Have you ever asked yourself how it feels to lie in one of those cozy-looking snuggle beds that dogs sleep in? If you have, you might want to try Plufl, the dog bed for humans. Founders Noah Silverman and Yuki Kinoshita appeared on Shark Tank and got a deal with Mark Cuban and Lori Greiner. As of 2023, Plufl is worth $1 million.
About the Founders
Noah Silverman and Yuki Kinoshita are best friends from Seattle, Washington. They graduated from different high schools, but they became classmates when they studied international economics at The University of British Columbia.
Before graduating, the two had already had aspirations to become entrepreneurs. Noah was a board member of Bike Works and interned at several companies, including Adventure Travel Trade Association and The Wilson Center.
Yuki, on the other hand, was a business development intern at St. Albans School. He has worked as a marketing representative at Wize and a summer analyst at Charles River Associates.
Founding the Company
Silverman also worked part-time at a cafe during his final year of college. One of the owners there had a Great Dane as a pet and had a massive dog bed. This got him asking why there wasn’t a human-sized version of the comfy bed.
He wanted to make one and told his best friend about the idea. Kinoshita was all in because, as a student, he constantly lacked sleep. He thought maybe this could help him and other people get better rest.
They launched the business in 2021 and graduated a year later. The guys spent months working weekends to create prototypes, source materials, and find a manufacturer. Once the product was ready, they ran a Kickstarter campaign, hoping to raise $25,000 to start production. They ended up getting $290,657 from 799 backers!
Given they had no money to spend on advertising, TikTok was their main strategy to grab attention. They posted their first TikTok in March 2022 and soon they were averaging 10,000 to 20,000 views per clip! The business hasn’t had any trouble getting attention, the product was even featured on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon!
Getting on Shark Tank
A producer from Shark Tank came across the product on Kickstarter and contacted the guys to see if they wanted to apply for season 14. This was great timing as Plufl had only recently started mass production.
They pitched to get on the show against thousands of other companies and luckily they secured a place on episode five of season 14. The entrepreneurs took full advantage of the opportunity and snagged a deal with Lori Greiner and Mark Cuban.
After Shark Tank
After their episode aired in October 2022, Plufl saw a huge spike in orders over the following 48 hours. They’ve hired more staff to help cope with production to keep up with sales! Their TikTok followers have doubled from 100,000 to over 200,000 with 6.3 million likes. It appears the deal with Lori and Mark hasn’t closed yet and neither of them have listed the company on their personal websites.
You can purchase Plufl beds exclusively on their website, WarePlufl.com. However, it is important to note that they are still in the production stage, so you can only make pre-orders at the moment. The product is expensive but they’ve reduced the price by $100 to $399, this may still be too steep for the average Shark Tank fan!
There are some customers who have already received the product and rated it with five stars on the company’s website. Currently, Plufl is valued at $1 million.
A key challenge for the company will be driving sales when the Shark Tank hype dies down. They will also need to launch more products, the Sharks don’t like investing in one-product businesses. Also, Plufl is running into issues with other companies copying their product. This is a common issue with products that don’t have a patent.