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Whatever Happened To ValPark After Shark Tank?

When Wayne Johnson entered the Shark Tank in Season 7, he wasted no time touting his credentials as an award-winning web designer. Johnson used his background to develop ValPark Mobile, an app intended to disrupt the $40 billion (and in his words, "antiquated") parking industry. With ValPark, users can access and pay for valet parking straight from their phones, making entry at restaurants, nightclubs, hotels, and sports arenas a breeze.

Johnson spoke with confidence, based on the app's numerous locations in the DC metro area, and sought $300,000 for 20% equity in ValPark. The sharks, however, were less confident that the app needed their investment. Mark Cuban argued that the company wasn't as scalable as, say, Uber, while Lori Greiner didn't want to duke it out with Johnson's partner, who already owned 46% of the company. Guest shark Troy Carter thought Johnson wasn't worried enough about the competition and warned him that there was likely already someone else working on a competing app. 

Johnson ultimately walked away without a deal. Even the televised exposure — better known as the Shark Tank effect — couldn't save ValPark, which shuffled off this mortal coil not long after its TV appearance.

The ValPark founder now works in hospitality

Wayne Johnson started ValPark in 2012, and his "Shark Tank" episode aired in October of 2015. According to his LinkedIn, he was out as co-founder and CEO by May 2015. Furthermore, the final posts on the social media pages for the company came in 2016, making ValPark's entire run around three or four years. It's one of many "Shark Tank" companies that is no longer in existence.

While on "Shark Tank," Johnson pitched his product with restaurants and nightlife in mind. It isn't surprising that the entrepreneur now works in hospitality. Along with his business partner Tony Perry, Johnson co-owns W&T Marketing Group, which works in the nightlife and events space. As their website puts it, "I guess you can call us 'social architects.'" The pair also created an investment group for their ventures.

Together, Perry and Johnson co-own and operate a number of spaces in the Washington DC area, including the nightclubs St. Yves and Abigail, as well as Kitseun, a combination ramen and hookah bar. 

Johnson and his partner hope to develop into major players in the nightlife space. "We're not for everybody. Our menu is a little more expensive, we like to bring talent, our staff is very eclectic," Johnson told The Washington Informer in 2019. "After being in the business for over 12 years, we've created relationships that we've been able to lean on that keep us going."