Plastic utensils are some of the largest contributors to pollution. So, engineer Dinesh Tadepalli made the edible IncrEdible Eats spoon, which is arguably the perfect substitute for a plastic spoon. Dinesh pitched his business on Shark Tank and struck a deal with Lori Greiner. As of 2024, IncrEdible Eats is worth an estimated $3 million.
Dinesh Tadepalli’s Background
Dinesh Tadepalli hails from Southern India and grew up in a business-minded family. This background is the reason why his goal was to become an entrepreneur at an early age.
The aspiring businessman went to Anna University in Tamil Nadu, India, graduating with a degree in electronics engineering and communications. He then pursued a master’s degree in electrical engineering at the University of Southern Carolina.
After graduating, Dinesh interned as a technical staff member at the electronic manufacturing firm VeriEZ Solutions, Inc. In 2009, he became a Design Engineer 2 at Sandisk. Nine years later, he became an angel investor at Kulfi, India’s micro-content platform.
Founding IncrEdible Eats
While in the process of moving to the United States for his masters, Dinesh became aware of how harmful plastics can be to the planet. This inspired him to do something about the issue.
He was already a father during this time. One day, he took his children to eat ice cream. Then, he noticed that the spoons being used by his kids were all made of plastic. This inspired him to create a spoon that could be ingested after use.
In 2018, IncrEdible Eats was introduced to the world. Tadepalli released edible spoons with a range of flavors to choose from. This includes rice, corn, chickpeas, and wheat. These utensils can adapt to the heat or coldness of the food they’re being used for.
Shark Tank Appearance
In late 2021, Dinesh appeared on season 13 of Shark Tank, seeking $500,000 in return for a 7% stake in his company. Right from the start, Lori Greiner was very interested in the eco-friendly appeal of the product and could see its long-term potential.
Lori and the other Sharks were curious about the cost of production and the latest sales. The celebrity investors were surprised by its cost and disappointed in the $170,000 worth of sales over 2.5 years. This was a big turn-off for a majority of the Sharks.
However, Lori Greiner stood her ground. Dinesh proposed 7% for $500,000 and raised it to 12% but Lori wanted more equity! They eventually agreed a deal at 15% for $500,000.
After Shark Tank
Two days after their Shark Tank episode aired, IncrEdible Eats got $50,000 in pre-orders. Several food and lifestyle media outlets mentioned how ingenious the invention was, which gave their profile a massive boost.
The investment from Lori Greiner helped the founder to fund the company’s growth. They created more flavors, and the prices were reduced. This adjustment has helped Dinesh Tadepalli’s company grow 18% overall, so they are doing more than fine.
According to a Business Journal article, they were on track to make $300,000 in sales for 2021. In January 2022, IncrEdible Eats secured a deal to provide Dippin’ Dots with their eco-friendly spoons. This was a big win for Dinesh who had recently missed out on a partnership with a large fast food chain.
In 2022, it’s estimated the company made over $500,000 in annual revenue. To expand their product line, they are considering adding edible sporks, knives, chopsticks, straws, and even bowls. This will surely increase the company’s current value of around $3 million.