We’ve had three entrepreneur founders and supporters from our eLuminate Network get their shot to pitch on ABC’s Shark Tank.  So, what’s the secret to getting one of the sharks on Shark Tank to bite?

The keys to success always seems to narrow down to two key fundamentals, a great pitch and great numbers.  PrideBites was one of those startups that pitched their way to a successful investment by two of the Shark Tank investors.

Lori Greiner and Robert Herjavec paired up to offer PrideBites $200,000 for 20% percent equity in the company. PrideBites co-founders, Steven Blustein (CEO), and Sean Knecht (CMO), appeared on the show seeking $200,000 in exchange for 10% percent equity in their customizable dog product business.


What drove their success on the show?

Prior to Shark Tank, PrideBites had seen impressive momentum, landing its products in over 2,500 stores in the first year, doubling growth year-over-year and being honored with the “Dog Toy of the Year” award by Pet Business Magazine.

The founders were seeking capital to expand their manufacturing capabilities, and though they had to give away twice the equity they had planned they were able to leverage the traction from their business into a successful pitch.

With the new capital, the company plans to continue enhancing its efficient back-end personalization and fulfillment platform, grow its sales and marketing efforts, and expand into additional pet verticals. The company also has plans to roll out several new products over the next 90 days.

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What’s the value of being on an episode?

Building a relationship with any of the Shark Tank investors is a major plus, but the exposure that a startup receives once their episode airs can net even more business opportunities.

PrideBites has also closed an initial seed funding round of $500,0000 with ATX Seed Ventures, BlueStel Ventures and Tucker Max, among other previous investors.


“We’re always excited to invest in companies with highly engaged user bases and there is perhaps no user base more passionate than pet parents looking to pamper their pets,” said Chris Shonk, General Partner, ATX Seed Ventures. “PrideBites has utilized a personalized approach to gain early traction with dog owners and an innovative on-demand platform to efficiently manufacture and ship custom products to them. With this massive new exposure to pet parents across the country, I believe it is poised to be a new leader in pet commerce.”

With pet-related spending hitting more than $60B in 2015, the purchase of pet products online is seeing double digit growth year over year. Although there are thousands of companies in dog ecommerce targeting the 54 million households owning a dog, PrideBites has dug out its own niche by becoming the ‘Nike ID of pet products,’ while building a uniquely flexible and efficient manufacturer and supplier network.

“The two major reasons I cut back on seed investing was lack of good people to invest in and the amount of time it took to assist companies,” said Tucker Max. “PrideBites continues to be an exception. While I’ve certainly invested a lot of hours assisting the company, they’ve always maximized the return on that time and I knew from day one that it was the right team to address this multibillion dollar market.”