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The monthly box of toys and treats wins the hearts and souls of dog parents everywhere
In true mom fashion, I’m wracked with guilt. I used to be a more doting mom to my fur-babies—my two badly trained, ill-behaved Queensland Heelers. And then I had an actual, human baby, and now my dogs are like Harry Potter shoved into the cupboard under the stairs. They get far fewer treats and toys, and they don’t get birthday parties anymore. Because it’s too damn hard to haul my cookies down to Petco!
Luckily for me—and other guilty dog parents—there’s BarkBox, a monthly box-o-stuff that includes homemade, all-natural treats and toys made in the U.S. and Canada (so no melamine-infused goodies). The company behind BarkBox--Bark & Co--announced Tuesday that it has raised $5 million in a round of funding led by RRE, with help from existing investors Resolute VC, Lerer Ventures, Polaris Ventures, 500 Startups, Bertelsmann, and Vast Ventures.
Formerly known as BarkBox, the company has rebranded to Bark & Co to reflect the startup’s goal of becoming the one-stop shop for all things canine. The company got its start with BarkBox, its subscription commerce product. For $19 a month, users can get a monthly box of high-quality toys and treats tailored to their dog’s needs.
BarkBox, which has some 35,000 subscribers, will now be one of Bark & Co’s brands, in addition to BarkPost, the company’s dog-centered news site. In the works is BarkCare, a concierge vet service tailored to dogs, where customers can go to find information and guidance on the upkeep and care of their dogs.
The company is using the new funds from this round to develop several new products that will be released in the coming months.
There was a time when pet-focused commerce sites weren’t taken seriously. The sad, sad faceplant of Pets.com sends up a number of red flags for many people when a new pet-themed e-commerce site crops up, like Quidsi’s Wag.com and PetFlow. But all of that is changing.
“Having been a seed investor in BarkBox as well, I have been blown away with the market traction, the attractiveness of the pet parent market, and the deep understanding and experience of the management team. I look forward to great things from this company,” said RRE Ventures’ Stuart Ellman, in a statement. Ellman will be joining Bark & Co’s board of directors.
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