New York City-based Recycle Track Systems, a waste and recycling management tech company, has raised $11.7 million in funding. Volition Capital led the round.

PRESS RELEASE

New York – July 7, 2017 – Recycle Track Systems (RTS), a waste and recycling management technology company that provides real-time accountability and transparency for daily waste removal, including on-demand, recycling, and composting options, has closed an $11.7 million financing led by Boston-based growth equity firm Volition Capital.

RTS, co-founded by Gregory Lettieri and Adam Pasquale in 2015, is currently working with some of the most prominent businesses in the country, focusing on sustainability through efficient routing, training and on-demand orders; streamlining the waste removal services for clients such as, Whole Foods, WeWork, Juice Press, and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). The RTS platform operates similarly to popular on-demand car and food services applications; providing waste removal service to its customers by leveraging its local independent hauler network. RTS tracks their customers recycling material to appropriate facilities including waste to energy facilities and local area farmers and who process large amounts of organic food waste for composting; providing validation the material was recycled or reused.

“The amount of waste Americans created is staggering, and our customers want a company that can confirm that all their work on site leads to the material being recycled. We saw an opportunity to help support and enhance a very large and underappreciated business while helping cities like New York reach their Zero Waste goals,” said RTS Co-Founder and CEO Greg Lettieri.

“Coming out of our recent exit Chewy.com, we have been looking for the next opportunity to build a disruptive multi-billion-dollar company in a large underserved market – and we believe RTS is that company in the commercial waste management market,” said Larry Cheng, Managing Partner at Volition Capital. “RTS aims to become the market leader in waste management by bringing the highest levels of service, technology and transparency to its customers, and we are thrilled to partner with them on this journey.”

“Volition Capital’s investment gives RTS the ability to continue to expand and implement waste management technology solutions throughout the northeast,” said Adam Pasquale, RTS Co-Founder and COO. “RTS is the waste management solution focusing on our hauler’s optimized route logistics, customer experience and building towards the future smart cities.”

About RTS: Recycle Track Systems (RTS), a waste management technology company headquartered in New York, provides proprietary tracking system to empower businesses with accurate data and real-time accountability of waste and recycling removal. RTS increases efficiency, and provides insights into waste and recycling streams and service pickups using a combination of proprietary software, algorithms and experts from the waste management industry. The company was founded in 2015 and focuses on environmentally friendly avenues for waste removal and processing. In March 2017, RTS was certified as a B-Corp for its dedication and commitment to environmental and social responsibility, sustainability, and profitability for all stakeholders.

About Volition Capital

Volition Capital is a technology growth equity fund based in Boston, MA. Volition specializes in investing in high-growth, principally bootstrapped technology companies across several sectors including software/SaaS, enterprise and consumer Internet application, technology-enabled services, and mobile companies. The firm has managed over 20 portfolio companies with over $500 million in assets under management.

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Canada’s Assent Compliance raises $31.4M Series B round to help businesses stay in compliance

Read the full article here.

Assent Compliance, an Ottawa-based startup, isn’t in a sexy space. The company focuses on helping enterprises collect the necessary data to keep their global supply chains in compliance with local and international regulations. But while that may not sound like the most exciting space to be in, the company today announced that it has raised a $40 million CAD Series B round (that’s about $31.4 million U.S.) led by Greenspring Associates.

Other participants include existing investors Volition Capital, Open Text Enterprise Application Fund, Business Development Bank of Canada, National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program, Royal Bank of Canada and a number of private investors. With this round, the company has now raised $60 million CAD, making it one of the better-funded Canadian startups at the Series B stage.

It’s worth noting that the company has been around since 2005, but as its current CEO Andrew Waitman told me, the focus on compliance only really came in 2010. For the next five years, the team iterated on this idea. When Waitman came to the company in 2014 (after having met the company’s VP of marketing Matt Whitteker in the boxing ring), the company had about 20 employees. Today it has 225 employees and, according to its own numbers, works with 40 percent of the S&P 500 product companies, which gather data from more than 300,000 companies around the globe.

For most international companies, compliance is a major pain point, especially with regard to how they keep the various players in their supplier ecosystem in compliance. For some companies this is about avoiding conflict minerals or staying in compliance with Europe’s REACH regulations for chemicals or California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986. Currently, even major Fortune 500 companies still tend to use Excel spreadsheets to audit and track their vendors, which isn’t exactly the most efficient way of doing this.

The company focuses on helping businesses request information from their suppliers and validate it. It also helps businesses report their findings to the respective authorities. While the company does some basic work on validating this information automatically, the plan is to use machine learning to better understand this data, which is often in standardized formats, but also often comes in as unstructured data.

It’s worth noting that Assent also offers its customers training and a number of educational materials to help companies understand the regulatory environment they work in.

As Waitman told me, the company’s $20 million CAD Series A round was mostly about expanding its product. With this Series B round, the team plans to focus on expanding its sales and marketing efforts. “It’s about air cover — making companies aware we exist,” he said. Because there aren’t really all that many companies that play in Assent’s space, Waitman doesn’t expect that the company will use the funding for acquisitions, though he left the door open for potential data acquisitions that will help it in its efforts to improve its data validation services.

