Kudos Diapers on Shark Tank

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Edited by: Mark Furr
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Kudos Diapers Shark Tank Update

Kudos Diapers on Shark Tank

Mark Furr

This post contains affiliate links, and we may be compensated if you buy something after clicking on our links.

Kudos Diapers is a company which makes all natural, plant-based, disposable baby diapers. They are on a mission to protect both a baby’s soft behind, and the earth onto which these babies are born. Will the company’s drive to free babies’ tushes from being wrapped in plastic all day, along with their focus on reducing plastic being dumped into landfills, be enough to soften up a thick-skinned Shark? Read our Kudos Diapers Shark Tank Update to learn more. 

What is Kudos Diapers?

Kudos Diapers is a company which makes natural, leak-free, baby diapers, which protect both a baby’s sensitive skin, and Momma Earth at the same time. The company is based in Boston, Massachusetts.

Kudos diapers are made using plant-based ingredients such as cotton and sugarcane. They eliminate the plastic products from which most baby diapers are made, so, in turn, they also eliminate the enormous amount of plastic which goes into landfills when standard disposable diapers are thrown away. 

Who created Kudos Diapers?

Kudos Diapers Founder

Kudos Diapers was founded by Amrita Saigal. Amrita is a mechanical engineer who comes from a family of engineers. She attended MIT where she earned her BS degree in Mechanical Engineering, and she then went on to Harvard where she earned an MBA. 

After graduating from college, Amrita started her career at Procter & Gamble, where she worked both as an engineer and in strategy and business model development. After P&G, she worked for Google for two years in both engineering and business development, and then she went on to co-found Saathi, a social enterprise making biodegradable sanitary pads made from waste banana tree fiber for women in India. She spent eight years working in India with the startup. Then, after she had been back in the US from India for about two years, in 2019, she founded Kudos Diapers. 

How did Kudos Diapers get started?

When Kudos Diapers’ founder Amrita Saigal was working at Procter & Gamble, she came to realize just how much plastic was used in the manufacture of consumer products like sanitary pads for women and disposable baby diapers. It took her a few years to make the decision, but she knew that with her combination of engineering skills and business education, she wanted to do something to change the way these products are made.

It took her a few years to muster the courage to take the leap, but eventually, she quit her full-time job to move to India where she started her first company, Saathi, which manufactured biodegradable sanitary pads from waste banana tree fibers. The company became one of the leading eco-friendly businesses in India, and Amrita stayed in India and ran the company for eight years. 

Amrita decided to transition out of her business in India and move back to the US. At this time, she was in her early 30s, and she says that in the US, many of her friends were starting to have babies, and she noticed once again just how much plastic was being used in baby diapers. Like with sanitary pads in India, Amrita decided that she wanted to come up with a way to do something about all of the plastic which was being used to make baby diapers, which were used once and quickly discarded into landfills.

What happened to Kudos Diapers before Shark Tank?

When Kudos Diapers’ founder Amrita Saigal entered the Tank to pitch to the Sharks, her all-natural diaper business had only been trading for one year. In its first year of business, Kudos had $850k in sales, and all of these sales were direct-to-consumer from the company website. 

Kudos Diapers sells their diapers in bundles of one month’s worth of diapers, and consumers may choose to make either a one-time purchase or to sign up for a subscription. At the time of Amrita’s appearance in the Tank, Kudos Diapers’ products were not available on any of the large online retailer’s platforms. 

Prior to entering the Tank, Kudos Diapers had also raised significant startup capital, a total of $3.2 million, and their latest valuation had been at $12.5 million. When Amrita pitched to the Sharks, she let them know that the company was not yet profitable, having lost a total of $1.5 million since they had launched. 

During Amrita’s pitch, she also told the Sharks that she was confident that the company was on its way to profitability, as she projected sales of $4.5 million for the coming year. 

What do customers think of Kudos Baby Diapers?

Kudos Diapers Product

With just one year in business, there were not a great deal of online customer reviews to be found for Kudos Diapers; however, interestingly, while the site THINGTESTING had 14 reviewers, who rated the product at a total of 4.86 out of 5 stars, the Kudos Facebook Page has 24 reviews, with a rating of only 3.4 out of 5 stars. 

What are customers saying about Kudos Diapers?

One satisfied Kudos subscription customer wrote about Kudos Diapers on THINGTESTING:

 “The only diaper that is 100% cotton. No plastic, no petroleum based, no chlorine, no bs. Their subscription service is what I currently use and it is so easy to manage and adjust. Their diapers show when they’re wet and absorb a whole night full of wetness. But again, the main reason why we buy from them is because of their use of clean materials on such a sensitive little body.”

On the Kudos Diapers Facebook page, another happy customer writes, “Kudos to kudos! My son was allergic to every hypoallergenic diaper we tried but these cotton diapers work perfectly for us! We were battling a rash for months- just two days after we made the switch to kudos his rash was gone! Highly recommend.”

Most of the negative comments we found were related to the company’s service rather than the product. One customer posted about her negative experience with both the company’s service and lack of inventory:

“I do love these diapers, truly. But they’ve messed up my order twice now with no wipes. They also never seem to restock. Been out of size 4 for at least 2 months probably longer. Size 3 and 5 are also out of stock. kinda useless to sign up for a subscription if it’s consistently wrong and out of stock.”

