Who would’ve thought that a tool for pooping would become one of the most successful products on Shark Tank? The Squatty Potty is a footstool that helps put you in a comfortable position to do the business. It was introduced by the mother-son duo Judy and Bobby Edwards. As of 2023, Squatty Potty is worth $50 million.
A Family Business
Although Judy and Bobby pitched the business, they were not the only people involved in Squatty Potty. Bill Edwards, the head of the family, also helped with the running business at St. George, Utah.
Judy had hemorrhoids and constipation, which made going to the bathroom difficult. Her doctor suggested giving squatting a try but turned out to be challenging.
Judy and her family recognized that the problem was that they were used to sitting instead of squatting while pooping. So they wondered if one could squat and still use normal toilets in American homes.
Founding Squatty Potty
Bobby was a contractor and designer. With his skills, he came up with a stool that elevates the user’s feet and knees to be in a squat-like position while on the toilet.
After that, the Edwards gave similar stools to family members and acquaintances, who also felt instant relief. This was when they decided to make Squatty Potty their official family business.
They used their home garage as the base of their operations. Bobby ordered many supplies online, and started selling stools through their website. This helped them make $1 million in the first year, $2.2 million in year two and $2.7 million in the first half of 2014.
The Stool that Took Sharks by Surprise
In 2014, Bobby and Judy went to Shark Tank, asking $350,000 for 5% of their company. They illustrated how the conventional toilet’s seating position makes digestive issues worse. They were looking to raise money to get the product approved as a medical device by the FDA.
Several studies supported the benefits of their product. Through facilitating bowel movement, squatting can help with constipation and eliminate hemorrhoids. These claims appealed to 158,000 people who reportedly visited their website after watching the episode.
When the product’s sales in its initial years were brought up, the Sharks were taken by surprise. Kevin O’Leary jokes, it’s the first crappy investment he actually likes. This sparked many offers, but Lori Greiner ultimately won with an offer of $350,000 for a 10% stake.
Lori Greiner Helps Squatty Potty Reach New Heights
Two days after their pitch, they made $1 million in revenue. Bobby and Judy featured in the spinoff series Beyond the Tank, documenting how Lori Greiner helped Squatty Potty get into over 11,000 Bed, Bath & Beyond stores.
The Edwards family also made other designs and products available, giving the business new opportunities for growth. They created constipation pills, odor removers, and bidet spouts.
In May 2021, Squatty Potty was acquired by Aterian for $31.1 million. $19 million of the deal was paid upfront in cash, the rest is made up of stock and transition services. In the 12 months prior to the acquisition, Squatty Potty did $16.8 million in sales and $4.7 million in operating income.
Squatty Potty is still performing well under Aterian’s brand and is estimated to make $10-15 million in annual sales. Its lifetime sales are over $260 million, and the company is valued at $50 million.