Milwaukee startup founder receives investment on Shark Tank

Sleep Pod by Hug Sleep.

A Milwaukee-based startup founder received an investment from two business moguls in the latest episode of Shark Tank, the entrepreneurial-themed reality show that aired Friday on CNBC and ABC.

Matt Mundt, who founded Hug Sleep in 2019, received a $300,000 investment in exchange for a 20 percent stake in his company called Hug Sleep. Hug Sleep’s flagship product is Sleep Pod, a light-weight blanket for troubled sleepers that simulates the feeling of a weighted blanket.

Mundt, who pitched his product with his wife Angie Cupper on the show, initially asked for a $150,000 investment in exchange for a 10 percent stake in the company. After receiving offers from all five sharks during the episode, the business partners chose to close the deal with sharks Mark Cuban and Lori Greiner.

Mundt is a Milwaukee School of Engineering graduate who started Hug Sleep as a side hustle while working at Foxconn last year. Mundt was laid off from Foxconn because of the pandemic, so he decided to work on his startup full-time.

As a troubled sleeper himself, Mundt was searching for tips for better sleep when he discovered traditional weighted blankets on the market. However, traditional weighted blankets trap a lot of heat, are hard to wash and are not easily transported, Mundt said.

Sleep Pod uses 4-way stretch and breathable material that is designed around the science of Deep Touch Pressure Therapy used in clinical settings to help people with anxiety and calming the nervous system, Mundt said. The product applies gentle, calming pressure to the entire body that “simulates the feeling of being hugged.”

Since February, Hug Sleep has sold thousands of Sleep Pods across the country.

“Having grown up watching this show, it was just an experience of, I feel like I know all the Sharks on set because I’ve seen so many episodes,” Mundt said. “To actually see them for the first time and to be standing on set pitching this company, it really was just this surreal experience.”

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