Entrepreneurs Leigh Isaacson, Sterling Davis and Nathan Kehn took their company Tabby to the sharks on “Shark Tank” to see if they could get one of the sharks to invest in their company during the October 29, 2021 episode of the hit ABC show.
The episode synopsis revealed, “A trio of entrepreneurs from New Orleans, Louisiana, introduce their dating tool which helps cat lovers find their purrfect match.”
The entrepreneurs pitched their company to Sharks Mark Cuban, Kevin O’Leary, Lori Greiner, Robert Herjavec and guest Shark Nirav Tolia, founder of Nextdoor.
Here’s what you need to know about Tabby on “Shark Tank”:
1. Tabby Was Founded After Nathan and Sterling Were Both Rejected in Dating Because They Have Cats
Tabby bills itself as “The Cat Person’s Dating App,” the company’s website reveals. There are 17 million single cat owners in the U.S., Leigh Isaacson revealed on “Shark Tank.” Nathan “The Cat Lady” Kehn (pictured above) is Tabby Dates’ Tabby Brand Manager and Director of Cat Integration, and he said, “People always give people with cats a bad name. Calling them Crazy Cat ladies because they are so dedicated to their cats. Honestly, I would love to find someone who is as dedicated in a relationship as cat owners are to their cats.”
Sterling “Trap King” Davis is Tabby Dates’ Tabby Brand Manager and Director of Nonprofit and Rescue Integration, and he said, “Guys like me have crazy issues with dating. I’ve had ladies walk out on me. Like the date is amazing, we go to my house, but then they see my cat Rick James walk out and they want to leave. I’ve been through that so many times—Tabby is something that breaks those stereotypes.”
Tabby Dates’ Leigh Isaacson, is Tabby Dates’ CEO is also the founder of Dig, the Dog Person’s Dating App, and has a dog named Sonny. Dig, according to tonight’s “Shark Tank,” is in acquisition conversations with a dog food company. During the years Leigh was building dig, she heard from a lot of cat owners. “There aren’t places like dog parks for cat people to meet each other.” She also said there is a stigma surrounding cat people.
2. Tabby Dates Launched on International Cat Day
Tabby Dates’ launched on August 8, 2020, which is officially International Cat Day. In an interview with The New York Post, Leigh Isaacson said, “If you could cut to the chase with something that really matters most to you, that alone is useful [in a dating app],” Leigh Isaacson, co-founder of Tabby, told The Post. Her dating app is for people who are ready to “find love of the human kind,” too.
They launched after winning the Million-Dollar Dating Project, a $50,000 grant from a company that builds pre-made dating platforms, Leigh revealed on “Shark Tank.”
Isaacson also said, “Pets matter so much more than what a lot of other niche dating apps offer.” She’s not wrong. Pet Business revealed the results from a recent poll that said 68% of Americans would defer to their pets in a relationship — meaning if their partner didn’t get along with their pet, the human gets the heave-ho, not the furry friend. Additionally, 71% of respondents said they trusted their pets’ judgment of human character more than their own.
The original idea for the app (which, sorry cat lovers, was the dog version, grew out of Isaacson’s sister Casey’s dating drama. Casey told Leigh, “She’s the one that said to me: I wish I just knew from the start that this wasn’t going to work because of the dog,” The New York Post reported.
3. Tabby Dates Has 50,000 members
Since the launch of Tabby Dates on August 8, 2020, the app has amassed 50,000 cat-loving users seeking a “cat-forward lifestyle.” In an interview with NOLA.com, Leigh Isaacson said, “When you’re dating, thinking about the type of lifestyle you want to lead and it involves animals, a dating app is also about pet care. No matter what happens on ‘Shark Tank,’ we’re excited to tell the world we’re not kitten around. We’re here to help cat people find love.”
On the other hand, Isaacson’s other app –Dig, the dog people one — has more than 250,000 members. It has, however, been around since 2017. Isaacson told the outlet, (My sister) was dating a guy who tried to be a dog person for her, but by the end of the relationship, he didn’t want her Cavapoo in the apartment. She said, ‘I wish I knew from the start that this wouldn’t work because of my dog.’”
Isaacson knows pet-centric dating apps work. She revealed to NOLA.com that she met her now-husband through Dig, though before the official launch, and they adopted a dog together. On both Dig and Tabby Dates, there are profiles of both the people and their pets. Both apps also list ideas for dates that can include pets. And if a love connection isn’t found — maybe a great cat or dog sitter will be, the outlet reported.
4. ‘Shark Tank” Approached Tabby Dates About Coming on the Show
In an unusual turn of events, Tabby Dates was approached by ‘Shark Tank’ to appear on the show, not the other way around, NOLA.com reported. “The Bachelorette’s” Katie Thurston talked about Tabby Dates on her social media. Thurston has a cat named Tommy that she dotes on via her Instagram.
Typically, the application process for “Shark Tank” is meant to test the mettle and determination of entrepreneurs. Contestants can submit an application via email or attend an open casting call for “Shark Tank.” In both cases, all applicants must complete the 17-page application first. Oh, and by the way, it’s a handwritten application.
In addition to the expected stuff like your business name, plan, profit, and how long you’ve been in business, the application also serves as a background check inquiring about restraining orders, felony convictions, and other potential skeletons in your closet.
5. Meet the Team Behind Tabby Dates
Tabby Dates’ was founded by Leigh Isaacson and her sister Casey Isaacson. Leigh is the CEO. She has was a TV news reporter and has a master’s degree in Homeland Security, Terrorism and Emergency Response. After founding Dig (also with her sister), she was named one of the 24 most influential people in the dating industry in the world, All Products on Shark Tank revealed.
Casey is the Chief Creative Officer and an art director in the advertising industry by trade. She’s worked on campaigns for Peloton, Virgin Atlantic and American Express among others. She has a BFA from The Pratt Institute and lives in New York City, her website revealed.
Nathan “The Cat Lady” Kehn is Tabby Dates’ Brand Manager. The outlet reported that he has four cats. He’s an actor, model, and pet influencer from North Hollywood, California. He is also the person who does most of the television and radio interviews for Tabby Dates.
Sterling “Trap King” Davis is Tabby Dates’ other Brand Manager. He’s a former rapper who left that career behind to work at the Atlanta Humane Society, All Products on Shark Tank reported. He also started the non-profit TrapKing Humane Cat Solutions to humanely trap stray cats, have them neutered and microchipped and return feral ones to where they were found while trying to find homes for the friendlier felines. On “Shark Tank” Sterling said that you won’t find another Black man so involved in cat rescue.