Where Is The Floating Mug Company From Shark Tank Today?

What if you never had to reach for a coaster and never ruined your furniture? This was the idea behind entrepreneur Tigere "Tiggs" Chiriga's first floating mug. After moving to North Carolina with his new wife, Chiriga was constantly the target of her frustration when he set his tea mugs down without coasters, leaving minor stains on their brand-new furniture. He wanted a mug with a built-in coaster, and a banana holder inspired his design.

The floating mug has a traditional porcelain mug base, but the handle extends beyond the bottom of the cup to form a coaster. As a result, the hot part of the cup with the liquid sits above the table, with the contraption held up by the coaster underneath. Similar to Peoples Design Scooping Bowl, it is meant to be tidier and reduce clutter.

Though the mugs were prototyped for Chiriga's personal use, continuous questions about where he got them prompted him to set up a Kickstarter. His initial goal of $15,000 was blown out of the water, with almost $40,000 raised before the campaign closed. By the time Chiriga appeared on "Shark Tank," he had sales of $105,000 in The Floating Mug Company's first year.

The price isn't right for floating mugs

Chiriga entered the "Tank" seeking $75,000 for 15% of The Floating Mug Company. He introduced the product and explained his wife's response when he would forget to use coasters. The mugs cost him $12 each to manufacture, and he was selling them for $29.99. He had worked out a deal with a new manufacturer who could get the cost down to $4 apiece; however, to reach this point, he needed to order a minimum of 19,500 mugs.

Kevin O'Leary expressed concern over the price point, stating customers could easily buy a porcelain mug for $6-9 and a coaster for 80 cents. In response, Chiriga brought out a prototype of another product, a drinking glass with a silicone reservoir to collect condensation and prevent needing a coaster. O'Leary liked this product more because it solved a problem of his. However, he still expressed concern over the price of the mug. Thus, he went out.

Robert Herjavec didn't think there was wide enough appeal for the product, so he declined to invest. Mark Cuban also went out, suggesting Chiriga should be selling in mass quantities online to achieve a lower production price. Barbara Corcoran followed, noting that she saw the product as a one-time gift purchase, not something people would purchase for their homes. Though Lori Greiner liked the products, particularly the drinking glass, she also had concerns over the price and Chiriga's inexperience in the market. Thus, Chiriga walked away without a deal.

Post-air developments

Leaving the "Tank" without an offer is typically a dead end for entrepreneurs, who must seek funding elsewhere or bootstrap the business independently. For Chiriga, however, this was not the case. In a rare turn of events, The Floating Mug Company was once again featured on air in "Beyond the Tank." In the episode, Chiriga once again met with Greiner, who offered him the money he sought in exchange for majority control of the business. "I loved Tiggs & his idea when he came into the tank," Greiner Tweeted, "2nd chances really do happen!!" Unfortunately, this deal fell through, with The Floating Mug Company unlisted in Greiner's portfolio.

After his appearances on "Shark Tank," Chiriga took the investors' advice on the price point of his product. As of 2018, the floating mugs were sold for $16.99 on Amazon — a significant improvement over their original $30 price point. Though there is no record of the company selling the drinking glass prototype, Chiriga launched another Kickstarter in 2017 for a new floating mug design. This mug was clear rather than white porcelain. At 12 ounces, it also held 50% more liquid than the original. The campaign again raised far more than its goal of $20,000, reaching $35,000 by its close.

Did The Floating Mug Company go out of business?

Unfortunately, as of 2023, The Floating Mug Company is no longer in business. Its website has been taken down, and the mugs are no longer available on Amazon. None of its remaining social media accounts have alluded to the business' closure or any reasons for it. Thus, there is no verifiable information as to why the company folded.

One possibility is that sales could have been hindered by consumers' hesitancy toward the product design. Despite overall positive product reviews and anecdotal experiences from a few commenters, many Redditors questioned the product's viability. "I would break this immediately," one quipped, with hundreds of upvotes in agreement. Others expressed concern that the heat would still transfer down the handle to the coaster, potentially damaging furniture, or that the design was not stable enough and would tip over. These types of reservations, despite others describing positive experiences with the product, may have contributed to the company's lack of long-term success.

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

Chiriga no longer appears to be in the entrepreneurial space. Given the backstory described in his original Kickstarter and on the show, this doesn't come as a surprise. Chiriga didn't have a background in product design. The floating mug was initially prototyped for his personal use, and only after the prodding of friends and family did he start The Floating Mug Company.

According to Chiriga's LinkedIn profile, he still works for the United States Postal Service, and he did so throughout the lifespan of The Floating Mug Company. However, he has experienced a career pivot independent of his business. Despite starting in sales and distribution, he now works in data analysis. Although entrepreneurship wasn't his long-term path, he seems to have achieved success more traditionally through his full-time roles, with or without the help of any transferable skills gained from his experience as a business owner.