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Whatever Happened To Gallant After Shark Tank?

The bond we form with our furry friends is indescribable. Seeing them age over time is never easy, but help may be at hand with Aaron Hirschhorn's innovative idea. His business is Gallant, a stem cell treatment service for dogs. Similar to human stem cell treatment, this practice allows for your dog's young stem cells to be stored, which can later be used to alleviate ailments and injuries down the road. The cells are collected by your vet from the reproductive organs commonly discarded during a dog's spay or neuter procedure at a young age, as the cells' regenerative qualities wane with age. 

Hirschhorn spoke to the beneficial quality of this treatment. Years ago, his chronic back pain was able to be treated using stem cell therapy. At the same time, his own dog was experiencing severe arthritis, which made it difficult for her to even walk. Hirschhorn wanted to find out if the same treatment that aided him could help his dog, which led to the creation of Gallant. Having had experience in the science space and run a successful dog daycare company, Hirschhorn went on to develop the service with top-tier veterinary scientists and various investors. With a plan in place, Hirschhorn needed the help of a shark to kick his company into high gear.

What happened to Gallant on Shark Tank?

Aaron Hirschhorn makes his way onto Season 11, Episode 8, of "Shark Tank," which aired in 2019, looking for a $500,000 investment for only 2% equity in Gallant. Is there enough puppy love in the room to justify Hirschhorn's $25 million valuation? Understandably, the sharks are concerned regarding his valuation. While the company has yet to launch its consumer division, Hirschhorn shares how his dog pet-sitting service, Dog Vacay, made over $100 million in only a few years before merging with a competitor to become Rover. Gallant holds four patents that cover its technique of isolating stem cells from reproductive tissues. 

The real concern comes when Hirschhorn describes the business model. In an effort to make the practice more accessible, the kit is priced at $95 a year. However, when combined with the $100 vet fee and $275 for the procedure, the company is set to lose money with each kit. On top of that, it's been burning through $400,000 a month in R&D costs. Hirschhorn sees this as only a short-term loss, while the sharks feel he needs to raise the price right away. 

Nevertheless, Kevin O'Leary makes two different offers: One asks for another 2% in options while the other includes $10 in royalties from every kit. Lori Grenier and guest shark Anne Wojcicki team up with their own offer of $500,000 at 8%. After some negotiating, they bring the equity down to 5% and make the deal. As exciting as this moment is, unexpected tragedy would soon strike Gallant.

Gallant after Shark Tank

Things were looking good for Gallant following "Shark Tank." While the deal with Lori Grenier and Anne Wojcicki never closed — which isn't too surprising considering Grenier's track record with closing deals — that didn't stop the "Shark Tank" effect from hitting the company as new subscribers came on board following the episode's airing. Additionally, it added other pets, such as cats and horses, to its services. Even without a shark, Aaron Hirschhorn took the investors' advice about boosting prices. With the addition of a first-time setup fee of $205, coupled with various monthly and annual plan options, the team was able to avoid missing out on revenue. In late 2019, it acquired the vet tech company Cook-Regentec, along with its many resources in stem cell technology.

Sadly, an unexpected incident took place not long afterward. In March 2021, Hirschhorn was killed when his surfboard collided with a boat in Florida's Biscayne Bay. Gallant shared its devastation at his passing, stating in an Instagram post, "We are deeply heartbroken to share that our founder, Aaron Hirschhorn, passed away unexpectedly this past Sunday. He was a natural, charismatic leader, and he had built a true family at Gallant." 

He was survived by his three children and wife, Karine Nissim Hirschhorn, who shared on Facebook, "My beloved husband of ten years died yesterday in an accident. We are broken and will never be the same." 

The company announced that Linda Black, Gallant's president and chief scientific officer, would be assuming Hirschhorn's place as CEO. Thankfully, the tragic event didn't put a stop to Gallant's efforts. 

Is Gallant still in business?

Gallant continues to operate and work to fulfill Aaron Hirschhorn's mission of aiding in the health and longevity of animals everywhere. On its website, customers can find various price plans for its services. Gallant's yearly plan asks for a one-time $395 payment followed by $95-a-year payments once the vets have your pet's tissue. A monthly plan can also be bought for $45 a month for the first year, followed by $10 a month. It also offers a lifetime plan consisting of one $990 payment. The site includes in-depth information about the science behind cell stem therapy, details regarding the procedure, and where you can find a clinic. The services are available in all 50 states. 

Gallant's social media presence isn't the most consistent, although this likely isn't a priority for the company. As of August 2023, its Facebook hasn't been updated since 2022 while its Twitter hasn't seen any activity since 2019. Instagram seems to be where it is most active, although even here it has not posted since March 2023. Gallant has also been featured by various outlets over the years, including Forbes, the Daily Mail, and TechCrunch. Its estimated annual revenue is $5 million, with a net worth of $7 million as of 2022.

What's next for Gallant?

Even with the loss of its leader, Gallant has come out clean on the other side. Not only did the company overcome the sharks' concerns regarding its profitability, but it is continuing to honor Aaron Hirschhorn's earnest mission of providing animals with the healthiest, happiest life possible. However, Hirschhorn's ambitions went far beyond what Gallant could offer animals. Given that his own life was changed by the miracles of stem cell therapy following his back ailments, Hirschhorn ultimately envisioned that Gallant's services would not only aid pets but also open the eyes of their owners.

In a 2020 interview with Single Grain, the entrepreneur shared the benefits provided by the practice, believing that the technology would get good enough that adult bodies would be able to repair themselves at a similar rate to in their teenage years. He said, "I think that for us to be living in the hundreds of years is not going to be out of the question very soon." He hoped the miraculous transformation within their animals would get owners thinking more about stem cell therapy's rich potential. "I think if we can show it in our animals first, that's when people start to pay attention ... You're gonna start wanting that for yourself," he stated.

Even without Hirschhorn, Gallant is quickly becoming a leading force in the pet health industry. But what it may inspire in people has the potential to reach even greater heights.