Surprise Ride

SEASON 5 EPISODE 9
Pitcheducational subscription box for kids selling children’s activity kits and toys
Entrepreneur Donna Khalife and Rosy Khalife
Asked For$110,000 for 10%
DealNo Deal
SharkNo Shark
StatusAcquired

Company Background

What is Surprise Ride?

Surprise Ride is a subscription-based toy company that delivers monthly parcels to your front door full of fun and engaging projects for your children to make. All the materials are included, from paints to building blocks, along with easy-to-follow instructions, allowing children to build new toys or keepsakes. The focus is on family enjoyment, encouraging children to consider entering the STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) and getting them away from screen-time. The company has over 50 different projects on offer.

Who Owns Surprise Ride?

Two equally inspiring Lebanese-American sisters Donna and Rosy Khalife founded Surprise Ride in 2013. From working as an investor on Wall Street, Donna has worn many hats. She’s furthered her studies, getting an MBA at Harvard, and even tried pursuing an acting career in Hollywood. Post Surprise Ride’s acquisition, Donna now runs an advisory company, Launch Sister Ventures with Rosy, attends speaking engagements, and authored numerous business-related and children’s books. Rosy went on to attend Boston University and is currently studying towards a master’s degree in Gastronomy.

Founder’s Story

The inspiration for Surprise Ride’s products stems from memories of Donna and Rosy’s childhood. As little girls, they grew up as war refugees in Lebanon. Their artistic dad did many DIY projects with them to keep them busy due to not having any access to toys. He always made them fun and encouraged their sense of exploration. Once living in America, they began noticing that kids today (their nephews in particular) are growing up differently and spending hours on end in front of screens. So they wanted to help busy parents give their kids offline hands-on activities—plus they knew kids love getting surprises in the mail. With designs in mind, and after bouncing ideas back and forward on Google docs (they lived in different parts of the country at the time), they set up a fulfillment center. After advertising online, they began selling the boxes for $29.99. After being only three months old, they’d managed to secure $18,000 in sales with 800 boxes sold and 220 active subscribers. However, they knew that without significant funding from an investor and a broader market, the company would battle to get off the ground and scale.

Surprise Ride Shark Tank Update

Is Surprise Ride Still in Business?

In 2018, Fat Brain Toys, one of the leading independent toy companies in the US, acquired Surprise Ride. Fat Brain Toys already has a relatively large retail market, including production and storage facilities. Through this partnership, they’ve managed to expand Surprise Ride’s reach across the US and globally.

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