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PrideBitesSean Knecht and Steven Blustein pitch PrideBites, their line of custom pet accessories, in Shark tank episode 728. The company started when Blustein was still a student at the University of Kansas – he and his friends wanted to make a better dog toy than what was currently available. They started with a proprietary foam and went on to win a Pet Business Magazine pet toy of the year award in 2012.

They did well in retail, but they wanted to sell customized toys and other products, so they created the PrideBites website in 2014 to do just that. People can order dog toys that look like a steak, a pizza, a martini, or an ice cream cone. They can also put your dog’s name on their toys. All the tools to design your own custom dog products are right on the website in a WYSIWYG format. The toys are also machine washable and withstand 55 pounds of pull pressure.

PrideBites sells more than toys: you can also customize dog beds, blankets, collars, leashes, and more. With collections named “Ruff Lauren” and “Calvin Canine,” they have their tongue firmly in their cheek. One of their co-founders, Daniel Lium (who doesn’t appear on the show), has family connections to Chinese manufacturers, so their supply chain is fairly solid. They still have a big retail presence and likely need help expanding their brand and production capabilities.

Will a Shark bite on this business?

PrideBites Shark Tank Recap

Steven and Sean come into the Tank looking for a $200,000 investment in return for 10% of Pridebites. Steven explains that the company allows users to personalize products for their pet, providing options for color, size, and customization, including the pet’s name and even a picture.

Sean hands out customized products to each of the Sharks, including a blanket for Robert Herjavec’s dog, Lola with a hand-drawn picture from a photo of his dog.

“So, you’re basically the Shutterfly for pets,” remarks Mark Cuban.

Steven explains that they “custom manufacture” each item. Turn around time from ordering to delivery is at 4 weeks, but they plan to cut that down to 2 weeks. The margins are at 50% on direct sales, and the pair have been marketing to retailers, at a 40% margin. Steven explains that overall sales are at $1.4 million, with 70% of their business being sales to retailers.

Mark Cuban sees potential challenges to scale-ability. He doesn’t feel he can contribute to their business, and he’s out.

Kevin O’Leary isn’t “excited about it,” and he’s out.

Lori Greiner wants to know more about their online business. Steven and Sean respond that they’re working on doing more online.

Robert Herjavec agrees with Lori, feeling that they need to do more online, but he’s a “pet guy,” and he makes an offer: $200,000 in return for 20%.

Daymond John doesn’t feel the line fits into his portfolio, so he goes out. Lori and Robert remain in. Steven counters Robert’s offer, asking if he’ll consider 15% equity, but Lori speaks up before Robert can reply. She makes them an offer of $200,000 at 18%.

Steven asks if the pair would join together, and counter offers with 20% in return for $300,000. The new offer brings the valuation of the company up.

The Sharks counteroffer at 30%, but the pair is reluctant to give up that much equity. Robert offers $200,000 for 20%, with two Sharks. The pair accepts, but Lori’s not on board. She liked the 30% deal better. As she’s considering, Kevin O’Leary speaks up, saying he’ll go in with Robert if Lori backs out. She immediately says “No, I’m in.”

The Pridebites pair walk out of the Tank with two Sharks for the price of one.

RESULT: DEAL with Robert and Lori for $200K for 20%

PrideBites Shark Tank Update

The deal with Lori and Robert never closed. As often happens with products that appear in the Tank, Pridebites got a nice boost from the so-called Shark Tank effect. Soon after appearing, the company received additional seed money of $700,000 from other investors. Progress has been on a sharp incline; their projected sales for this quarter alone are poised to exceed their numbers thus far.

They make dog toys for Tito’s Vodka, Petco, Subaru, Buc-ee’s and many more. As of April, 2024, the company is still in business and doing well. They have 18 employees and annual revenue of $4 million.

Posts About PrideBites on Shark Tank Blog

Custom Pet Accessories

PrideBites Company Information

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