Bark & Co acquired $15 million in Series B funding and is showing the world just how powerful dogs can be in the tech world. Driven largely by the success of the company’s BarkBox, a subscription service which delivers dog treats to the homes of members, Bark & Co. has been cash-flow positive since the fourth quarter of 2013.
An inside round consisting of Vast Ventures, Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments, Slow Ventures, Daher Capital, CAA, Lerer Ventures, RRE, BoxGroup and Resolute.vc raised
$10 million for the dog-driven company, while another five was financed from City National Bank.
Attracting Pet Owners
The Barkbox business model is built around e‑commerce and online subscription plans, offering users a box of dog treats and toys each month whose contents are dependent upon the size of the dog and the subscription tier of the user. Subscriber retention is well over 90%, and 75% of users will commit to a longer-term plan after joining.
Bark & Co. is also uniquely placed to cash in on rising fears among pet owners of dog treats sourced from Chinese manufacturers, as highly-publicized pet deaths attributed to Chinese treats gain more media attention. BarkBox treats and chews are sourced from areas North American pet owners trust, driving more subscriptions and generating greater interest. Says co-founder Matt Meeker of his company’s quick expansion, “We’re the new generation pet brand. We’re more digital. Our generation treats our dogs differently. The big pet companies don’t connect to us at all, and they’re not innovative.” High subscription retention numbers and upgrade rates have spurred Bark & Co. to expand operations, creating an on-demand vet care service which makes house calls. Currently, operations for BarkCare are restricted to New York and the San Francisco Bay area, but visits in the second quarter doubled over those in the first quarter.
Tech Jobs Driven by Dog Owners
The BarkPost, a content portal which provides lead gen for BarkBox and BarkCare, has grown from a million visits in December of 2013 to more than 10 million in June of 2014. The BarkPost staff was comprised of one member in 2013, and has expanded to include three new members in the first half of 2013. The addition of a mobile app, BarkBuddy, which pairs prospective owners with shelter dogs in their area through integration with Pet Finder, further cements the company’s success among dog owners. For Bark & Co., dogs are certainly driving expansion and revenue in the tech sector.
Photo courtesy of Flickr