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Tabby

tabbyNathan “The Cat Lady” Kehn, Sterling “TrapKing” Davis and Leigh Issacson introduce the Sharks to Tabby, their dating app for cat lovers, in Shark Tank Episode 1303. They launched on August 8, 2020 – International Cat Day. The app is a spin off of Dig, a dog lover’s dating app originally created by Issacson. Kehn has half a million followers between Instagram and TikTok where he showcases videos of his cat. Davis also does cat videos and he’s the founder of Trap King Humane Cat Solutions, an organization that traps feral cats and releases them back into the wild which prevents them from expanding the feral cat population.

They created the app because both Kehn and Davis had women dump them because they had cats. There’s actually data that proves men get fewer matches dating apps if they have cats in their profile photos. Issacson started Dig in 2018 with her sister, Casey. It was born out of a relationship that didn’t work out with Casey and a guy who wasn’t a “dog person.” Like Dig, Tabby aims to get that kind of deal breaking information out of the way up front. When the sisters launched Tabby, they brought in Kehn and Sterling on the deal to give them “cat cred.”

During the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic, dating apps, particularly niche ones, thrived as people were adopting pets at record paces. The app is available for both Apple and Android devices. They are adding about 1000 members a month and membership is 45% female and 55% male. The app is free, but to send unlimited messages, you need to upgrade to the VIP version. This costs $19.99 for one month or $49.98 for 6 months (8$.33 per month). They likely want a Shark’s help growing their user base. Do Sharks like cats?

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Tabby Dates – Dating App for Cat Lovers

Tabby Shark Tank Recap

Sterling, Leigh and Nathan enter the Shark Tank seeking $300,000 for 20% of their business. Leigh explains the problems with men who have cats on their dating profiles. She walks the Sharks through the app, showing them the profiles, cat section and community space. Next, she tells the Sharks how Tabby was a spin-off from Dig which is currently in acquisition talks with a dog food company.

Nathan and Sterling explain their backgrounds and Sterling says everyone who does cat rescue are middle aged white women. He’s the “only black guy” doing this. Leigh says there are 17 million single cat owners in the USA. They started the app with a $50,000 grant from The Million Dollar Dating Project. They got the cash and ran the app on the project’s platform. Unfortunately, it was not made for mobile and had a lot of problems. To date, they have 31,000 users and $43,000 in revenue. Tragically, the platform terminated the contract and they had to rebuild from scratch.

Mark says it’s very hard to grow an app, he’s out. Robert likes that they’re connecting people, but it’s not for him, he’s out. Nirav says it’s difficult to get distribution and break through the noise, he’s out. Kevin touts his large database of cat owners from BasePaws and offers $300,000 for 30%. Leigh counters with 25% and Kevin says no. Lori says she isn’t a “techie” person and, though she hates to say it, she likes Kevin’s deal. Leigh then says to Kevin, “I think we have a purrrfect deal.” They accept and Kevin proclaims “I’m king of the litter!”

Tabby Shark Tank Update

The Shark Tank Blog constantly provides updates and follow-ups about entrepreneurs who have appeared on the Shark Tank TV show. While there is no evidence this deal closed in the immediate aftermath of the show, both Kevin and the Tabby team were doing a lot of press touting the deal.

As of August, 2022, the deal with Kevin didn’t close. They’ve grown to over 50,000 downloads, but the app has mostly negative reviews in the Apple app store. Most complaints call the app “buggy.” I will update this page as more details become available.

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