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Whatever Happened To Dude Wipes After Shark Tank?

Talking about number twos can be awkward for some, but Dude Wipes has made an entire business out of it. Created by Chicago natives Sean Riley, Ryan Meegan, Brian Wilkin, and Jeff Klimkowski, who also go by "the Dudes," Dude Wipes is a line of toilet accessories designed with men in mind, although anyone can benefit from using them. The flushable, biodegradable material — though the label "biodegradable" is often misleading for sanitary wipes — is fragrance-free and contains soothing aloe and Vitamin E. It is not meant to entirely replace toilet paper but instead is good to use to finish off your wipe. While it is primarily advertised to be used on the toilet, the product also proves useful for faces, armpits, hands, and any other regions you'd like to freshen up.

The Dudes came up with the business while attending college. They shared an apartment together and used baby wipes to clean themselves, but soon found that it was inadequate and aimed to come up with a solution that worked best for and was marketed to men. They launched the company in 2012, and sales grew rapidly, with the team receiving some notable press and even winning awards the following year.

Ultimately, their goal, as they explain on their "Shark Tank" appearance, is to save the world "one dude at a time." The only question is, would a shark be willing to come on board with them in this crusade?

What happened to Dude Wipes on Shark Tank?

Sean Riley, Ryan Meegan, and Jeff Klimkowski appeared on "Shark Tank" Season 7 with hopes to secure a $300,000 deal for 10% of Dude Wipes. At a $3 million valuation, it may not be the most absurd ask on the show, but the gang needed to prove they had what it takes to get a shark on board. 

Their presentation managed to get the sharks in a good mood. However, there were still skeptics among them. After passing around samples, Barbara Corcoran complained that the product is too thin, easily puncturing a hole through a wipe with little effort. When it came time to reveal their numbers, they shared that the company has currently only brought in $300,000. They defended their valuation, however, as they had recently made a $2 to $3 million contract with Kroger, with plans to roll out to 2,200 nationwide stores and rake in $168,000 a month. Their plan with the sharks' money was to expand to more major big-box retailers.

Mark Cuban went out, feeling he could not represent the company well and that the Dudes were underestimating the market. He was followed by Lori Grenier and Barbara. Robert Herjavec and Kevin O'Leary made their own offers before being convinced to come together for $300,000 at 27.5%. In a shocking move, Cuban came back in, offering the $300,000 for 25% as he hated Herjavec and O'Leary's deal, which the Dudes accepted. So how did this sudden change work for them in the long run?

Dude Wipes after Shark Tank

Unsurprisingly, Mark Cuban's magic touch helped Dude Wipes soar following "Shark Tank." On a Season 8 update segment, we learned that a promotional video featuring Mark Cuban went viral, garnering over 1 million views. This helped sales skyrocket, with the team having brought in $3.2 million in the first year since they appeared on "Shark Tank." The update segment also saw them secure a 4,200-order deal with Walgreens, with Dude Wipes appearing in 7,200 of their locations.

This was on top of the deal made with Target to appear in 500 locations. They also got to sponsor major sports leagues and teams such as NASCAR and the New York Jets. Additionally, they expanded their product line, with new items such as Dude Powder, Dude Shower, Dude underwear, and Dude Face Wipes. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States experienced a major toilet paper shortage. This became a great opportunity for Dude Wipes, who increased their revenue by 158% by the year's end with $40 million in sales. Another "Shark Tank" update came around for the team on Season 13 of the show. It was revealed that they brought in $1.4 million a week with lifetime sales totaling $120 million. They now operate within a 200,000-square-foot warehouse and are featured in 15,000 retail locations. On top of that, they also work alongside Fight Colorectal Cancer to spread awareness of colorectal cancer, having donated thousands towards their efforts. Mark Cuban's offer may have come off as a surprise, but it more than paid off and continues to do so.

Is Dude Wipes still in business?

Dude Wipes continues to thrive, being a prime example of Mark Cuban's vision of the American Dream for "Shark Tank" entrepreneurs. Their wide range of products can be found on their website or Amazon, but they are sold at major retailers including Kroger, Target, Walmart, and more. 

Their relationship with Walmart has continued to evolve. Since 2019, Dude Wipes has helped promote Walmart's Open Call program. The program aims to find entrepreneurs looking to get their products out on a nationwide scale while also encouraging U.S. manufacturing. They have also reached outlets such as Forbes, Bustle, WGN, Inc., Men's Health, and ESPN, amongst many others.

The Dudes have never held back from thanking Mark Cuban for his contributions to their endeavors. On an update blog, they shared, "Mark and his team are always available to us. Whether it's advice or connecting us with a key contact, their door has always been open and we couldn't be more appreciative of that." Thanks their successful product and Cuban's help, the Dudes bring in an estimated annual revenue of $100 million and are valued at a net worth of $300 million. While there seem to be no posts on their Facebook page and they have not shared on Twitter since 2019, they remain active on both Instagram and TikTok. With so many stellar achievements under their belt, how do the Dudes plan on topping themselves?

What's next for Dude Wipes?

With millions in revenue, partnerships with major sports leagues, and a widespread presence both online and in retail, there don't seem to be many places for Dude Wipes to go from here. Yet there is still one major hurdle they want to overcome.

2023 has proven to be another stellar for Dude Wipes. Earlier this year, company founders Sean Riley, Ryan Meegan, and Jeff Klimkowski were announced as finalists in Ad Age's A-List & Creativity Awards as Founders of the Year. (Absent was co-founder Brian Wilkin, who also did not appear on "Shark Tank" with them.) The co-founders are also continuing their work with sports teams and charities. In May, the team partnered with the New York City Football Club to launch the second annual Clean Sheet Campaign. For every clean sheet earned by the sports team, Dude Wipes donates 10,000 product samples to organizations such as the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation, the Wipe the Troops Initiative, and New York Common Pantry. 

Ultimately, the team's main goal is to dominate the toilet paper industry. According to Riley at the time of their Season 13 "Shark Tank" update segment, Dude Wipes is considered the No. 2 toilet brand product in the United States, with Cottonelle being their biggest competitor. "As much as we love that number, we definitely want to be No. 1," Riley said in the update segment. "And then the next step will be taking Dude products worldwide." For many, this goal might seem like a long shot, but if anyone is bound to make this achievement, it's these dudes.