Innovative Pet was founded by Victoria Coopman and Tim Taft, ex-business partners who used to work together when they were younger. In 2008, they had managed to expand their business so that the annual sales amounted to $30. This was done during the bleakest years of history as the financial crisis put the lives of millions at risk. Victoria soon retired but the two kept in touch.
One of the things that bought Victoria and Tim together was their common love for animals. They wanted to enter the pet supplies market, so in 2012, they decided to work together and form another company, Innovative Pet.
After spending a year developing, they introduced their first product into the market- The Kitty Connection. This product was a result of countless hours of observing and researching how cats play. In fact, the two had more than 35 years of combined knowledge of the pet industry, which allowed them to invest time and money into this product.
By 2015, Victoria and Tim wanted to grow their business. They came to Shark Tank in 2016 asking for a $250,000 investment, and in return, they were offering 5 percent equity.
Victoria told the Sharks that at Innovative Pet, it didn’t matter whether the consumer had a dog or a cat. She showed the Sharks a cat embellished with bells and feathers and all the other things cats would be attracted to.
Another popular product, the Whimsical Doghouse, gained the attention of the sharks. In fact, this was Innovative Pet’s best-selling product. Ten other products were in the company’s pipeline waiting to be released.
Another product was a cardboard cut-out of a kitten sitting on a skateboard. The two friends wanted to create a remote-controlled toy that would entertain cats. Cats could sit on this toy and play with it.
In the previous year, Innovative Pet made $2.5 million in sales. Their products were being stocked in retail outlets as well as online stores. In fact, many products were also available worldwide, increasing the popularity of the brand. However, the profit margins were only 27 percent, which the Sharks did not think was good enough.
The Sharks loved the business idea and strategies implemented by the two partners, but they believed that a huge amount of capital was needed to grow. Kevin offered a $250,000 investment but asked for a 6 percent royalty in sales till the founders of Innovative Pet had managed to repay $500,000.
Moreover, he asked for 5 percent total equity. Daymond made them another offer- he would give the founders $250,000 if he were given 12.5 percent equity and 25 percent equity of sales that took place online.
He also said that based on his expertise, he would help build Innovative Pet’s online business.
Our Review of Innovative Pet After their Shark Tank Appearance
Innovative Pet seems like the best place to purchase toys for your pets from. Since a lot of hard work has gone into making the products, we believe that the founders truly understand the things that would bring a cat or dog joy and aim to bring these toys into the market.
Pros of Innovative Pet
Innovative Pet makes many pet products such as cat toys, dog toys, dog houses, and chicken coops. The founders have more than 30 years of experience within the pet industry, so they have spent years studying pet behavior.
Some of Innovative Pet’s products have also won awards. For example, the Customizable Kitty Connection won third place at the Global Pet Expo in 2014 in the cat products range. Another product known as the Mouse Pounce also won an award within the same year.
The best part is that combined with the founders’ knowledge, all of Innovative Pet’s products are made in engineering and manufacturing facilities within Shenzhen, China. Three different creative teams are found in the headquarters throughout the US and California.
Even though Innovative Pet sells its products on Amazon, they usually focus on the pet retail trade. Both the founders have a wide range of connections in the pet industry, so they aren’t looking for more connections but rather just the investment needed to expand their business.
Cons of Innovative Pet
Even though the company has been successful, it has a huge valuation of $5 million, which seems a little over-the-top. Moreover, the margin on sales is only 27 percent, which seems much lower than other businesses in the market.
Who is Innovative Pet for?
Innovative Pet is for individuals who have pets in their house. It doesn’t matter whether they have chickens or cats, or dogs- Innovative Pet has toys for all pets.
If you are looking for toys that will keep your pets entertained for hours and that have been proven to make pets happy, Innovative Pet is the perfect company for you to explore. The founders are well-versed with the animal psyche and have spent years researching the animal market.
Are There Any Alternatives?
There aren’t any pet stores that provide interactive toys for all kinds of pets. You will find some companies selling toys for a certain group of animals, but no company is as well-versed with how pets think, and that makes them happy like Innovative Pet is.
Our Final Thoughts
We love the concept behind Innovative Pet. Moreover, we are amazed that Victoria and Tim have so much knowledge about the pet industry and are willing to execute this knowledge into their company. We believe that since they have researched so much into what toys animals like and what will keep them entertained for hours at a stretch, Innovative Pet will prove to be a great success.
Moreover, Innovative Pet has already managed to win awards with its products, showing that it has the potential to grow further. Once it establishes a greater online presence, it should be able to take the pet industry by storm.