Founder: Renaldo Webb
Season: Appeared on season 8 in the week 10 episode
PetPlate delivers high-quality, human-grade pet food straight to pet parents’ doorsteps. The fresh meals can be selected through a subscription plan that takes into account the pet’s weight and age. Their meals feature farmhouse beef or oven-roasted turkey and are made from natural ingredients. According to their website, their mission is rooted in the belief “that all pets deserve real food that nourishes the body, mind and soul.”
When Webb originally appeared on “Shark Tank,” he came in asking for $100,000 for 10 percent equity. The sharks believed there were too many difficulties in scaling the business and Robert Herjavec questioned the delivery model and low subscription numbers. Guest shark Chris Sacca called Webb “a dream partner” but went out because he viewed the business as a potential competitor to one of his existing investments. Ultimately, the sharks found that there were too many issues in the company and Webb left without a deal.
Webb spoke with Business 2 Community about PetPlate’s experience on the show and what their next steps are. Take a look at the Q&A below:
Q&A with PetPlate’s Founder Renaldo Webb
What was your strategy for navigating “Shark Tank”?
My major goal for navigating “Shark Tank” was to get as much feedback as possible on our business model from the Sharks. I knew regardless of a deal, PetPlate at its core had the potential to be a $100M business, and I wanted their thoughts on how to get there.
How has PetPlate changed since the episode was first recorded? Since it aired?
PetPlate has changed dramatically, but we’ve kept true to our promise of delivering high-quality, human-grade food to pet parents. When we first recorded the show we were just in NYC and had barely 100 customers. Since it aired, we’re now shipping hundreds of boxes a week to pet parents across the country. We’ve had to scale up our operation to handle the extra demand and to ship across the country, but our team has also grown to help with the additional complexity.
Is there anything you would have changed about your time spent in the tank, including your pitch and valuation?
I would have worked to convince the Sharks more on the viability of the business at scale. I think it was a mistake for them to equate our customers at that point with the overall demand for this in the marketplace.
Who’s your favorite shark?
I’d have to say it was either Robert or Lori. They were both super engaged and asked the best questions.
Despite not getting a deal, do you think “Shark Tank” was the right move for your business?
Of course! The feedback is golden. We’ve used that to remodel PetPlate and now we have an exciting business that pet parents love.
What are PetPlate’s next steps?
Right now, we’re focused on growing and spreading the word that there is a better way to feed your dog. We’re also working on new flavors, packaging, and cat food.
Where do you see this industry in 5-10 years?
Pet parents are becoming as concerned about their pet’s food as they are their own. This year alone has seen numerous recalls due to euthanasia drugs being in popular foods. Pet parents are learning these issues and 60 percent of dogs being overweight are linked to how the food is made and processed, and they are looking for healthier alternatives.
I expect pet parents to start demanding fresher food, with real ingredients. I also see a huge increase in online and direct to consumer pet food sales. I’m glad PetPlate is on the cutting edge of those trends.
What would you say to people who want to start their own business?
Really think if you are ready to make the personal sacrifice it takes to run a business. It is far less glamorous than social media will make it seem. You’ll have to dig deep to overcome the daily hurdles and failures. If you’re ready for that great, but if you’re not that’s fine too.
What advice would you give to entrepreneurs who want to make it on “Shark Tank”?
Know your business inside and out, and enjoy the experience!
Responses have been lightly edited for clarity and length