There were no disposable wipes specifically targeted at men until Dude Wipes came onto the market. This personal care product was pitched to Shark Tank by a trio of entrepreneur friends: Jeff Klimkowski, Ryan Meegan, and Sean Riley. They struck a deal with tech investor, Mark Cuban. As of 2023, Dude Wipes is valued at $300 million.
About the Founders
Jeff, Ryan, and Sean have been best pals since their early childhood in Chicago, Illinois. They call themselves “The Dudes.” Though only three of them appeared on television, they have another friend and partner named Brian Wilkin.
All four of them grew up together, but they all chose different paths when choosing courses for college. Ryan went to Benedictine University to study marketing and communication, while Sean attended Illinois State University to learn about industrial technology.
Both of them graduated in 2007. The other two, however, are a bit secretive in their educational background. However, it is reported that Jeff and Brian studied accounting and finance.
Founding Dude Wipes
When The Dudes were still in college, they discovered that there was no brand of sanitary products aimed at guys that could meet their unique demands. With this, they developed Dude Wipes in 2012.
The idea behind it was to give guys a larger, hygienic cleaning material they could use for their male regions. Aloe and vitamin E were added to the wipes to make them soft enough to use on even the most delicate body parts.
Additionally, they were biodegradable, so dumping them down the toilet wasn’t a concern. These features got the startup a lot of exposure during its early days. The founders made a deal with the Kroger retail chain, which helped them make $300,000 in total sales.
Shark Tank Appearance
In 2015, Jeff Klimkowski, Ryan Meegan, and Sean Riley entered the Shark Tank during the seventh season. The three best friends came in, asking for a $300,000 investment in exchange for 10% of their startup.
After explaining their business, it wasn’t much of a surprise when the female investors, Barbara Corcoran and Lori Greiner, couldn’t instantly see the product’s practicality.
Mark Cuban also wanted out, but he changed his mind after hearing about their sales performance. He and Kevin O’Leary went on an intense bidding war. In the end, Mark won with his offer of $300,000 for 25% equity.
After Shark Tank
After closing the deal with Mark Cuban, Dude Wipes made $3.2 million in sales for that year. The billionaire investor also helped the product get into over 12,000 stores including Target, Ralphs, Bass Pro Shops, and Meijers.
In 2018, Walmart chose the firm to be part of its Made in the USA program, which commits to sourcing $250 billion in US-made goods by 2023. These contracts helped the booming company introduce more products like Chill Wipes and Dude Bomb.
In 2020, Dude Wipes made $40 million in annual sales and did $67 million in revenue for 2021. Today, that figure is expected to grow as the company is doing better than ever. The business is now worth $300 million and is one of Cuban’s best investments on Shark Tank. In 2023, total retail sales hit $341 million.