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Velocify Awarded a 2017 CRM Excellence Award

Velocify LeadManager Honored for Helping Clients Improve the Customer Experience

Los Angeles, CA – July 10, 2017 — Velocify®, the leading sales acceleration platform, announced today that TMC, a global, integrated media company, has named Velocify LeadManager™ as a recipient of a 2017 CRM Excellence Award, presented by CUSTOMER magazine.

“It’s an honor to be recognized as a 2017 CRM Excellence Award recipient,” said Matt Reid, VP of Marketing at Velocify. “This distinction further validates the importance of sales acceleration to not only improve sales velocity and efficiency, but to also improve the customer experience delivered.”

Velocify LeadManager is designed to help high-velocity sales teams rapidly respond to new prospects, prioritize daily activities, drive more consistent selling practices, and generate predictable revenue.

With Velocify LeadManager, sales managers are able to build ongoing intelligent distribution and redistribution programs for leads or opportunities. Sales managers can also set up sales flows to ensure sales leads and opportunities stay on a disciplined and consistent track. Sales reps can swiftly call through their activity list, using a single, consolidated, prioritized view. Finally, with Velocify’s granular lead response and sales process data, sales leaders gain visibility and insights for performance monitoring, coaching, and improvement.

“The 18th Annual CRM Excellence Award honors Velocify for being a true CRM partner to its customers and clients,” said Rich Tehrani, TMC’s CEO and Group Editor-in-Chief. “Velocify has demonstrated to the editors of CUSTOMER magazine that Velocify LeadManager improved the processes of their clients’ businesses by streamlining and facilitating the flow of information,” added Tehrani.

Based on hard data, the CRM Excellence Awards rely on facts and statistics demonstrating the improvements that the winner’s product has made in a client’s business. Winners were chosen on the basis of their product or service’s ability to help extend and expand the customer relationship to become all encompassing, covering the entire enterprise and the entire lifetime of the customer.

The 2017 CRM Excellence Award winners are highlighted in the June 2017 issue of CUSTOMER magazine.

About Velocify
Velocify® designs sales acceleration software to help high-velocity sales teams turn more prospects into customers. More than 1,500 companies streamline, automate and optimize their sales processes using Velocify. Our software delivers a prescriptive approach to selling and surfaces actionable performance insights to ensure salespeople stay focused on activities that lead to more sales.

Velocify was voted one of the best sales software products by customers on G2 Crowd and has been recognized as one of the fastest growing companies in North America by Deloitte and Inc. For more information about Velocify or its technology, please visit the company’s website and blog, or follow the company on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.

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Volition Capital Leads an $11.7 Million Series A Financing in Recycle Track Systems (RTS)

RTS tech platform creates accountability and ecofriendly options for waste management

New York - June 29, 2017 – Recycle Track Systems (RTS), a waste and recycling management technology company that provides real-time accountability and transparency for daily waste removal, including on-demand, recycling, and composting options, has closed an $11.7 million financing led by Boston-based growth equity firm Volition Capital.

RTS, co-founded by Gregory Lettieri and Adam Pasquale in 2015, is currently working with some of the most prominent businesses in the country, focusing on sustainability through efficient routing, training and on-demand orders; streamlining the waste removal services for clients such as, Whole Foods, WeWork, Juice Press, and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).  The RTS platform operates similarly to popular on-demand car and food services applications; providing waste removal service to its customers by leveraging its local independent hauler network. RTS tracks their customers recycling material to appropriate facilities including waste to energy facilities and local area farmers and who process large amounts of organic food waste for composting; providing validation the material was recycled or reused.   

“The amount of waste Americans created is staggering, and our customers want a company that can confirm that all their work on site leads to the material being recycled.  We saw an opportunity to help support and enhance a very large and underappreciated business while helping cities like New York reach their Zero Waste goals,” said RTS Co-Founder and CEO Greg Lettieri. 

"Coming out of our recent exit Chewy.com, we have been looking for the next opportunity to build a disruptive multi-billion-dollar company in a large underserved market – and we believe RTS is that company in the commercial waste management market,” said Larry Cheng, Managing Partner at Volition Capital. “RTS aims to become the market leader in waste management by bringing the highest levels of service, technology and transparency to its customers, and we are thrilled to partner with them on this journey.” 

“Volition Capital’s investment gives RTS the ability to continue to expand and implement waste management technology solutions throughout the northeast,” said Adam Pasquale, RTS Co-Founder and COO. “RTS is the waste management solution focusing on our hauler’s optimized route logistics, customer experience and building towards the future smart cities.” 

