New York-based PetFlow is aware of the stigma around pet-centered startups, but it believes it can avoid the fate of spectacular flameouts like Pets.com. The company announced today that it has landed $5 million in funding from Westwood Ventures.
PetFlow offers automatic pet food delivery. The company offers flat-rate $4.95 shipping for any order over $20, and it offers simple tools to let you easily choose food, treats, litter, and other pet supplies. Once you’ve built your order, you can schedule it to automatically ship to you every 2 to 14 weeks.
The site has over 70 brands of pet food and treats (thankfully, it has all of my spoiled cat’s favorite stuff). The benefits of a service like PetFlow are obvious to anyone who has had to lug hefty bags of litter and food home in the rain, while using public transportation. Best of all, you’ll never have to deal with trekking to a store only to find that your pet’s brand of food isn’t in stock. The company tells us that most of its customers are women above 40, but I honestly have no shame in admitting that I’m currently preparing an order of my own.
PetFlow is definitely eating shipping costs to get large items shipped for $5, but co-founder Alex Zhardanovsky tells us that it’s not doing anything stupid like selling food below cost. And unlike Pets.com, it doesn’t have any expensive Superbowl ads on the horizon. Instead, the company is hoping to hook repeat customers. With 80 percent of its customers opting for auto-delivery, PetFlow may be on to something.
Photo via Xuilla