Himalayan Dog Chew founders turn down ‘Shark Tank’ deal

  • By Jim Davis The Herald Business Journal Editor
  • Monday, February 9, 2015 3:00pm
  • BusinessMukilteo

Mukilteo’s Himalayan Dog Chew founders walked away from a $750,000 deal for a 15 percent stake in their company on ABC’s “Shark Tank” Friday night.

Celebrity investor Robert Herjavec, who made his fortune with a cyber-security business, offered the deal to the company’s founders, brothers Suman and Sujan Shrestha, and Nishes Shrestha.

The three partners went on “Shark Tank” to seek a celebrity investor in Himalayan Dog Chew, which makes yak-and-cow cheese dog treats. Himalayan Dog Chew is a rapidly growing business that started at a dog park in Bellingham in 2008, eventually moved to Lake Stevens and is now in Mukilteo.

They sell a dried cheese that’s eaten in their homeland of Nepal as a snack. They’ve found that dogs enjoy a harder version of the snack. The company’s products are sold in 6,000 stores including Petco.

The Shresthas auditioned for “Shark Tank” in Seattle, were invited to California and found out the show was going to air about a week ago.

“We give 100 percent of our time and energy,” Nishes Shrestha said on the show. “We need help. We need ‘sharks’ to help us take our business to the next level.”

They asked for $750,000 for a 5 percent stake in the company. They told the “shark” investors that they made $5.6 million in sales last year, selling more than 1 million packages and expect to make at least $8 million this year.

“Why are you here?” investor Mark Cuban asked. “You have $5.6 million in sales. You’re probably making more than a $1 million in profits. You’re killing it.”

Kevin O’Leary, who made his money in a children’s educational company, offered a $750,000 loan for 36 months with 10 percent interest and asked them to give him a 5 percent stake in the company. Herjavec and QVC’s Lori Greiner wanted in on that deal as well, asking for a 15-percent stake in the company.

“If you have three sharks in a company like this, a lot of good things can happen,” O’Leary said.

The partners considered the deal — Sujan Shrestha said on the air that it’s not about the money, it’s about the relationships with the celebrity investors. But they declined, saying they already have a $1 million line of credit. Then Herjavec offered $750,000 for 15-percent equity in the company.

“The team says no to that deal, Robert,” Sujan Shrestha said on the show.

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