On the third floor of the Design Center Of The Americas, next to Fort Lauderdale airport, in the same complex as Magic Leap and OrthoSensor is a another rapidly growing startup that has been recently out of the spotlight, Chewy.com. Chewy started as MrChewy only three short years ago, founded by first timers Ryan Cohen and Michael Day, a self taught web developer and college dropout.
The original goal was to sell dog food to raise money for animal shelters, but sales rapidly took off beyond expectations. By early 2012 Mr. Chewy was included in a Forrester Research paper and a series of Wall Street Journal articles including one entitled Pets.com 2.0. This early publicity appears to have attracted the attention of Boston based Volition Capital and a pair of high profile angel investors, Mark Vadon and Kevin Hofmann: Mark Vadon is the billionaire founder of Blue Nile and Zulily and Kevin Hofmann is president of homedepot.com, a $500M+ online property.
Funding has not been disclosed, but Chewy moved into its new 15,000 sq. ft. offices at DCOTA last summer, took over a 300,000 sq. ft. distribution center in Nevada from Toys R’Us, and has hired two senior executives from Amazon to oversee finance and operations. It is only a matter of time before Chewy is back in the spotlight as one of south Florida’s most successful startups.
April 2017: Sold! $3.35B