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Veterinary start up receives investment on Shark Tank

News
Article

Mella Pet Care receives investment from Mark Cuban after appearing on the hit ABC show

Mark Cuban, Daneilla Morgan-Pascualvaca, Anya Babbitt, and Ben  Seidman (Image courtesy of Disney/Christopher Willard)

Mark Cuban, Daneilla Morgan-Pascualvaca, Anya Babbitt, and Ben Seidman (Image courtesy of Disney/Christopher Willard)

On Friday March 1, 2024, Mella Pet Care, a Chicago startup company, appeared on Shark Tank, a hit TV show from the ABC network. Anya Babbitt, CEO and cofounder, Ben Seidman, COO and cofounder, and Daniella Morgan-Pascualvaca, chief of staff, represented the company in front of the Sharks to pitch their array of products, including its underarm thermometer for pets. After their pitch, Mark Cuban offered them a deal.

“Who knew pets could fish? How do we at Mella Pet Care know – because Mella just hooked a great white shark! We are honored and elated to have received an investment closing our Shark Tank deal with Mark Cuban," said Babbitt, in an organizational release.1 “His expertise, vision, network, and passion for pets and innovation will expedite the expansion of Mella's product offerings reaching a broader customer base. With Mark's support, we at Mella are confident in our ability to revolutionize pet care and make a positive impact in on the lives of pet owners and their furry companions.”

At the conclusion of their pitch and answering questions from the other Sharks, Cuban offered $250,000 for a 6% stake, a $4.2 million valuation, which the Mella Pet Care Team accepted.2 Mella Pet Care was created in 2019 after Babbitt’s dog nearly died as a puppy because there was lack of data available to diagnose and prevent the puppy’s health condition. The company’s product line hopes to give pet parents the opportunity to monitor their pets’ vitals and have that be integrated with their pet’s veterinary care. Mella also disclosed during the episode some products that are on the way, including chip reader and pulse oximeter and its Biggie Body Scale for body fat analysis.

"I am excited to partner with Mella Pet Care and support their mission of improving the lives of pets and pet owners,” expressed Cuban. “Their innovative product line aligns perfectly with the evolving needs of today's pet-centric society. Together, we will disrupt the pet care industry and bring forth solutions that empower pet owners and enhance the well-being of our beloved four-legged friends.”1

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse conducted a study that revealed treating dogs and cats with axillary thermometers can significantly reduce the length of procedures when compared to traditional thermometers.3 The study used data provided by Mella Pet Care in relation to conventional thermometers and then observed veterinarians using both types of thermometers on different cat and dog patients for a year. The findings included an enhanced efficiency, improvements to patient comfort, and optimized clinical workflow.

“We have an incredible team and community of supporters that share our vision for changing pet health,” said Seidman.1 “We're not just building devices and software—we're creating a world where visits to the vet are seamless and stress-free, and where veterinarians can connect with pet parents like never before.”

At the time of the episode airing, the Mella Pro thermometer and its other products are being used by over 1300 clinics across 15 different countries.

References

  1. Mella Pet Care secures investment from Mark Cuban on ABC’s ‘Shark Tank’. News release. Mella Pet Care. March 4, 2024. Accessed March 4, 2024.
  2. Smith A. Shark Tank Mella Pet Care Update 2024 | Season 15. Shark Tank Recap. Published March 2, 2024. Accessed March 4, 2024. https://sharktankrecap.com/mella-pet-care-update-shark-tank-season-15/
  3. Beyer O, Lueck A, Brundage C. Comparison of Axillary versus rectal temperature timing in canine and feline patients. Vet Sci. 2023;10(7):475. doi: 10.3390/vetsci10070475
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