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Nebraska toy company buys D.C. startup with ‘Shark Tank’ pedigree

Next stop on the Surprise Ride ride: Elkhorn, Nebraska.

The D.C.-based startup has been acquired by family-owned educational toy retailer Fat Brain Toys, creating “a major opportunity to build a category leader in the toy subscription space,” Surprise Ride CEO Donna Khalife told me Thursday. Surprise Ride sells children’s activity kits online that arrive in customers’ doorsteps monthly.

The deal, which has closed, merges the homegrown D.C. business into the Nebraska company’s 300-person team, which Surprise Ride co-founders Donna and Rosy Khalife will join. The existing brand will remain intact.

The sisters declined to disclose deal terms, citing confidentiality agreements, but said they and their investors — including Kevin O’Leary of ABC’s “Shark Tank” — are “excited and thrilled.” O’Leary will stay involved in the operation.

Surprise Rise will continue to operate in Washington but its warehouse operations will move to Elkhorn, a neighboring town of Omaha.…

Read the full story from the Washington Business Journal.



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