Amrita Saigal, Kudos founder, lands deal for diapers

In 2012, Amrita Saigal left her dream job.

After working as an engineer for Procter & Gamble for two years, the MIT and Harvard graduate couldn’t understand why the company produced sanitary napkins and sanitary napkins with harsh chemicals.

So he quit his job and moved to India, where he built a company called Saathi around the banana skin fiber sanitary napkin he invented at MIT. After six years, he returned to the United States and suspected that he could make even better diapers.

In 2021, he launched Los Angeles-based Kudos, which makes disposable diapers from cotton and other sustainable materials — and on Friday’s episode of ABC’s “Shark Tank,” he raised $250,000 in praise from Mark Cuban and guest shark Gwyneth Paltrow. achieved.

Cuban and Paltrow both said they were interested in the product’s sustainability, its chemical-free nature and, perhaps most importantly, its sales. Saigal said on the show that Satish made $850,000 in its first full year of business.

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Investors also liked Saigal’s entrepreneurial background and risk-taking willingness to sacrifice job security to pursue an idea.

“I saw firsthand how much plastic we put into sanitary napkins and diapers,” Saigal explained. I decided to quit my steady job and move to India to start my first company.

Before appearing on the show, Kodos had raised $3.3 million at a valuation of $12.5 million. Saigal used that figure to ask the Sharks for $250,000 in exchange for 5 percent of the company.

Kevin O’Leary wasn’t convinced the Kudos product could make it in a tough industry. “It’s a very mature market,” O’Leary said. Do you really think that after you get, say, 4 or 5 percent of the market, they’re not going to wake up and say, ‘We need an eco-friendly diaper?’

Saigal responded that the accolade reflects a gap in the industry. Plus, he added, even 0.01 percent of the industry is over $8 million.

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Last year, the diaper market in the United States alone was worth $82.59 billion, according to Grandview Research. The report notes that Procter & Gamble is one of the most dominant players in the market.

Procter & Gamble did not immediately respond to CNBC Make It’s request for comment.

Saigal also revealed plans to launch new products, including swim trunks and adult hygiene products.

“We have to figure out how to make this product a household name,” he said. “We need to expand to other online retailers. We know that Goop’s audience is very, very tuned in [and] It has common values.”

With that, Cuban interest was piqued. He asked Paltrow if she would be interested in a partnership.

Negotiations went quickly: the pair offered Saigal $250,000 for 12 percent. Saigal asked if they were willing to split the 8% and Cuban said they would cut it to 10%, with some of the equity in the advisors’ stock.

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Saigal offered a 7 percent stake with a 3 percent advisory stake, and Cuban and Paltrow accepted. Saigal said she was ecstatic that Kudos’ products fit in with Paltrow’s lifestyle brand, Goop.

Investors also expressed optimism. Cuban told Paltrow that Saigal was a “star” with a “dynamic pedigree.”

“You’ve got to bet on a jockey,” Paltrow replied. He clearly has a business mind and an engineering mind. “I think he’s doing something that’s really important and really needed in the market.”

Disclosure: CNBC owns the exclusive off-network cable rights to “Shark Tank.”

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