About RTS: Recycle Track Systems (RTS), a waste management technology company headquartered in New York, provides proprietary tracking system to empower businesses with accurate data and real-time accountability of waste and recycling removal. RTS increases efficiency, and provides insights into waste and recycling streams and service pickups using a combination of proprietary software, algorithms and experts from the waste management industry. The company was founded in 2015 and focuses on environmentally friendly avenues for waste removal and processing. In March 2017, RTS was certified as a B-Corp for its dedication and commitment to environmental and social responsibility, sustainability, and profitability for all stakeholders.

For more information please visit:  RTS.com Instagram/FB/Twitter: @RTSBulk 

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An ‘Uber for garbage’ picks up steam, and $11.7 million in Series A funding

Read the entire article here.

Sometimes, it seems like every possible on-demand service that could be created has already come along — and, in some casesgone away. But Recycle Track Systems (RTS), a two-year-old, New York-based waste and recycling management technology company, serves to remind that there remain plenty of opportunities for startups looking to turn our smartphones into lucrative businesses.

Indeed, while companies have sprung up around everything from on-demand family care to shipping, the waste industry — valued at anywhere from $45 billion to $65 billion when accounting for collection services, treatment and disposal — has largely been left untouched by tech founders.

That’s changing. Already, one company, nine-year-old Rubicon Global in Atlanta, has raised more than $145 million from investors — including private equity king Henry Kravis — to steal away market share from incumbents like Waste Management and Republic Services. Now, RTS is aiming to do the same by making it simple for customers to schedule on-demand pick-ups through its phone app.

A high-tech garbage service may sound ridiculous to the uninitiated. But it’s no joke to customers like WeWork, Whole Foods and SoulCycle that have signed multi-year contracts in exchange for RTS’s flexible pricing options, along with notifications about when a truck has arrived and reports about exactly where their waste is being sent.

Investors are taking the company seriously, too. For starters, RTS is an asset-light business. Instead of purchasing its own trucks, RTS is partnering with a growing number of mid-size, independent haulers that it provides with feature-rich tablets to make their work more efficient — even when they aren’t being used in service to RTS.

Another apparent part of RTS’s appeal is that it’s profitable, though that might change, now that the 17-person company has raised $11.7 million in Series A funding from the Boston-based growth equity firm Volition Capital —  money it plans to use to hit the gas. (Notably, Volition was the first outside money into Chewy, a pet supplies company that sold to PetSmart earlier this year in the biggest e-commerce sale to date, ever.)

To learn more, we talked yesterday with RTS co-founder and CEO Gregory Lettieri about the company and the opportunity it’s chasing. Our chat has been edited for length.

TC: Your business is centered around taking the guesswork out of the garbage-collection process. How did you decide this was something you could turn into a business?

GL: I met my co-founder Adam [Pasquale] about 12 years ago. We lived in the same apartment complex in New Jersey. A couple of years ago, I was working as a SVP at Bank of America, building tech portals for traders. Adam is meanwhile four generations in waste recycling; his father and grandfather before him [operated their own sanitation company]. One day, we were on a couch, watching a soccer game, and we got to talking about this idea and I think within 30 days we’d created the company.

TC: Is the idea to sort of complement the waste management services that are out there, or to replace them? Is this a service that’s focused mostly on customers who care about sustainability?

GL: It matters a lot to high sustainability customers, who want to know that their efforts to separate out food waste isn’t [a squandered effort]. They can now see that an organic truck picked up their material and took it to a waste energy facility or to a farm, and we can provide real numbers, not estimates.

We could work alongside [traditional waste vendors]. But there’s no reason to do that. We can compete head-to-head with them and beat them. In this business, you want to own the entire waste stream. That’s when you can affect change. You can train customers: here’s how you divert more, here’s how you get more out of the landfill . . .

TC: Say I’m using a waste service that’s basically fine. Beyond the tracking piece of your technology, why do I stop using my service and start using yours? How does the on-demand piece work?

GL: You want to get rid of something, extra material, anything that doesn’t fit in a garbage bag. WeWork has broken chairs sometimes, broken desks. Throughout its portfolio, especially when it’s remodeling a space, it has materials to get rid of. We pick them up.

TC: How do you charge? One fee for an unlimited number of on-demand pick-ups per month?

GL: We establish yearly contracts, charging so much per month for an office space after we do an audit on the business and establish that it generates, say, 50 bags of garbage in a set amount of time. Everything above that then is extra.

TC: Whose trucks are you using?

GL: Trucks that we don’t own. There are 18,000 mid-tier independent hauling companies in the U.S., and what [we’re telling them is that] we have the technology; we can get these clients. We’re using tech to fill out these routes that already exist. These trucks are traveling seven days a week anyway, but we’re providing them access to business that they didn’t have before. We’re bringing together these independent operators to create our own virtual fleet.

TC: You’re in New York, where Waste Management doesn’t operate anymore because it was too expensive. 

GL: They pulled out five-plus years ago because it wasn’t profitable for them. New York is very competitive. There are 120 licensed [waste management] companies. But it’s a great breeding ground for us. We work with 10 operators in New York, and we might add another one to two operators, but that’s sufficient enough to have operators to service the entire city.

