Aaron Krause is the founder of scrub daddy, a successful smiley-faced sponge product featured on Shark Tank. Today, Krause is worth $70 million, and his company is worth north of $200 million.
Updated Jul 11, 2023
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If you ever thought a mere sponge couldn't bring fame and fortune, well, think again. Meet Aaron Krause, the mastermind who turned a smiley-faced sponge into a global cleaning sensation, all while raking in a $70 million net worth. Who knew scrubbing dishes could be so lucrative, right?
Born and raised in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania, Krause's journey began at Syracuse University, where a degree in psychology unexpectedly laid the foundation for his future success. Who knew that a deep understanding of the human psyche would give him the edge to create a product that stole people’s hearts (and wallets)?
With persistence and creativity, our hero became an entrepreneur, transforming an unassuming sponge into the cleaning empire we know and love, Scrub Daddy.
September 12, 1969
American born in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania
Became a millionaire at
Entrepreneur, inventor, CEO of Scrub Daddy
Sources of wealth
Scrub Daddy, Shark Tank investment, other ventures
Aaron Krause initially designed a cleaning pad for car workers to clean their hands. But soon, this very invention led to the birth of Scrub Daddy—a household cleaning product that took the market by storm in 2008.
So, what's the secret sauce behind Scrub Daddy's phenomenal success? It's a revolutionary sponge made from a special polymer that changes texture based on the water temperature—firm in cold water and soft in warm water.
Initially, Krause aimed to use the sponge for cleaning lawn furniture, but soon he experimented with using it as a kitchen sponge for utensils. With the ambition to revolutionize the cleaning industry, he crafted the high-tech polymer material into a ridged circle featuring a groove resembling a smiley face at its center.
This adorable, grinning sponge quickly climbed the ranks to become America's third-biggest sponge provider and spread its charm across the globe. So, how did he get his big break in the cleaning industry?
In 2012, Krause pitched Scrub Daddy the popular Shark Tank TV show, seeking investment to grow his company. Judge Lori Greiner was wowed by the product and invested $200,000 for a 20% stake. By 2017, Scrub Daddy became the best-selling product featured on Shark Tank after hitting $100 million in sales.
Scrub Daddy's popularity went through the roof when the cheerful sponge made guest appearances on hit TV shows like Good Morning America and The View, giving it a sweet nudge into the spotlight.
Although the iconic smiley-faced sponge is still their star product, Scrub Daddy has branched out to include a range of cleaning goodies. Nowadays, they're the third-biggest sponge provider in the U.S. and have grown into a multinational corporation, offering all sorts of cleaning tools, from erasers and sink dispensers to scrubbers, sponges, and handy accessories.
During the pandemic, Scrub Daddy's revenue surged 300% compared to larger retailers such as Walmart and Kroger. Both the company and its founder's net worth continued to grow as they adapted to the increased demand—Sponge Daddy surpassed a $200 million valuation while Krause's estimated net worth reached over $70 million.
In January 2020, Scrub Daddy announced a bilateral partnership agreement with Unilever's household cleaning products brand, Cif, to create, market, and distribute co-branded products. This partnership marked a significant milestone in the worldwide growth and recognition of the Scrub Daddy brand.
Krause's dedication to his company and his belief in the importance of hard work played a key role in Scrub Daddy's success. Remaining active in the company's management, he serves as its CEO and owner, which he credits for the massive growth in his net worth.
His involvement in teaching his children about hard work and entrepreneurship extends to making them pay rent and take on chores to understand the value of hard work.
Scrub Daddy’s success story serves as an inspiration to entrepreneurs and demonstrates the potential of innovative ideas, perseverance, and strategic investments.
With an initial investment of around $200,000 from Lori Greiner for a 20% stake in the company, Scrub Daddy quickly became a beloved household product. Embracing its success and continuously expanding its product offerings, Scrub Daddy is now the third-largest sponge provider in the United States and is worth well over $200 million.
Aaron Krause actively maintains his role as the CEO and owner of Scrub Daddy, ensuring that his hands-on approach to managing his investment and the company's growth remains a priority.
Investing heavily in the consumer goods sector, Scrub Daddy’s owner has managed to grow his company from a car washing business to a household name by continuously meeting consumer demands with innovative cleaning products that are both practical and fun.
Scrub Daddy has forged partnerships with some of the top retailers in the nation, such as Bed Bath & Beyond, QVC, Walmart, Target, Meijer, and Home Depot, to name a few. Moreover, the company is broadening its product range and currently boasts a diverse catalog of over 20 distinctive cleaning products.
Krause has tapped into invaluable resources and networks, resulting in better market understanding and increased business reach. Plus, participating in popular television programs like Shark Tank has helped Krause create a personal brand and media presence, providing him with further opportunities and contributing to his growing net worth.
Scrub Daddy’s remarkable success can be credited to Aaron’s unwavering commitment to innovation, forging strategic partnerships, and seizing opportunities, as well as his focus on preserving the quality and integrity of his company's products.
By transforming a simple concept into a booming multimillion-dollar enterprise, Krause has not only crafted a prospering empire but also exemplified the boundless possibilities in entrepreneurship and the extraordinary power of determination.
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