New York-based vegan spreads company Wanna Date? raised $100,000 in funding during a recent episode of investment reality show Shark Tank. The offer was made by venture capitalist Mark Cuban, who successfully negotiated a 33-percent equity share in the company with CEO and founder Melissa Bartow. A recent college graduate, Bartow appeared on Shark Tank to pitch her line of date-based spreads—which come in flavors such as vanilla, pumpkin spice, cinnamon, and chocolate—that aim to satisfy a sweet tooth in a natural and healthy way. The spread can be compared to apple butter or nut butter, but it is made with dates and no additional sugar. Since launching the product 10 months ago, Bartow has brought in $31,000 in sales. “I just went vegetarian, so I’m always looking for things that are healthy [and] healthy for my family,” Cuban told Bartow on the show. “The idea of a date spread was great—because I love dates—but you gotta be smaller, cheaper, easier to ship, and you have to make dates just plain. Are you willing to do all that?” Bartow attempted to counter his offer but was unsuccessful, so she accepted his initial offer. “I’ll take it; I want to work with you,” she told Cuban.
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