Another Pet Product Company on ‘Shark Tank’ Grabs Bite
On Friday night’s “Shark Tank,” Steven Blustein and Sean Knecht, co-founders of PrideBites, stuck their toes in the water, seeking $200,000 for a 10 percent share in PrideBites, maker of custom-made dog toys, beds and other dog products.
PrideBites sells its products online and at 2,500 stores throughout the U.S. and Canada; the company manufactures its products in China and distributes through its warehouse in Austin, Texas.
PrideBites’ prices range from $10 for a plush mailman to $150 for a large custom dog bed. Customers can choose the fabric and piping color, the shape of the banner for their dog’s name, the font and the font color, and can add a picture of their pet. The company’s premade designs hail from Ruff Lauren and Kate Spayed lines and other collections.
The company made $2 million in sales in its first three years and employs 10 people, but Sharks Mark Cuban and Kevin O’Leary both passed on the proposal.
“There’s no barrier to entry,” Cuban said. “It’s a very challenging business. I can’t help you scale.”
“This is a customized commodity play,” said O’Leary. “I am not really moved by it.”
Daymond John also passed.
Shark Robert Herjavec offered $200,000 for 20 percent, but Knecht and Blustein held out for other offers.
Lori Greiner offered a slightly better valuation of $200,000 for 18 percent.
Ultimately, Knecht and Blustein talked Herjavec and Greiner into accepting $200,000 for 20 percent.
Blustein started PrideBites while working on a master’s degree in taxation at the University of Kansas. After graduating, he moved to Los Angeles and worked for an accounting firm, Fishman, Block + Diamond (FBD) by day and on PrideBites by night. After about six months, he quit to work on PrideBites full time.