Over the years there have been a horde of absurd products that have entered Shark Tank. Potato Parcel is another strange business that falls into this category. The company lets you mail potatoes with custom messages to anyone you desire. Founders Alex Craig and Riad Bekhit got a deal with Kevin O’Leary. As of 2023, Potato Parcel is worth an estimated $2 million.
About the Founders
Alex Craig is a native of Plano, Texas. He graduated from the University of North Texas and spent his early career as an app developer. However, Alex is credited as the “brains” behind the bizarre business idea.
His business partner, Riad Bekhit hails from San Francisco and studied policy, planning, and development at USC. Bekhit also has a bachelor’s degree in corporate finance from San Francisco State University.
Bekhit worked on the business development team at Gigya, helping big brands connect with customers’ online audience and also served as the digital marketing manager at Helen’s Jewels.
Founding the Company
One day, Alex was randomly browsing Reddit and came across a post of a potato with stamps. While many saw it as nothing but a funny meme, the young entrepreneur thought it would work great as a real-life product.
Alex built an online platform where people can mail potatoes with personalized messages. Alex promoted his website on Reddit and several other social media sites, and it became a viral sensation.
The company launched in 2015, but at one point he needed money to buy a house. Alex sold the company to Philz for $42,000 but Alex got a royalty deal of $1 per potato in the first 60 days after Shark Tank. In their first year, the company made $215,000.
Shark Tank Appearance
Craig made a few attempts to get onto Shark Tank but finally got accepted with Potato Parcel. Every season around 40,000 businesses apply to get onto the show but only 100 will make it to air. Alex and Riad entered wearing full-body potato costumes, and it didn’t take long to explain their business.
The young entrepreneurs were seeking to raise $50,000 for a 10% stake. The Sharks had fun during the pitch, and didn’t treat them seriously until they revealed their sales. Potato Parcel made $215,000 within 13 months and kept reinvesting profits back into the business.
Kevin O’Leary and Robert Herjavec were the most interested and battled it out for the deal. I mean who doesn’t want a potato company in their investment portfolio. The entrepreneurs ultimately chose Kevin’s deal of $50,000 for 10%.
After Shark Tank
After the show, Potato Parcel has gone on to become a huge success story. Mr. Wonderful named Potato Parcel as one of his best investments on Shark Tank! Riad Bekhit revealed in 2018, the company sold over 70,000 potatoes since appearing on the show.
The company is thriving and still mails out thousands of potatoes every year. They have expanded their range of products, they now sell special bundles and novelty gifts such as loaded glitter boxes, socks and cupcake toppers.
This unlikely Shark Tank product is now worth $2 million. The founders have done well to build a long term business out of a meme. Riad Bekhit refers to himself as the “Chief Potato Officer” on Linkedin and has two other full-time employees to help with orders. Alex Craig left the venture in 2015 and is the founder of TriplePlay, a viral marketing company.