TC: Where else are you operating?

GL: Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. We’re also in other markets, including Boston and San Francisco, but we haven’t employed our full approach there.

TC: What does your business look like in those other markets?

GL: San Francisco is a single territory market, for example, so we operate there as a consultant for our East Coast-based clients that have sites in California, like WeWork.

TC: You’re basically overseeing a marketplace. Can you share any metrics with us that highlight your growth to date?

GL: We’d rather not get into our numbers publicly. But we do have two [groups to please]. One is the “generator” as we say in this industry — it’s the customer that’s producing waste, like Whole Foods. Our other customer is the companies that own the garbage trucks.

You need customers, because the more customers you have, the more hauler relationships you have; it’s additional revenue for them. And the more haulers you have, the more access you have to cities and markets.

In some markets, we approach haulers first, then we’re putting salespeople there. In other markets, we have more salespeople and we need more hauler relationships.

TC: There’s also another market you might try tackling eventually. Can you elaborate?

GL: Because we’re able to separate out and track what’s on these trucks, we can turn that material into additional revenue. There’s a $90 billion secondary market for commodities like plastic and cardboard that are taken in big quantities and then sold to [specific] markets in the U.S. and Asia.

For example, right now, some of our customers will have us pick up broken light fixtures or construction materials. Sometimes, they’ll ask us to pick up and handle their electronics recycling. We have relationships with local facilities that will break up the circuit boards and tubes and separate them into different containers and send them out to the appropriate buyers. It’s not a huge part of our business today but it will be as we grow over time.

People are interested in smart cities and smart trucks, and controlling the flow of material and waste is only becoming more important.

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JazzHR and PrismHR Partner to Deliver Best-in-Breed PEO Hiring Solution

Integration simplifies and streamlines hiring for PEOs & ASOs and their customers

PITTSBURGH, June 8, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- JazzHR, the leading recruiting solutions provider for small and medium-sized businesses, today announced a strategic partnership with PrismHR, the largest technology provider to professional employer organizations (PEOs) and administrative service organizations (ASOs) in the United States. The partnership integrates JazzHR's award-winning recruitment solutions with PrismHR's payroll, benefits and HR tools.

"PEOs and HR service providers are perfectly positioned to bring HR technology solutions to their SMB customers," said Peter Lamson, CEO of JazzHR. "SMBs look to their service providers to provide powerful, user friendly solutions that save time, money and produce better hiring results. JazzHR's partnership with PrismHR fills this need in a way that it easy for PEOs to implement and share in the value we jointly create."

The PrismHR-JazzHR partnership enables PEOs to work directly with clients to exceed their hiring objectives. JazzHR's applicant tracking systemsimplifies and standardizes all aspects of the recruiting process – from candidate sourcing to offer letters and everything in between.

"SMBs are adopting both technology and HR services to improve their efficiency, employee retention and experience. Having a complete solution that automates key HR functions, including hiring, helps both HR service providers and SMBs deliver and use world-class HR," said Gary Noke, president and CEO of PrismHR. "JazzHR and PrismHR are helping HR service providers address those needs with this highly collaborative and scalable solution."

JazzHR and PrismHR's partnership will be showcased June 13- 15, 2017 at PrismHR LIVE 2017, the largest technology conference for PEOs and ASOs, in Nashville, Tenn.

ABOUT JAZZHR
JazzHR is a powerful yet user-friendly recruiting software that is purpose-built to help growing SMBs exceed their recruiting goals. JazzHR's groundbreaking software replaces time-consuming, manual hiring processes with intuitive hiring tools that help recruiters and hiring managers build an effective recruiting process that results in great hires. To learn more about JazzHR, visit www.jazzhr.com or follow us at twitter.com/JazzDotCo.

ABOUT PRISMHR
PrismHR creates exceptional software and services, empowering human resource outsourcing service providers such as Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs) and Administrative Service Organizations (ASOs) to deliver world-class HR, benefits and payroll to small and medium sized businesses. PrismHR powers more than 80,000 organizations, delivering payroll, benefits and HR to greater than 2 million worksite employees and processing greater than $55 billion in payroll each year. For more information, visit http://www.prismhr.com.

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Velocify Recognized as a 2017 SalesTech Award Winner

Los Angeles – June 6, 2017 — Velocify, the leading sales acceleration platform, has been recognized by Crowd Research Partners and the 100,000 member B2B Technology Marketing Community on LinkedIn as a 2017 SalesTech Award winner. This annual competition recognizes companies and products that demonstrate excellence, innovation, and leadership in the sales technology space.

“We are honored to be recognized amongst some of the top innovators in the explosive sales technology category,” said Matt Reid, vice president of marketing at Velocify. “The SalesTech award is particularly meaningful as it is a result of votes from the sales technology community.”