Another customer, who had previously been happy with the Kudos Diapers product, attributes some of their problems to the Shark Tank effect:

“Kudos makes quality products and shipments were on time prior to Shark Tank. It seems Kudos is unable to handle the Shark Tank effect and existing, loyal customers are impacted by delayed shipments with incorrect projected dates of delivery. Any parent who had a subscription setup for diapers now has to worry if they are getting a shipment on time and if not go elsewhere to buy diapers. Because parents of newborns don’t have enough to deal with…”

When did Kudos Diapers appear on Shark Tank?

Kudos Diapers appeared on Shark Tank in Season 14, Episode 10, which aired on January 6, 2023. This episode featured guest Shark, Gweneth Paltrow, actress and CEO of lifestyle brand GOOP, along with regular Sharks Mark Cuban, Kevin O’Leary, Barbara Corcoran, and Lori Greiner. 

Kudos Diapers shared Season 14, Episode 10 with another pitch which landed a Shark, JicaFoods.

What happened to Kudos Diapers on Shark Tank?

Kudos Diapers’ founder Amrita Saigal entered the Tank wearing a large plastic bag over her clothes, and she pointed to the bag and said, “So Sharks, this may seem a little odd to you, me being wrapped in plastic, but this is what most disposable diapers are made of, meaning most babies spend 2-3 years of their lives wrapped in plastic.”

Amrita then told the Sharks that disposable diapers are also the third largest consumer item which is placed in landfills. So both because they wanted to both bring a more natural diaper to the market for babies, and to make something that would not add plastics to already overflowing landfills, Kudos decided that it was time to diaper the world differently. 

The Kudos Diapers’ founder explained that Kudos Diapers are premium disposable diapers, where the baby’s sensitive tush touches 100% soft, natural cotton all day and that cotton is the number one doctor-recommended material for both rash and eczema. Amrita also declared that the Kudos Diapers’ team of MIT engineers had designed an award-winning, double dry technology which avoids leaks and helps babies to sleep all night long. 

After explaining the benefits of Kudos’ all-natural diapers, Amrita asked the Sharks, “So Sharks, who’s in to help change the world with us, one tush at a time?”

As the Sharks were examining samples of Kudos Diapers, Guest Shark Gweneth Paltrow asked Amrita to tell the Sharks about her background, and the Sharks learned that Amrita had a degree in Mechanical Engineering from MIT and an MBA from Harvard, and they also learned that she had worked for consumer goods giant P&G, but had left the corporate world to start a company which made biodegradable sanitary pads for women out of waste banana tree fibers. 

The Sharks all looked very impressed by Amrita’s educational and business pedigree, so they quickly jumped into questions about the business. Kevin O’Leary asked about sales revenues, and he learned that the company had just launched a year ago, and they had $850k in sales in their first year. 

O’Leary followed up and asked about distribution, and Amrita told him that all of their sales were direct-to-consumer from the company website. After hearing this, Gweneth Paltrow asked if the company had previously raised capital, and she was told that the company had raised a total of $3.2 million. 

In quick succession, the Sharks also learned that the Kudos Diapers sell on the website at $88 for a one-time purchase of a month’s supply, or $78 on a subscription. Amrita also disclosed that the cost of the product, landed at their warehouse, is $39.

Mark Cuban jumped in to ask Amrita where she sees the company in 5 years, and she responded that she thinks of baby diapers as just the beginning; they had recently launched baby wipes, and expected to come out with training pants and swim pants. And she added that she really sees the company going into the adult diaper market. 

The Sharks were now circling, and it was apparent that at least two of them were now ready to attack. 

Did Kudos Diapers get a deal on Shark Tank?

Kudos Diapers successfully got a deal on Shark Tank. Mark Cuban and Guest Shark Gweneth Paltrow joined forces and agreed to invest $250k for a 7% equity stake and 3% advisory shares in the company. 

While another Shark was speaking with Amrita, Mark looked at Gweneth and asked her, “Do you like it?” Gweneth responded that she was very excited about what the company was doing, and particularly, if the leak-proof claim about the product is found to be true, she thought that it would be a great product. 

At this point, Mark Cuban cut off the chance that other Sharks would get engaged, and he told Amrita that he and Gweneth were ready to make an offer. Cuban offered her $250k for 12% equity to be split between himself and Gweneth. Mark told Amrita that they could definitely get her into all of the online retailers and the Gweneth’s company GOOP would be a great match for the product. 

Amrita countered with an offer of 8% equity, which Mark refused, but he offered to come down to 10%. Amrita took a chance, coming back with one last counter offer of 7% equity and 3% advisory shares, and Mark said simply, “That’s 10%, so that works.”

Kudos Diapers Shark Tank update, what happened after Shark Tank?

There have been a number of reports that Kudos Diapers experienced a very strong Shark Tank effect, and because of this, a number of existing subscription customers began to complain that while they had ongoing subscriptions, they were not receiving their orders because the company had run out of inventory. 

As of this writing, we checked the Kudos Diapers’ website, and of the 18 products offered, three designs of diapers in each of six sizes, all but four of these are currently sold out. It is still unknown whether or not the deal between Kudos and the partnership of Mark Cuban and Gweneth Paltrow has closed, but if the deal does close, it seems that the first order of business will be to increase production so that the company has something to offer visitors to their website. 

Author

  • Mark Furr

    Mark is a professional writer and editor currently living in Belize. He taught abroad at universities for many years, and he was also a Series Editor for Oxford University Press. After a career in education, he moved to Hawaii where he owned several businesses in the tourism industry. As a former business owner, Mark is interested in entrepreneurship and has always been a fan of Shark Tank and Dragon’s Den.