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Ryan Bethencourt is a dog lover and biotech entrepreneur who became increasingly concerned about what is in mainstream dog food and treats. With so many pet food recalls and canine obesity on the rise, Ryan decided to develop a new nutritional dog food that is high in protein. Wild Earth is made from 3 main ingredients: koji protein, non-animal based bacon flavor and peanut butter. The product also contains the 10 amino acids that dogs require in their food. To get this product off the ground, Wild Earth has accepted $4 million investments. Ryan is coming to the Shark Tank seeking $550,000 for a 5% share.

In trying to understand the company’s financials, the Sharks learned that the product has not been commercially launched yet. Wild Earth has done a significant amount of R&D work and has created their own strains of koji protein in a lab, using bioreactors with sugars, however, the Sharks are concerned with how much money has been invested into a minimally viable product. They are also concerned about the proposed selling price. Because the product is considered a premium product, the price tag reflects this. The Sharks fear that the average family will not be able to afford Wild Earth’s product.

In addition to learning that the company has not officially launched, The Sharks also learn that Ryan only owns approximately 20% of the company as the original founders own 50%. Most of the Sharks are afraid to invest money in a product that has not made any money yet, but Mark Cuban decided to make Ryan an offer. Mark offers Wild Earth $550,000 in exchange for 10% equity in the company. Ryan accepts and agrees to partner with Mark Cuban.

What are your thoughts on this product? Would you pay a premium price for vegan dog food? Do you feel that Mark Cuban made a wise investment? Begin the dialog in the comments below!

For a full summary of this episode, check out this article. Shark Tank airs on Sundays at 9:00 PM EST.