Here is some of the notable companies recognized this year:

  • bpm’online
  • Cirrus Insight
  • Consensus
  • DiscoverOrg
  • Infer
  • KiteDesk
  • LeadGenius
  • LeadIQ
  • LiveChat
  • Pipedrive
  • Revegy
  • Salesforce
  • SAVO
  • SalesOptimize
  • SugarCRM
  • Velocify

“All winners and finalists reflect the very best in today’s sales technology industry,” said Holger Schulze, founder of the 100,000 member B2B Technology Marketing Community on LinkedIn. “This year’s SalesTech Awards clearly reflect how rapidly salestech is gaining traction in sales organizations to boost productivity and revenue.”

For a complete list of winners in each category, visit: http://salestechawards.com

About Velocify
Velocify® is the leading sales acceleration platform. The company helps more than 1,500 sales teams sell more by bringing speed and control to the entire sales process. Velocify helps sales teams prospect with more precision, accelerate lead engagement, and implement optimized workflows, ultimately helping sales teams find and convert more leads.

Velocify has recently been recognized as one of the fastest growing companies in North America by Deloitte and Inc. For more information about Velocify or its technology, please visit the company’s website and blog, or follow the company on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn, or YouTube.

About Crowd Research Partners
Crowd Research Partners creates unique, fact-based thought leadership content that delivers market insight and benchmarks for today’s B2B professionals. For more information, visit http://www.crowdresearchpartners.com

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Manly Subscription Boxes Dad Will Enjoy Month After Month

These are the gifts that keep on giving—literally

Read the entire article here.

Shopping for Father’s Day can be tough. In addition to actually finding him something he’ll like, you have to spend time at the store, spend time in line, spend time schlepping all of the stuff back…you get the point.

For the, ahem, lazier sons out there, subscription box services can make your gift-buying experience a breeze. These companies curate the boxes for you, and then send them to any desired location—in this case, your father’s front door step. And if you like, you can send dad the gift that keeps giving. Many of these boxes have monthly delivery options, so you can make sure he gets a new microbrew or grill kit every month.

Whether dad wants to stay fit as a fiddle (check out this guide for more fitness gift ideas) or enjoys the feeling of a fresh shave, these ten subscription boxes will have him covered.

BOMBFELL

Does your dad need some help in the style department? If yes, Bombfell is here to help (and so is our style gift guide). The service has three simple steps: One, have your dad take the style quiz (yes, a quiz) to find out his fit and fashion tastes. Two, he has seven days to try on the clothes picked by one of Bombfell’s stylists. And three, he only pays for the clothes he likes—the rest are shipped back.

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PetSmart Completes Acquisition of Chewy

PHOENIX--(BUSINESS WIRE)--PetSmart, Inc. (“PetSmart”) today announced it completed the acquisition of Chewy, Inc. (“Chewy”), the nation’s leading online retailer for pet products. The combination of PetSmart and Chewy creates one of the leading brick and mortar and online pet retailers, providing the most convenient, high-touch customer experience to serve the needs of pet parents and pets across every channel.

PetSmart will benefit from Chewy’s e-commerce expertise as it continues its transformational journey to be the most convenient, best-in-class pet retailer. Chewy will focus on its current business strategy and have access to PetSmart’s infrastructure and scale.

“We are excited to team up with Chewy,” said Michael Massey, President and Chief Executive Officer of PetSmart. “The addition of Chewy will help accelerate and drive the success of our digital strategy and the combination will provide customers with the most convenient experience and the widest selection of products and services available, both in-store and online. Ryan and his team bring extensive experience in providing customer-focused solutions for pet parents across digital channels, a key strategic focus for PetSmart. We look forward to developing new and innovative offerings and continuing to be the trusted partner to pet parents and pets.”

Chewy will operate largely as an independent subsidiary of PetSmart. Ryan Cohen will continue to lead as CEO of Chewy and will serve as a member of PetSmart’s board of directors.

“I am looking forward to working with Michael and the PetSmart team,” said Ryan Cohen, co-founder and CEO of Chewy. “Our companies have a shared mission centered on a love of pets and serving pet lovers, which will be the foundation for everything we do together. Chewy will continue to wow our customers with personalized customer service and speedy delivery of their pet’s favorite food and supplies.”

As previously disclosed, PetSmart financed the transaction through the offering of $1,350 million of 5.875% senior first lien notes and $650 million of 8.875% senior notes, together with proceeds of an approximately $1,000 million equity contribution by PetSmart’s existing investor group and cash on hand.

 

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JazzHR Wins Bronze Stevie Award in 2017 American Business Awards

The Company's Easy-To-Use Recruiting Platform Honored as Top HCM Tool for Small Businesses

PITTSBURGH, May 30, 2017 -- On the heels of winning top honors from Brandon Hall Group and the Best in Biz Awards, JazzHR, the leading recruiting solutions provider for small and medium-sized businesses, was named the winner of a Bronze Stevie® Award in the 15th Annual American Business Awards (ABA).

JazzHR's performance recruiting solution, which empowers SMBs to automate the most tedious aspects of recruiting and make better hiring decisions, was highlighted as one of the year's best software solutions in the Human Capital Management category.

