Basepaws, the first company to offer at-home feline DNA testing (think 23andMeow), today announced that it received $250,000 in investment on ABC's "Shark Tank" reality show. The claws came out (just a little) as the show's wealthy investor Sharks vied for a piece of the enormously promising biotech company. Investors Robert Herjavec and Kevin O'Leary ultimately agreed to a joint investment, with each contributing $125,000 in exchange for a 5% ownership share each. The lively show aired Sunday night, April 28.
Basepaws CatKits offer cat lovers a fascinating window into their cats' origins and breed makeup. Even more important are the implications for cat health and the knowledge base of veterinary science. The reports are specifically designed to provide cat owners with a host of breed and genetic insights especially useful for mixed-breed cats.
"People love their pets, especially where health is concerned. And I loved the CEO - she has an incredible track record and a great story to go with it."
Basepaws founder Anna Skaya presented the Basepaws pitch to the panel of Shark Tank investors with the help of a larger-than-life mascot, Koko. Even O'Leary, who has previously indicated that he "hates cats" on the show, warmed up after hearing about Basepaws' business model.
"I'm not a cat guy, but I know a successful business when I see one," said O'Leary. "There's real intellectual property here -- this company will be huge."
Basepaws recently teamed up with feline internet celebrity Castradamus to raise awareness for HCM, one of the most common feline genetic disease. The 28lb Maine Coon is the first cat in the Basepaws database to test positive for an HCM mutation. Armed with this type of genetic information, owners can make better choices to help their cats living longer, healthier lives.
As Basepaws expands the array of testing it offers and research continues, mainstream genetic testing will provide insight into a wide range of feline health issues and other mysteries. (If only it could tell you what your cat is thinking.)
"We've all seen the success of DNA tests for humans and dogs, but cat science is newer, and cats have always been somewhat of a mystery," said Skaya. "We want to help cat owners get to know their cats better and provide the best possible care through genetic testing."
For a limited time, Basepaws is offering 10% off CatKits with code SHARKS. More information and easy-to-use at-home kits are available at
About BasepawsLos Angeles-based Basepaws is a pet genetics company that has developed the first consumer genetics test for cats. With a mission to improve the lives of cats everywhere and help foster stronger bonds between humans and their pets, Basepaws offers pet owners insights into their cat's unique background, including detailed information about breed, traits, health, and genetic markers for potential hereditary disease. With new data from each CatKit completed, Basepaws' database continues to provide new and valuable information into genetic correlations and cat-specific diseases.
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