Felix Lloyd’s company is among the 13 Black businesses to catch the attention of billionaire Mark Cuban during his time as an investor on ABC’s “Shark Tank.”

Lloyd is former dean of students at the SEED Public Charter School and was recognized as Washington D.C.’s Teacher of the Year. In 2013, he and his wife, Jordan Lloyd Bookey, Google’s head of K-12 education outreach at the time, were inspired to create Zoobean.

Initially introduced as a “book-of-the-month business” to connect families, with a focus on “non-traditional genres and interests,” the platform has since transformed into software catered to libraries and educational settings, the company website reads. It now encompasses features such as summer reading programs, simplified reading records, progress tracking analytics, and the option for users to host fundraising events centered around reading.

In 2014, the founders were featured on season five of “Shark Tank” with their original business model. The opportunity to appear on the show came about while they were pitching their company during an event in Washington, D.C. After winning, they were approached by a “Shark Tank” producer, who invited them onto the show, The Dallas Morning News reports.

This led to Zoobean securing a $250,000 investment from Mark Cuban in exchange for a 25% stake in the company.

“It was both a surreal and unfamiliar experience,” Lloyd, CEO of the company, told the outlet. “We were fortunate where we didn’t have to do the audition process and I’d done a couple of pitches before, but this was much different. In a way, kind of easier because it’s clear who’s out and who’s in. Mark was the only one who was in, and I couldn’t be more glad.”

Since the investment, Zoobean has greatly scaled due to several business decisions, which included changing the business name to Beanstack when the focus shifted from parents to schools.

“Working together, we adapted our new technology, called Beanstack, to curate children’s books and deliver personalized recommendations to community members,” the company website states. “Later, a partner library used Beanstack as a platform for an innovative summer reading challenge. Through these new ideas, our purpose became clear again—to empower libraries and schools to build a culture of reading through reading challenges and motivation tools for readers of all ages.”

Beanstack has since tracked five billion minutes of reading through its platform, the company says. Additionally, it has scaled to at least 180 school districts and more than 2,500 library system, per The Dallas Morning News.

In 2022, Beanstack’s annual revenue reached $2.4 million, according to a recap shared by “Shark Tank.” Today, its annual revenue sits at $5 million, reports The Dallas Morning News.

“After ‘Shark Tank,’ we were really just trying to just survive and get to a credible business model,” Lloyd explained to outlet. “When the show aired, we got tons of traffic to our site. But we didn’t get a lot of sales. So it showed us that the original idea was not going to work. But thankfully, because we had Mark Cuban’s name, we were able to pose around investments. Even when we weren’t able to make payroll, he helped us. Best thing is I’ve never felt any pressure from him. He’s always celebrated us and just been a great partner.”

Lloyd also notes Cuban has earned back three times the amount of his 2014 investment.