More than 3,600 nominations were submitted from organizations of all sizes, in virtually every industry and in a range of categories this year.

"JazzHR is honored to be recognized as an innovative recruiting solution for small businesses among many of our industry peers," said Pete Lamson, CEO of JazzHR. "In today's competitive job market, it is increasingly difficult to successfully attract and hire top talent – especially for small businesses that have limited low cost options for improving their recruiting function. That's why JazzHR purpose-built its Applicant Tracking System platform to do just that: Provide SMBs with the intelligence to hire candidates faster, while taking the hassle out of recruiting."

The company recently expanded its SMB recruiting lineup with the launch of JazzHR Hero, an intuitive software platform designed and priced specifically for businesses with under 25 employees. Hero simplifies recruiting for anyone single-handedly coordinating the hiring process, by managing all aspects of recruiting – from sourcing and interviewing, to hiring and onboarding – for just $39 per month.

For more information, please visit www.JazzHR.com, email hello@jazzhr.com, or call +1 (888) 885-5299.

ABOUT JAZZHR
JazzHR is a powerful, user-friendly and affordable recruiting software that is purpose-built to help growing SMBs exceed their recruiting goals. JazzHR's groundbreaking software replaces time-consuming, manual hiring processes with intuitive hiring tools that help recruiters and hiring managers build an effective recruiting process that results in great hires. To learn more about JazzHR, visit www.jazzhr.com or follow us at twitter.com/JazzDotCo.

ABOUT THE STEVIE AWARDS
Stevie Awards are conferred in seven programs: the Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards, the German Stevie Awards, The American Business Awards, The International Business Awards, the Stevie Awards for Women in Business, the Stevie Awards for Great Employers, and the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service. Stevie Awards competitions receive more than 10,000 entries each year from organizations in more than 60 nations. Honoring organizations of all types and sizes and the people behind them, the Stevies recognize outstanding performances in the workplace worldwide. Learn more about the Stevie Awards at http://www.StevieAwards.com.

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GlobalTranz Announces Acquisition of Logistics Planning Services

PHOENIX & MINNEAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--GlobalTranz Enterprises, Inc., a leading technology-driven freight management solution provider, today announced it has acquired Logistics Planning Services (LPS), a leading managed transportation provider and freight brokerage company. The acquisition further solidifies GlobalTranz’ position as a top freight brokerage firm and significantly increases its market share in third-party logistics (3PL) services.

LPS has operated successfully for 30 years and has an extensive managed transportation client base as a result of its expertise in 3PL/4PL services. Its strong freight brokerage business brings added scale and capabilities to GlobalTranz. The LPS acquisition will also expand the types of freight GlobalTranz is able to move, adding large-scale and specialty freight management to the company’s roster of services.

“As a company that has always focused on customer success and long-term partnerships, we are extremely pleased to be joining a market leader like GlobalTranz,” said Kirsten Castillo Hall, chief executive officer of LPS. “GlobalTranz will enable us to more quickly grow our managed transportation and freight brokerage businesses, and provide us with a strong, innovative logistics technology platform that I know will be attractive to our clients.”

“Logistics Planning Services is a significant acquisition for GlobalTranz and we are excited to have the team on board,” said Bob Farrell, chairman and chief executive officer of GlobalTranz. “LPS will enable GlobalTranz to immediately increase its focus and market share in managed transportation, which is directly in line with our vision to further our leadership in the 3PL industry. In addition, LPS brings additional scale to our freight brokerage operations and extends the type of freight we can move for our clients. The LPS addition will further accelerate our company’s growth.”

About Logistics Planning Services

Logistics Planning Services (LPS) is a third-party logistics (3PL) company providing single-source transportation management and logistics services for customers throughout the U.S. and overseas. Through state-of-the-art transportation management technology and dedicated logisticians, LPS simplifies the shipping process while providing meaningful cost reduction and complete visibility to cargo throughout the supply-chain. For more information, visit www.shiplps.com.

About GlobalTranz

GlobalTranz is a technology-driven freight brokerage company specializing in LTL, full truckload, third-party logistics and expedited shipping services. GlobalTranz is leading the market in innovative logistics technology that optimizes the efficiency of freight movement and matches shipper demand and carrier capacity in near real-time. Leveraging its extensive freight agent network, GlobalTranz has emerged as a fast-growing market leader with a customer base of over 25,000 shippers. In 2017, Transport Topics ranked GlobalTranz as the 13th largest freight brokerage firm in the U.S. For more information, visit www.globaltranz.com and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter @globaltranz.

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Visual IQ Officially Named Data Innovators in Data 50 Awards

Leading Marketing Intelligence Provider Celebrated for Their Contribution to Data Excellence in Information Age’s Data 50 List

London, UK, 11 May 2017: Visual IQ, the leading provider of marketing intelligence software, is delighted to be recognised as a Global Leader in data innovation by Information Age as part of its Data 50 list. Manu Mathew, Co-founder and CEO of Visual IQ, was one of eight leaders celebrated for their contribution to data leadership and excellence.

