Preserving breast milk provides convenience for lactating mothers and ensures vital nutrients are maintained. Milkify is a service that uses a freeze-drying procedure, so mothers can powder their breast milk for up to three years without refrigeration. Founders Berkley Luck and Pedro Silva recently pitched their business on Shark Tank and got a deal with Gwyneth Paltrow and Lori Greiner. As of 2023, Milkify is worth an estimated $2 million.
About the Founders
Berkley Luck and Pedro Silva are a husband-and-wife team from Houston, Texas. Berkley has a Ph.D. in medicine from Baylor College of Medicine, while Pedro has a bachelor’s degree in economics from Rice University.
Before launching their business, Berkley was a consultant at Solarea Bio and Pedro was a web developer before becoming an investment banker at JP Morgan. He also spent five years as assistant vice president of EIG Global Energy Partners.
Back in grad school, one of Berkley’s colleagues had trouble pumping and preserving their breast milk. As Luck was studying probiotics, she was inspired to create a solution that conserves beneficial bacteria in mothers’ milk.
She used a freeze-dryer in her studies, and implemented it in her work. This made it possible for breast milk to not come in contact with any equipment, giving it a long shelf life of at least three years.
Berkley and her husband launched Milkify in 2019. But instead of inventing a product, they started a service. Their company sends delivery kits to customers, who fill up sealed pouches and send them back.
Getting on Shark Tank
At first, the whole business was operated from a van that drove around town advertising its service. In 2021, the founders raised $1.2 million in funding from MassChallenge, and invested in a 6,400-square-foot facility.
They also hired more staff, which mostly consists of mothers. Since its founding, the startup has helped save more than 500,000 ounces of breastmilk. They now claim to have over 2,500 satisfied customers.
However, currently the patent is still pending. While waiting, the founders are looking to boost their capital and scale operations. In early 2022, Berkley Luck and Pedro Silva applied for Shark Tank and appeared in episode 19 of season 14.
After Shark Tank
Although the product doesn’t appeal to the typical audience that watches Shark Tank, the product gets a huge boost from appearing on national television. The company will receive a big increase in bookings over the next week and could struggle to meet customer demand.
If you want to try their service first-hand, visit their website, Milkify.me. People who live in the Houston area can drop off their breast milk at their headquarters. Those outside the region can only do shipping. Milkify has streamlined the shipping and delivery process to make it efficient and hassle-free for customers.
The startup has a 5-star average from 140 reviews on Google. The company is thriving and now has 10 full-time employees. Milkify’s valuation is estimated to be around $2 million as it is still a young startup. Only time will tell if they will be able to become consistently profitable in the long run. Previous baby products on Shark Tank such as Hatch Baby have gone on to become huge success stories!