Shark Tank Billionaire Mark Cuban Invests in Tiny Bay Area Biotech Perlara

Billionaire Mark Cuban has his fingers in a lot of pies. He’s probably best known for being the owner of the Dallas Mavericks pro basketball team and one of the “shark” investors on the ABC reality TV show, “Shark Tank,” although his investments are extensive. And now he’s invested $250,000 into a small South San Francisco-based biotech company, Perlara, as part of the company’s $7.4 million equity round.

Perlara announced the close of the round yesterday, with participation by Pivotal Capital Alpha, Al-Hamra Group, Radical Investments, Homebrew Ventures, Haystack Fund and existing investors, including Y Combinator. Novartis also participated under a research collaboration with the company.

How Cuban got involved was through a seemingly random Twitter conversation between Cuban and the company’s founder and chief executive officer, Ethan Perlstein. After Cuban had tweeted about biotech and drug pricing, Perlstein had joked on Twitter, “Mark’s a Bernie Bro after all!” referring to Senator Bernie Sanders, who during the 2016 presidential election took a strong stand on drug pricing.

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