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Whatever Happened To Milkify After Shark Tank?

Sometimes, it takes a little luck to get your product to take off on "Shark Tank." But others manage to get by with cold, hard scientific facts and a missing niche in an important market, wowing the sharks with their business acumen and eye for detail. Both factors were definitely on the side of Dr. Berkley Luck and her husband, Pedro Silva, who teamed up to create and pitch Milkify, their breast milk freeze-drying company, to the sharks during Episode 19 of Season 14. The service is dedicated to assisting nursing parents who want to conveniently stockpile their breast milk by freeze-drying it. Per instructions on their website, after receiving the envelopes of powder, parents simply rehydrate it with warm water, then bottle feed the child as you would with any other formula.

The couple managed to attract the attention of not one, but two of the high-rolling entrepreneurs — one a Hollywood celebrity — who vowed to pledge funds to the company and help them with their goal of providing a shelf-stable breast milk-based formula alternative to parents everywhere.

While it's too soon to say how the company's April 2023 appearance on the show might affect their future business prospects and how or if the funds the sharks pledged have arrived, it appears that Milkify continues to operate. The company continues to offer parents worldwide the convenience of bottle feeding combined with breast milk's nutrition and allergy avoidance. Here's what's happened to Milkify since they popped up on "Shark Tank."

What happened to Milkify on Shark Tank?

Investment banker Pedro Silva and gut microbiome research scientist Dr. Berkley Luck approached the sharks in April 2023, seeking $400,000 for a 10% equity stake in the company. They told the sharks they wanted to scale their business. Luck explained that she had been inspired to start Milkify in 2018 after a colleague returned from maternity leave, expressing frustration with the inconvenience and rigors of pumping her milk and finding a place to store it. Luck realized that freeze-drying the milk would keep it fresh and conveniently allow parents to stockpile a lot of the excess they pumped for bottle feedings without going to waste. 

The company boasted $525,000 in lifetime sales in the summer of 2022 (when the episode was shot). Their 2023 plan included raising their profits to $3 million, a goal they hoped to accomplish by investing $180,000 in a new production faculty. But the sharks thought the product felt niche, intended only for rich mothers. In the end, only Lori Greiner and guest Shark Gwyneth Paltrow remained standing. They teamed up to offer $400,000 for a 20% stake. The twosome devised a clever notion — they would offer the cash in a convertible note. This gives Paltrow and Greiner flexibility in the deal; three years from the signatory date, they can leave the table with their investment back in cash, but if they're happy with how it's going, Silva and Luck will pay them their 20% investment. Silva and Luck said yes.

Milkify after Shark Tank

The "Shark Tank" publicity seems to have immediately benefitted Milkify, if only on a local basis. Dr. Berkley Luck and Pedro Silva appeared on their local affiliate, ABC13 in Houston, to discuss their "Shark Tank" experience. They also explained how they founded the company, its humble origins in their guest bedroom, and what it was like appearing on television to promote it. 

"In 2021, we started offering nationwide shipping. We offered moms across the U.S. their ability to get their milk to us, and that's when the business started to take off," Luck told the news program. 

As of July 2023, when the episode reran for the first time, ABC reported via onscreen Kyron that Milkify has yet to completely close the deal with either Gwyneth Paltrow, Lori Greiner, or both sharks in a group deal. And to wit, as of this writing, there's no sign as to what other effect (if any) being on "Shark Tank" will have on the company.

Is Milkify still in business?

The company is still in business, with a fully-operational website. While Milkify's Twitter hasn't updated since 2021, its Facebook page is kept alive on a near-daily basis. Its Instagram feed is updated fairly frequently, and there's a regularly-updated blog. So it's clear the company continues to thrive and promote its products and hasn't buckled under the strain of the "Shark Tank" effect.

Milkify's services remain available on its website. Parents can pick up their Milkify at the company's Houston office at $1.75 per ounce. Other American customers will pay a little bit more; first, they must order a shipping kit, ranging in price from $149 to $649. Then, they must express the milk into the provided containers and package them within the medical-grade shipping coolers that come with their order. Parents then ship the material off to Houston. They should receive their package of Milkify in return via overnight shipping with a dehydrated product contained within it. Using this business model, Milkify reports that it has 3,000 satisfied customers. Friends of expectant parents can also buy gift cards from the service for those who need one. The company still doesn't offer international shipping.

What's next for Milkify?

As of this writing, Milkify is on the cusp of debuting a brand-new product, though the website doesn't say what it is or how much it will cost. Those interested in knowing more are encouraged to join the company's waitlist to be informed when it will be released. Perhaps a breast pump or a different sort of service will be offered by the company?

At least it's a sign that Milkify is beginning to grow. The future seems wide open, and the sky appears to be the limit for the little company that could. Will it be able to find a foothold in the international marketplace?  Will America continue to keep the service afloat? Keep your eyes peeled for the company's eventual "Shark Tank" update to find out if they make it, get their dole from the sharks, or end up being chum in the water.