On November 11, Jae Kim, Founder of Chi’Lantro, landed a deal on ABC’s "Shark Tank" with real estate mogul and business expert, Barbara Corcoran, for his Korean BBQ-inspired restaurant concept that gets its name from a combination of the words “kimchi” and “cilantro.” Impressed by Kim’s drive and successful business growth since founding the company in 2010, Corcoran offered Chi’Lantro $600,000 for 20 percent equity.
"Barbara is the perfect person for Chi'Lantro's growth,” Kim says. “She values the culture of Chi'Lantro and sees and trusts my vision to grow our company into a billion dollar company. Barbara grew her company from having nothing, so she was able to relate how I continue to grow my company today."
In his third and successful attempt at trying out for Shark Tank, Kim won the Sharks over with his Korean BBQ inspired cuisine and his inspiring business story. As an immigrant raised by a single mother, Kim overcame challenges throughout his life to achieve his entrepreneurial dream. Using everything he had, Kim maxed out his credit cards and used his entire savings to create the successful multi-location business that is now Chi’Lantro.
What started as one food truck, Kim and his team have expanded to four brick and mortar locations across Austin, Texas, a full-service catering department and a homemade kimchi facility. With 25 percent year-over-year growth since its inception and projections to reach $6 million in sales in 2016, Chi’Lantro’s proven track record of steady growth and profitability solidified Corcoran’s faith in the company as an investable, scalable business.
With this funding, Chi’Lantro plans to continue its expansion, bringing its diverse, Korean BBQ-inspired cuisine throughout Texas and beyond.