSahara Shark Tank Update – Net Worth, Pitch & Deal

Many people in the West have a different perception of the African people. They know so little of their culture, background, and heritage. We’ve seen different entrepreneurs come on Shark Tank to highlight African culture, and Sofi wasn’t any different.

Sofi was originally from Senegal but grew up in Saint Louis, Missouri. She wanted the people of the West to know the culture of Africa and support her people at the same time. She created Expedition SubSahara, which employs weavers from Senegal to create handmade baskets. This was her opportunity to tell the true story of African craftsmanship.

She came on Shark Tank with confidence to land a $500,000 investment for a 10% equity in her business. During the pitch, she emphasized how her business is helping the Senegalese people as well. But were the Sharks impressed with her idea? Find out in our Expedition SubSahara Shark Tank Update!

Expedition SubSahara Net Worth

Sofi asked for a $500k investment in exchange for 10% equity in her company. This meant she valued her company at $5 million. She didn’t make a deal with any of the Sharks, so the valuation remained unchanged. After the show aired, Expedition SubSahara saw a big increase in website traffic, sales, and social media exposure. With an estimated 10% yearly growth rate (typical business growth), the current net worth of Expedition SubSahara is about $5.5 million.

What Happened To Expedition SubSahara After Shark Tank?

Expedition SubSahara has shown steady growth in its business operations. As of early 2024, the company reported $3.6 million in total sales since it started. This marks a major milestone for the business. The company’s founder, Sofi, has made good use of the spotlight from Shark Tank. She’s been expanding the brand and pursuing all of the company’s goals. 

One important part of Expedition SubSahara’s mission stands out. They’ll donate 20% of their profits to build special schools in Senegal which will focus on STEAM subjects. It’s specifically for girls, which shows that Expedition SubSahara cares about more than just making money. They’re also trying to make a positive impact on society.

Did Expedition SubSahara Get a Deal On Shark Tank?

Kevin O’Leary didn’t like the idea of retail when the company was just making enough to stay afloat. Because of that, he didn’t invest in the business. Lori liked the business and what Sofi was doing, but she didn’t like the valuation of the company. Because of those reasons, she didn’t invest.

Mark also didn’t see a way he would get his investment back. He also opted out of the deal. Robert was in a similar boat as other investors. He saw Sofi was still struggling to keep the business afloat and was figuring out her way. For those reasons, he didn’t invest. Daymond was the final, but he didn’t invest because this isn’t the sort of business he goes into. 

Shark(s) NameOffer and DemandCounterofferAccepted?
Kevin O’LearyOutN/AN/A
Mark CubanOutN/AN/A
Robert HerjavecOutN/AN/A
Daymond JohnOutN/AN/A
Lori GreinerOutN/AN/A

Expedition SubSahara Shark Tank Update

expedition subsahara net worth

Founders Backstory

Sofi was born in Senegal, West Africa, but she resided in Saint Louis, Missouri. Her tribal affiliation was the Wolof Tribe, where weaving was passed down generationally in her tribe. When she came to the United States, she was surprised by the perception of Africa among her peers. It created a desire to tell the true story of African craftsmanship. She founded the company Expedition SubSahara, which was aimed to showcase the joy, color, and abundance of Senegal. 

Initial Pitch

Sofi came on the Shark Tank with confidence, joy, and determination to get a deal with the Sharks. She asked for $500,000 for a 10% equity in her business, Expedition SubSahara. She told the Sharks how people perceive African culture, and it’s the complete opposite of where she grew up. She saw a gap in the market to create handmade, vibrant baskets by artisans in Senegal. 

The mission of the company was to bring joy, color, and culture into homes through handcrafted storage and home decor. Plus she also wanted to give back to the community of Senegal. Rather than make them in the United States or start making them in foreign countries.

Queries About the Product

what happened to expedition subsahara after shark tank

The Sharks wanted to know how and where the baskets were made. She explained that skilled artisans in Senegal weave the baskets by hand. She also shared that they use different types of grass, like sweet grass and elephant grass, along with recycled plastics for the colorful designs. The Sharks then asked her what it costs to make and what she sells it for. She said it costs about $18 to import a large basket, which she then sells for $150. The Sharks were surprised to learn that the company had made $3.6 million in total sales, with $1.6 million coming from last year alone. The company sells mostly online, with an average sale of $206.

She also mentioned a 60% profit margin. But, when the Sharks dug deeper, they found out that the company spent about $400,000 last year in advertising. They also learned it costs $116 to get each new customer. This surprised the Sharks even more. Instead of paying per basket, the company pays a steady wage to help the community and train new weavers. The Sharks seemed concerned about this method’s impact on profits. Lastly, they talked about future plans. The founder expressed interest in selling through stores to reach more customers as online growth is getting tougher. This also didn’t go well with the Sharks.

Shark’s Response and Final Deal

Kevin O’Leary was the first Shark to go out. He didn’t like the retail aspect Sofi was suggesting, as it’s going to involve a lot of capital investment. More than $500,000 that she was originally asking for. For those reasons, he didn’t want to invest in Expedition SubSahara. Lori appreciated the mission Sofi was going for and wished her good luck in the future. It wasn’t a business she was an expert on, and she backed out from investing. 

Before Mark could speak, Sofi tried to convince him to invest. But Mark told her that she didn’t need an investor to make her business successful. Because of the low-profit margins, her potential for retail, and a lot of costs going into advertising to acquire a customer, he didn’t see how he could get his investment back. For those reasons, he didn’t invest in the company. 

Sofi tried to convince Robert to bet on her, and she’ll make the company grow. Robert had no problems betting on Sofi, but the main problem was Sofi was struggling to keep the business afloat. Her profit margins were low, and she didn’t have a clear vision of how to scale the business. For those reasons, Robert didn’t invest in the company. Daymond, on the other hand, backed out quickly because this was a business he wasn’t an expert in. He didn’t think he could bring that much value to the company even if he had invested.

What Went Wrong with Expedition SubSahara on Shark Tank?

Sofi came to the Shark Tank with confidence about her business. She had strong sales and a noble mission for the company. However, the cracks soon started to appear when the Sharks asked about the future plans for her company and the advertising cost associated with the products.

Sofi wanted to go into retail when she didn’t have much profit to begin with. Kevin didn’t like this approach, nor did he like the idea of the cost of storing those items in inventory. Lori and Daymond didn’t invest in the company because it was something they both had no expertise in. Mark didn’t like the profit margins and the cost of advertising Sofi was spending. Therefore, he opted out. Robert had similar concerns that Sofi’s direction for the future of the company was in doubt. He also didn’t invest in Sofi’s company.

Product Availability

The handmade baskets from Senegal can be bought from their official website. Apart from its website, the company wholesales its products through the Faire marketplace. The marketplace connects independent brands with retailers. There are other stores like some brick-and-mortar home decor stores, that carry Expedition SubSahara products as well.


Sofi didn’t get a deal on Shark Tank, but her business has managed to grow. It’s because of the exposure she got on the show. She went on to make a lifetime sales of $3.6 million as of 2024. Sofi’s dedication and passion for showcasing Senegalese craftsmanship resonated with her audience. The Sharks questioned Sofi’s profit margins and future plans, but Sofi didn’t change to what she believed in.

The ethical practices of offering jobs to Senegalese people are still practiced to this day. The company pays fair wages to 120 weavers in Senegal and gives 20% of the profits to make STEAM Schools in the country. The brand’s focus on sustainability and community impact sets it apart in the home decor market.

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