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Whatever Happened To Muddy Water Camo After Shark Tank?

Season 4 of "Shark Tank" sadly saw Steve Maloney and his business partner Stephen Kirkpatrick fly away from the show without a deal for their duck hunter camouflage apparel line, Muddy Water Camo. But while they were able to nab some success after the show, their hunt would eventually come to a close. 

Their appearance on the show and a filmed CNN segment boosted Muddy Water's popularity considerably. Their website saw a 600% increase in traffic. The two, whose product was already sold in 80 retailers in 21 states, received notable calls from some major licensees and Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant who had heard good things about the company. 

They ran into a tough patch in 2015 when Kirkpatrick filed a lawsuit against the company's initial investors. The entrepreneur felt he had been cheated out of his deal. While it appears that the lawsuit was settled, another major change occurred in 2019. Celebrated baseball player and investor Will "the Thrill" Clark became the majority owner of the company, which is now simply called Muddy Waters Outdoors. Since then, the company has expanded to include different lines of hunting and fishing gear, which can all be found on their website, with annual revenue coming in between $1 to $2 million.

Things could have ended differently for Muddy Waters with the help of a shark — but the entrepreneurs would have had to sacrifice more than they were willing to in the process. 

The sharks found their valuation to be a real quack

Steve Maloney developed his camouflage brand, Muddy Water Camo, as a way to better blend in with the environments that ducks normally inhabit. With this notion, the former attorney teamed up with wildlife photographer Stephen Kirkpatrick to further develop the product, with the idea of giving the camo a photorealistic look that would be hard for flying ducks to notice.

When the two flew their way to "Shark Tank," they came seeking a hefty offer of $150,000 for only 5% equity. The sharks naturally are on edge with the proposed $3 million valuation, which isn't helped when they discover their sales — only $150,000 within their first year. Not bad numbers, but it does little to justify the immense valuation, even when the boys mention their $600,000 of investments so far from various sources. The majority of the sharks, despite liking the idea, simply can't wrap their head around the numbers and are out.

All who remains is Kevin O'Leary, who sees great licensing possibilities with the company. He offers the $150,000 but wants 20% equity. Maloney and Kirkpatrick refuse, feeling that they can't go for a lower valuation. While they leave without a deal, it does little to hamper their spirits, with Kirkpatrick saying, "Hey sharks, you're bird brains for not investing in this company!"