Potato Parcel first appeared on ABC’s entrepreneur-themed program Shark Tank in 2016. Their pitch may be revisited in the upcoming 20/20 Shark Tank: The Greatest of All Time special.
The idea for Potato Parcel came about when then-owner Alex Craig saw a Reddit post about someone mailing a potato with stamps on it. The post was so popular that in less than four hours, it had over two million views.
He decided to take the concept a little further, adding customizable and anonymous messages to the mix. He started the website for Potato Parcel on the same day.
The company now sends unique, personalized messages, which have been written on potatoes, around the globe. The offerings range from gift boxes for $4.99 to the Potato Birthday Bundle, which includes a pop-up birthday cake card by Love Pop (another Shark Tank company,) a potato with a custom message or image, and a birthday balloon or necklace. The Bundle retails for $24.99.
Craig sold the company to Riad Bekhit before their appearance on the show, asking Bekhit for only $1 in royalties for each potato sold for 60 days after the appearance.
Read on to learn more about Potato Parcel.
Shark Kevin O’Leary Invested in Potato Parcel
During their pitch on Shark Tank, Potato Parcel founders asked for $50,000 for 10 percent equity in their company. The pitch was filled with potato puns and earned some incredulous looks from the Sharks.
The Sharks laughed at the idea at first, but when the entrepreneurs say they’ve sent over 12,000 messages and had $215,000 in sales, the Sharks take it more seriously.
Lori Greiner, Mark Cuban and Daymond John all went out pretty quickly, not seeing the value they could add and thinking the idea might be a little too weird.
Mr. Wonderful himself, Shark Kevin O’Leary, offered $50,000 for 10 percent of the company along with $1 royalty per potato sold after 60 days. They accepted the deal.
“I don’t look at it as a potato company, I look at it as, we’re a gifting company,” Bekhit later told CNBC. “People use us in the same way they use greeting cards. We’re just using a different medium to do that.
Potato Parcel Now: Life After Shark Tank
In early 2017, Potato Parcel made headlines again: 150 NBA players had anonymously been sent potatoes. NBA player Dirk Nowitzki posted on social media to say he received a potato parcel after reaching 30,000 career points. Potato Parcel themselves ended up taking responsibility for the package.
They tweeted, “This was our 30k points accomplishment gift to @swich41! Who will be the next @NBA baller to share their potato?”
According to For The Win, the idea was to get more publicity for the company and drive in more sales. They chose the NBA because Bekhit was a huge fan.
According to Bekhit, Potato Parcel has now sold over 70,000 parcels since the episode of Shark Tank aired, and they’ve earned over $700,000 in sales.
In 2018, Bekhit was bringing in a 6-figure salary, according to CNBC.
Of course, Potato Parcel has a number of competitors, since it’s now possible to send glitter, bricks or eggplants through the mail. Bekhit is now the “Chief Potato Officer” at Potato Parcel.
Tune in to Shark Tank: The Greatest of All Time to see what the Sharks have to say about Potato Parcel’s continued success.