What is Numilk? 'Shark Tank' Pitch Earns $2 Million Investment

Entrepreneurs Joe Savino and Ari Tolwin secured $2 million for their plant-based milk company Numilk von Friday's episode of ABC's Shark Tank.

The New York entrepreneurs Savino and Tolwin presented the sharks with their machine for making plant-based milk from almonds and oats. The machine was invented by Savino and they are available to use in selected stores and locations.

The pair were seeking an investment of $1 million for a 5 percent stake in their company. Shark Tank's "Mr. Wonderful" Kevin O'Leary offered the pair $1 million as a loan at 9.5 percent interest and 5% equity in the company.

But it was Dallas Maverick's owner Mark Cuban who secured a deal with the Numilk founders. He offered $1 million for a 7 percent stake in the company and an optional $1 million loan in exchange for a 3 percent stake in advisory shares.

The business duo have previous experience in the beverage industry. Tolwin co-founded Happy Tree Maple Water in 2013 and was CEO for four years, while Savino founded the Harvest Beverage Group and worked there for five years, according to TheCinemaholic.

What is Numilk?

Numilk Pitch on ABC'S "Shark Tank"
New York entrepreneurs Joe Savino and Ari Tolwin pitch Numilk on ABC's "Shark Tank." They successfully secured $2 million from Dallas Maverick's owner Mark Cuban. WDTV/DGE

The Numilk machine allows consumers to make fresh, organic almond or oat-based milk in store in 30 seconds. The milk can be made using only almonds and purified water. Customers can add maple syrup if they want the milk sweetened.

Savino and Tolwin see it as an alternative to pre-packaged plant-based milks, many of which can contain preservatives. The pair wanted to produce plant-based milk that cut out additives like gums and emulsifiers that feature in many popular pre-packaged brands. Savino and Tolwin say their method also cuts down on food waste in the supply chain.

The company's own internal figures show that Numilk has captured a 30 percent share of the in-store market in plant-based milk in some locations, while the business has raised $10 million from other investors and made hires from the beverage and tech industries.

"We just thought there had to be a better way to go about it," the duo told Well and Good in 2019. "The machine grinds the almonds and then mixes it with filtered water and organic maple syrup if the customer chooses to add sweetener."

Plant-based diets are increasingly popular and the desire for almond and other plant-based milks has also seen an increase in recent years. Advocates say there are health benefits to a diet consisting of plant-based products, while many consumers are seeking vegan alternatives out of a concern for animal welfare.