Information Age’s widely circulated Data 50 report is published annually to highlight the top individuals and companies driving data innovation and business value for enterprise, and working to improve standards in an increasingly digital age. Global Leaders is one of two new categories implemented in the awards this year, along with UK-based Data Entrepreneurs – representing the growing number of innovators in the industry.

“It’s an honor to see Visual IQ acknowledged alongside such high-profile industry frontrunners in this year’s Data 50 list,” said Manu Mathew, Co-Founder and CEO at Visual IQ. “Our team has worked extremely hard over the past year to develop innovative solutions to the challenges facing marketers in the data-led age, and it is a great testament to our efforts to be recognised in this report. Brands and marketers accumulate an abundance of audience and performance data, which they need to be able to interpret and understand. Visual IQ is dedicated to enabling its clients to consolidate, analyse, and use this data to optimise media budgets across consumer touchpoints while delivering coordinated marketing messages and experiences that maximise results.”

Winners of the Data 50 special recognition awards will be announced in a ceremony at The Montcalm London Marble Arch, on 18th May 2017.

About Visual IQ

Visual IQ is the world’s leading marketing intelligence software provider. Its IQ Intelligence Suite combines audience data with attributed measurement in a single platform, providing marketing and advertising performance insights based on audience segment and the inter- and intra-channel optimization recommendations needed to drive business goals and maximize return. By offering media mix modeling, TV attribution and multi-touch attribution in a consolidated platform, Visual IQ is the only provider that delivers the comprehensive, audience-driven intelligence that brands and agencies need to optimize performance across their entire marketing and advertising mix.

Visual IQ was named a leader in cross channel attribution by a leading market research firm four times in a row, won The Drum’s Digital Trading Award for Best Attribution Solution in 2015 and 2016, won the 2014 ASPY Award for Best Data or Analytics Solution, and was a finalist in the Digital Analytics Association Excellence Awards in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. The company is a member of the IAB in the US, UK, France and Italy, is a member of the Canadian Marketing Association, and sits on the IAB’s Advertising Technology, Data, Public Policy and CFO councils and the Digital Analytics Association’s Standards Committee.

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LexisNexis® Risk Solutions and Cortera team to provide lenders with better information to determine small business creditworthiness

Blending Cortera B2B trade credit with LexisNexis® Risk Solutions alternative data enables lenders to make smarter credit decisions that expand their small business portfolios

ATLANTA, May 3, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Today LexisNexis® Risk Solutions, a data and analytics company, announced that its robust suite of small business credit risk assessment products will soon incorporate trade credit from Cortera, the leading aggregator of business-to-business trade credit. It sources trade credit from more than 40 industries, including manufacturing, medical & lab supplies, food and beverage as well as transportation.

Business-to-business trade credit is a reliable reflection of the financial health of the company-supplier relationship, where spending and payment behavior are indicators of small business creditworthiness.

Upon the news, Jim Swift, CEO, Cortera stated: "When lenders use credit assessment tools that incorporate business-to-business trade credit, many limitations of traditional banking data alone go away. Lenders are able to create stronger analytics, and, in short, with a combined bank credit and trade credit view of customers, banks know more, sooner. That's powerful."

Lenders and credit managers will soon have access to small business credit scores, credit reports, risk attributes, and other solutions that incorporate Cortera business-to-business trade credit with LexisNexis Risk Solutions business and consumer alternative data. Additionally, versions of these products will be available for Small Business Financial Exchange Inc. (SBFE®) Members that include SBFE Data™. The combination of these three data sets gives lenders and credit managers more robust predictive insights than other solutions. With the holistic view across small businesses' bank credit, trade credit, and alternative data profiles, lenders can decision more loan applications, set terms accurately and bank small businesses earlier in their lifecycle.

"Small businesses are vital to the long-term economic growth of our nation," said Ben Cutler, senior director, Small Business Risk Management, LexisNexis Risk Solutions. "Our small business credit risk products leverage the broadest data to provide lenders with the best information on which to make a decision.  Given a large amount of credit is issued between businesses and outside of the typical banking system, we are excited to team with Cortera to provide insights into these important credit relationships.  This is important information made even more powerful when combined with our alternative data and SBFE Data.  The result is that more small businesses can be included in the financial system without adding unnecessary risks to lender portfolios. "

"This partnership will be valuable because lending to SMBs is fundamentally different from lending to commercial and industrial companies," said David O'Connell, senior analyst with financial research and advisory firm Aite Group. "When SMBs get into financial trouble, they tend to treat their bank debt like another trade payable. At both the portfolio and loan levels, lenders should be applying predictive analytics to as much payable related data as they can."

SBFE approved LexisNexis Risk Solutions as a Certified Vendor in 2015. LexisNexis Risk Solutions tests show that when blending data from various data sets, 60 percent more business profiles are visible on which a lender can make a solid credit decision and a 40 percent improvement in segmentation of applications at lower tranches of the scoring tiers occurs.

