For years parents have changed diapers in dirty public restrooms. Pluie is looking to shake things up by creating the world’s first self-sanitizing diaper changing tables. Founders Addie Gundry and Brittany Hizer pitched their product on Shark Tank but didn’t get a deal. As of 2023, Pluie is worth an estimated $8 million.
Addie Gundry hails from Keller, Texas and was initially a chef at a Michelin-starred restaurant under Christian Etienne in France. She returned to the US and found success as an executive chef.
After working as an executive assistant at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, she became a star on The Food Network’s Cutthroat Kitchen. Gundry has gone on to publish 24 cookbooks that feature over 1,000 recipes.
Brittany Hizer is from Chicago and graduated from Northwestern University. Hizer served as the head of Crestliner Boats and is also a fitness enthusiast. Previously, she designed exercise bikes, treadmills, and cross-trainers.
The Inspiration for Pluie
As a mother of two, Addie didn’t enjoy using public diaper changing tables. This inspired her to pause her career in the kitchen and make a sanitary product for moms and babies around the world.
She teamed up with Brittany who serves as the COO. The ladies have a small team of employees that helped them develop a diaper changing table with a patented UV-C light system that can eliminate 99.9% of bacteria and viruses.
The UV-C light claims do so in just a minute once the table is folded, which makes it convenient for public restrooms. Gundry and Hizer launched Pluie in 2020, as people began taking sanitation more seriously.
Getting on Shark Tank
Pluie’s success didn’t come overnight, but the company is slowly expanding. Currently, their products are in public restrooms at parks, stadiums, and airports in over 20 states. In late 2022, the startup won the “Up-and-Comer” award at the Chicago Innovation Awards.
In early 2022, the founders applied for Shark Tank and got accepted for season 14 out of around 40,000 applicants. Of the 40,000, Shark Tank films 140 pitches and 96 of them make it to air. Once they found out their segment was airing on TV, the pair worked hard to get their inventory ready for showtime. They appeared on the show, seeking $500,000 for a 5% equity stake.
Pluie’s Success After Shark Tank
The episode aired in March, and the founders noticed a sharp increase in interest from customers. Pluie follows a B2B model which is different to the consumer products that typically feature on the show. They also plan to release a consumer product later in 2023. Days before their appearance, it was announced that The Indianapolis International Airport will be installing 50 Pluie diaper changing tables.
You can check out their diaper changing table at HelloPluie.com. There are no customer reviews on their website, but the product was listed in Time Magazine’s 100 Best Inventions of 2021. There are around four million public restrooms in the US which is a massive opportunity!
It’s an excellent product that solves a real problem for parents and the exposure from Shark Tank will take it to the next level. The startup is valued at $8 million and has 13 employees according to Linkedin.