Louisiana-based dating app for people seeking ‘cat-forward lifestyles’ to appear on ‘Shark Tank’ | Business News

Since its beta launch on Aug. 8, 2020 (International Cat Day), cat owner dating app Tabby has amassed 50,000 users who wish to prioritize a “cat-forward lifestyle”—and with their coming appearance on ABC reality show “Shark Tank,” cofounders Leigh D’Angelo and her sister Casey Isaacson are taking the New Orleans-based business nationwide.

“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,” D’Angelo said. “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.”

D’Angelo couldn’t disclose how much she and her team asked of the ultra-rich, celebrity “sharks” in terms of investment, but she did say she hoped for offers from Marc Cuban and Kevin O’Leary based on their track records of dating app investing.

“We were really dedicated to making a deal because we knew the benefits would be incredible,” D’Angelo said.

Nita Gassen and Judy Schott had a life-changing experience when they appeared on the ABC reality show “Shark Tank” in February to pitch the Be…

The sisters aren’t the only Louisiana duo to make waves on “Shark Tank” this year. Nita Gassen and Judy Schott appeared on the show in February to pitch the Better Bedder, a band that goes around the mattress to turn bed-making into an easier chore. Their appearance quadrupled sales and turned the Mandeville moms into local celebrities.

The “Shark Tank” team approached Tabby founders after “The Bachelorette” star Katie Thurston touted the dating app on social media. Tabby is the feline spinoff of Dig, a dog-centric dating app that D’Angelo, a former WVUE Fox 8 anchor, and Isaacson, who lives in Brooklyn and works in advertising, launched in 2018.

Isaacson’s dating woes were the impetus for Dig, which the sisters funded as part of The Idea Village in 2017. It now has more than 250,000 users and an in-house developer team.

You look at your phone, and there’s a picture of Megan and her wrinkly bulldog — underbite protruding.

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“(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,” D’Angelo said. “She said, ‘I wish I knew from the start that this wouldn’t work because of my dog.’”

Since then, Isaacson has found love with someone she met thanks to Dig. D’Angelo and her husband got together before the dating app launched, adopting a German short-haired pointer early in their courtship.

Dig and Tabby feature profiles of both owners and their pets. It also offers pet-centric date ideas—going to a zoo to see big cats, or baking catnip treats for a buffet-style date involving felines—and photos of local, adoptable, very cute cats and dogs.

Even if they don’t find a love connection, users may meet a like-minded neighbor to help with dog-walking or cat-sitting. Plus, pets can facilitate otherwise difficult questions about lifestyle preferences.

“Pets make it easier to meet people and talk to people. You can use them as a proxy for the things that matter most to you,” D’Angelo said. “When people talk about animals, they’re talking about how they travel, how clean they keep their house, how they spend and save money—all those things come out.

“You aren’t just dating for yourself; you are dating for the animal you love, and when you come to a dating app with that mindset, everything changes.”

Tabby, The Cat Person’s Dating App appears on “Shark Tank” at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 29 on ABC.

Sara Pagones contributed to this report.

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