Perhaps the old addage “It never hurts to ask” has never been more true than in the case of SAVRpak. The company announced today that it has closed a $3.5 million Series A round of funding led by famed investor Mark Cuban. How did Cuban get involved? SAVRpak’s co-founder and co-CEO Greg Maselli skipped the Shark Tank and sent Cuban a cold email directly.
We don’t know what magical combination of words Maselli used to sway Cuban (presumably it did not involve NFTs or Dogecoin), but SAVRpak is actually a pretty good pitch in and of itself. The company produces special patches made from paper and a plant-pup-based solution that are affixed inside food takeout containers. Using the principles of thermodynamics, the patches absorb moisture to keep delivery food crisp and fresh (no soggy fries). The patch does not use chemicals and will receive its biodegradable certification later this year.
We hate to brag, but we knew SAVRpak was cool way before Cuban. The company used to be known as Soggy Food Sucks, and it won the Startup Showcase at our 2018 Smart Kitchen Summit. The company changed its name to SAVRpak in September of last year when it realized that family-friendly brands didn’t necessarily want to do business with any company with “Sucks” in their name.
When we spoke to SAVRpak last September, company co-founder, Bill Birgen said that COVID-19 had been a double-edged sword for his company. On the one hand, with restaurant dining rooms shut down, delivery and takeout were bigger than ever. But at the same time, restaurants hanging on by a thread were reluctant to add another item to their expense sheet.
In September, SAVRpak was producing 1 million units per month and had plans to scale production up to 15 million units per month by the end of the year. With this new funding, SAVRpak said it will expand production capacity by up to 50 million units a month, and advance applications in the agriculture, grocery, and consumer markets.
It was actually a Mark Cuban-heavy weekend for Spoon-related companies. In addition to SAVRpak, home beer brewing appliance startup, BEERMKR, appeared on Shark Tank last Friday. But while the cold email from SAVRpak resulted in an investment from Cuban, BEERMKR’s pitch got the cold shoulder from Cuban (though to be fair, BEERMKR taped that episode back in September, before the wider shipments of its devices).