Power Players

'Shark Tank': Mark Cuban invested $250,000 in matching clothes for dogs and humans

ABC

Billionaire Mark Cuban has said his least favorite pitches on ABC's "Shark Tank" include two things: kids and animals.

"I hate when we have kids on. Kids and animals are the worst," Cuban said in 2015.

But on Sunday's episode of "Shark Tank," some sharply dressed dogs (and later a baby) won over Cuban, when husband and wife co-founders Scott and Gina Davis pitched their company, Dog Threads to the Sharks.

Dog Threads creates matching shirts for humans and their dogs, so to show off their product, the Davises had model dogs: a papillon-maltese mix name Tinkerbell wore the same tropical shirt as Shark Robert Herjavec, while French bulldog Gus Gus wore the same black and red flannel as his owner.

"I love dogs, but why?" asked Herjavec.

Source: ABC/Eric McCandless

Why not? "In 2014, we had a Pomeranian poodle, and he loved dressing up," Gina told the Sharks. "But I couldn't find clothing that matched his human-like personality anywhere. Every store I went in, it was cheap and tacky clothing. I thought 'I wouldn't wear that, so why would we dress Thomas [her puppy] in it?'"

As animal lovers, the Davises thought there was an opportunity for business, and that they could also give back to animals.

"I went to school for design," Gina said. "I was designing my own women's clothing line at the time. So, I drafted my first pattern for Thomas [her puppy], it was a button-down shirt. Everywhere we went, people would come up to us and say 'where did you get that?'"

ABC

The Davises said 80% of Dog Threads sales are direct online. In 2018, the business brought in $196,000 in sales, they said, and they projected $240,000 in sales for 2019. A portion of each sale made is donated to non-profit animal rescues, according to the Dog Threads website. The couple was seeking $250,000 for a 17% stake in their company.

Sharks Lori Greiner and Daymond John couldn't relate to the product and were out.

But Cuban was intrigued by the business, especially by the potential of licensed merchandise.

"I can see [a Maverick's] fan with the Mav's logo," Cuban said, referring to the Dallas NBA team, which he owns.

Though Cuban saw some challenges, like the businesses low margins, he decided to make an offer.

"I'm kind of on the fence, but I like what you're doing," he said. "I'll give you $250,000, but I want 30%. That'll give me a reason to invest. I'll connect you to our Mav's buyers and the licensing with the NBA. There's a lot we can do with pricing. The Mav's buy hundreds and thousands of shirts."

O'Leary wanted to give an offer, but Cuban said he wouldn't wait for the co-founders to listen to O'Leary. So they gave Cuban a counteroffer: a 25% stake. The Davises said they want to ensure they keep as much equity in the company as possible in order to provide for their 1-year-old son Ziggy's future.

Cuban agreed to the counter, joking they shamed him with the mention of the baby.

"Thank you Ziggy, for saving us 5% with Mark Cuban!" Gina said.

Disclosure: CNBC owns the exclusive off-network cable rights to "Shark Tank."

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