Houston e-commerce company raises another $40M round to guidance development

A Houston startup is competing in the “Tremendous Bowl of Organization,” as founder Pedro Silva phone calls it, and you can watch the action afterwards this week.

Milkify will look on ABC’s “Shark Tank” this Friday, April 7. Silva, co-founder and CEO, designed Milkify alongside with his wife, Berkley Luck, PhD, in 2019. Nowadays, Luck is a mother, COO, and a molecular biologist, but she experienced the concept for the organization again in grad college. A coworker was struggling with pumping breast milk “lugging the pump again to perform,” as Luck places it.

Luck was learning probiotics at the time and was making use of a freeze-dryer in her get the job done. The issue inspired her to build a course of action of freeze-drying breast milk that is now patent pending. The trademarked process is centered all around SafeDry, specific freeze-drying pouches.

“The breast milk in no way helps make make contact with with our products,” Luck points out. The powdered milk is transferred directly from the bag in which it’s freeze-dried to the closing packaging under sterile circumstances. The end result is not only shelf-secure, but keeps for at the very least three many years, exponentially lengthier than frozen milk.

Silva admits that when Luck initially pitched Milkify to him, he thought it was a outrageous idea. “But Berkley is way smarter than I am. There should be some thing to it,” he recognized. At the time, he was working in electrical power personal fairness. But he vowed that if they could discover a feasible path to making Milkify a company, he would join Luck full-time.

Early in the company’s lifestyle, the pair procured a blue van that said “We will freeze-dry your breast milk,” recalls Silva. This grassroots promoting introduced them to a neighbor whose little one refused to drink her frozen milk. “He spat it out, he hated the flavor,” Silva claims. The pair freeze-dried her milk for the baby and their neighbor before long despatched a online video of the very little 1 chugging six ounces of her rehydrated milk.

“That was the lightbulb second,” suggests Silva. “How normally do you get to do the job on a little something really significant?”

Because its founding, Milkify has freeze-dried and powdered additional than fifty percent a million ounces of breast milk, all carefully preserved and packaged independently. Very last October, Milkify opened what Luck statements is, “The only GMP-licensed processing facility in the planet correct now specially intended for freeze-drying breast milk.”

The 6,400-square-foot Houston room is a broad enhancement from the preceding 200-square-foot facility. That was thanks to boosting $1.2 million in resources, which has also permitted them to build a larger employees.

“Our full workforce at this position other than Pedro is moms,” states Luck. Like the few, they are a staff of 10, and just hired two further customers. They are at the moment seeking to employ, states Silva, with roles including both equally functions and logistics associates. Working experience, he suggests, is a lot less crucial than conscientiousness and a superior mindset, as they will coach their new hires in-dwelling.

And Milkify is about to receive more focus than at any time with its physical appearance on “Shark Tank.” “Getting on a national phase to share our story was the primary inspiration for it,” states Luck. That interprets to both of those education about the potential for freeze-drying breast milk, and about Milkify’s distinctive product.

“We began this company as a labor of adore. It wasn’t just a economical rationale,” says Silva. “This can actually assist a ton of men and women. This is a way to unfold the phrase.” And in the process, support plenty of moms and toddlers.

Berkley Luck and Pedro Silva — the spouse and spouse workforce guiding Milkify — appear on Shark Tank this Friday. Picture courtesy of Milkify