SurpriseRide


Website: SurpriseRide.com
Twitter: @SurpriseRide
Facebook: SurpriseRide
Founders: Donna Khalife, Rosy Khalife

Overview

SurpriseRide is a monthly, or annually, subscription service that sends children between the ages of 6 to 11 year old a different theme-based box of activities containing activity suggestions and the supplies to complete the projects involved with the activity. Activities are unbeknown to the receiver and center around a theme like art, geography, outer space, food, etc. 

History

Headquartered in Washington D.C., SurpriseRide was founded by sisters Donna and Rosy Khalife in September, 2012. The startup completed Betaspring's mentorship-driven startup accelerator program for technology and design entrepreneurs in Providence, R.I. [1]  In 2013, SurpriseRide launched in beta, founded on $5,000 of their money. [6] Donna and Rosy then secured $100K in angel investment from Irwin Jacobs,  a co-founder and former chairman of QualComm,  and chair of the board of trustees of the Salk Institute. 

The Shark Tank Effect

On November 15, 2013, the sisters pitched their idea on ABC's Shark Tank series to raise $110K in exchange for 10% equity in their company.  While  Robert Herjavec initially offered $110,000 for 25% equity in the company, the duo ultimately forfeited his offer after asking other sharks for more favorable terms.  In the end, they left the show without a single investment. [2]  However, following their appearance on Shark Tank, the sisters exceeded their projections of $500,000 in sales from 3,500 new customers one full year ahead of schedule, without spending money on marketing. [6]  On May 23, 2014, on ABC's talk show, The View, country music singer Sarah Evans announced her partnership with SurpriseRide and Hidden Valley to design a box that gets kids involved in meal-planning and eating vegetables. [3]  In 2014 SurpriseRide was nominated as one of the Coolest Companies in DC, and one of DC’s 50 on Fire by InTheCapital. [6] [7]  The sisters have raised half a million dollars in seed funding, and have a current round open. [6]  This year the company is launching their adult version of SurpriseRide.

Funding RoundDatePaper AmountInvestors
SeedFebruary 2013$100KBetaspring
Angel2013$100KIrwin Jacobs

References

  1. Billy Mitchell "Don't Miss D.C. Startup Surprise Ride On Shark Tank Tonight" InTheCapital November 15, 2013
  2. Youtube "Season 5 Episode 9" Shark Tank November 15, 2013
  3. Steven Overly "The Download: Surprise Ride leaves the Shark Tank without a bite" The Washington Post November 20, 2013
  4. Eric Hal Schwartz "DC Startup Jumps from 'Shark Tank' to 'The View'" InTheCapital May 23, 2014
  5. Donna Khalife "The Simple Pleasures of Flying Coach" New York Times December 8, 2014
  6. Christina Shanahan "Tech, Yeah! Keep Kiddos Entertained with This Genius Indoor Activity" InStyle December 25, 2014
  7. Lauren Maffeo "What’s the point of appearing on ‘Shark Tank’? A year after the fame" TheNextWeb October 6, 2014
  8. Christine Healy "Announcing the #DCFest Coolest Companies Nominees" InTheCapital August 5, 2014