Emerging startup: Chewy.com

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

4 thoughts on “Emerging startup: Chewy.com

  1. Reply
    Piers C - July 29, 2016
  2. Reply
    Nayra - November 29, 2016

    Ryan and Michael – you guys rock – I love your success story!! I recommend Chewy constantly to friends and strangers alike — great product/competitive prices/awesome customer service. Wishing you continued success. P.S. And yes, the Christmas cards are definitely a sweet touch ;))

  3. Reply
    Christina - December 6, 2016

    Happy Holidays Ryan and Michael,

    You and your company are amazing. Truly a heart based, caring company. And I too, loved receiving a Christmas card from you. So thoughtful.

    I’d like to know why some prices change so drastically. I have 3 big dogs and live only on social security and yet I want to give my dogs what I consider the best which is a raw food diet. I loved finding your Grandma Lucy’s Artisan Pork which was $55 for a 10bag. and have purchased many bags over the past several months. When I went to order it the other day, the price was now $72!! Why the big increase? I’m so sad that I won’t be able to continue to buy this wonderful freeze dried raw food diet.

    Happy Holidays,
    Christina

  4. Reply
    skylar - December 27, 2016

    Because I have trouble transporting big bags of dog food from the store, I ordered pet food using the Amazon subscribe and save program which is similar to Chewy’s program and I also started to experience huge price spikes from prior orders.

    I’ve ordered a 26 lb bag of dog food for $42 on my Oct order only to find the price jumped to $58 for Nov, a 33% increase. The explanation is the vendor sets the prices; oddly enough the item was sold and fulfilled by Amazon, I assume from its huge warehouse inventory stocked using its huge volume buying power.

    I go to the local and warehouse petfood stores and see stable pricing; I go to Costco with its huge buying power and see low yet stable prices. This leads me to believe there’s a form of bait and switch going on to get consumers to sign up for auto-delivery programs where the consumer expects regular monthly delivery of a product at a reasonably stable price but surprise! the fine print the seller to jack up the prices without notice. Given the nature of the program, a consumer is sure to get stung at least once by the price spikes. Sure, there’s a generous refund policy but who can run around at the last minute to buy another bag of dog food to replace the one that suddenly costs 33% more than the bag from 3 weeks earlier and then have return that bag.

    I’ve ordered from Chewy and was hoping the same thing doesn’t happen. time will tell.

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