About LexisNexis® Risk Solutions

At LexisNexis Risk Solutions, we believe in the power of data and advanced analytics for better risk management. With over 40 years of expertise, we are the trusted data analytics provider for organizations seeking actionable insights to manage risks and improve results while upholding the highest standards for security and privacy. Headquartered in metro Atlanta, LexisNexis Risk Solutions serves customers in more than 100 countries and is part of RELX Group, a global provider of information and analytics for professional and business customers across industries.  For more information, please visit www.lexisnexisrisk.com.

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The 8 Best Subscription Boxes for Guys

Read the entire article here.

Buy a man a shirt, as they say, and he’ll have something to wear for a day. Buy him a subscription box service, and he’ll have an entire wardrobe.

If you think that's plain genius, well, there are plenty of options now for gift givers. Since the launch of Trunk Club in 2009, box services, in which a box full of clothing or product arrives on a regular basis, the range of services and models has expanded rapidly. Today, it' s possible to dress like all you do is shop, when in fact all you really do is sign for UPS shipments. We subscribed to a whole pallet of boxes, testing which ones were the best. Just in time for Father’s Day, here are our picks:

Bombfell

What is it? Like Trunk Club, the five-year-old Bombfell places a heavy emphasis on personal styling. The U/X is extremely simple, if a little bro-tastic. Unlike Trunk Club, boxes arrive monthly.

Who's it for? The guy who wants more of the same, but just a little better.

What’s inside? A rather standard range of brands but well-curated and natural-fitting. Ben Sherman shorts, just in time for spring, a ribbed French Connection sweatshirt, plus a Penguin blazer and Life/After/Denim chinos.

Do you have to keep everything? Users have a 10-day try-on period then must return what they no longer wish to keep.

Cost? There is no membership fee but items, on average, run around $70. Mine ranged from $75 up to $199 for the blazer.

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PetSmart is acquiring Chewy.com for $3.35 billion in the largest e-commerce acquisition ever

 

PetSmart has agreed to make the biggest e-commerce acquisition in history, putting a deal in place to snatch up fast-growing pet food and product site Chewy.com for $3.35 billion, according to multiple sources familiar with the deal.

The deal is a huge one by any standard — bigger than Walmart’s $3.3 billion deal for Jet.com last year— and especially for a retail company like PetSmart, which was itself valued at only $8.7 billion when private equity investors took it over in 2015.

But Chewy.com has been one of the fastest-growing e-commerce sites on the planet, registering nearly $900 million in revenue last year, in what was only its fifth year in operation. The company had been a potential IPO candidate for this year or next, but was taken out by its brick-and-mortar competitor before that. It was not profitable last year.

Chewy was founded in 2011 by Ryan Cohen and Michael Day, and built a cult following for its excellent customer service, large selection and fast shipping. It had quietly raised at least $236 million in venture capital from investors including Volition Capital, T. Rowe Price and BlackRock.

Its under-the-radar status was probably aided by the fact that it was headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and not in a big e-commerce market like New York, Los Angeles or Seattle. But it did have a big name in the industry as chairman: Mark Vadon, who also co-founded Blue Nile and Zulily.

The deal seems like the type of bet-the-company acquisition by a traditional retailer that commerce-focused venture capitalists have been betting on for some time. While Walmart’s acquisition of Jet.com was a huge deal by e-commerce standards, it represented just a fraction of Walmart’s market value. Silicon Valley investors are surely hoping more will follow in PetSmart’s path, as brick-and-mortar retailers struggle to adapt to the impact of changing shopping behaviors.

PetSmart had announced its intention to acquire Chewy on Tuesday morning, but didn’t disclose a price. PetSmart is owned by a group of private equity investors led by BC Partners.

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Meet the Young Founders of Chewy.com, Which PetSmart Just Bought for $3.35 Billion

 

Retail chain PetSmart has acquired pet food and product site Chewy for $3.35 billion on Tuesday, Recode reported. The deal is the largest e-commerce acquisition in history, beating Walmart's $3.3 billion acquisition of Jet.com in August 2016.

Chewy is one of the fast-growing e-commerce sites. In 2016, after just five years of operation, it counted nearly $900 million in revenue. The Fort Lauderdale-based company is known for its 24-hour customer service and sells products for dogs, cats, birds, reptiles and even horses.

CEO Ryan Cohen and CTO Michael Day launched the company in 2011, after meeting in a Java chat room. Cohen, 31, was working in affiliate marketing, the practice of collecting fees for referring customers to e-commerce sites, and met Day when trying to find a programmer for his website. Day dropped out of the University of Georgia to help him and eventually the two put $150,000 of their own money into an online jewelry startup. After attending a trade show, the pair realized they didn't have the passion for the business and sold their inventory for 80 cents on the dollar.

After ditching the jewelry business, Cohen and Day collected what was left in their personal bank accounts and started buying pet products from distributors. Once they found a third-party fulfillment center in Pennsylvania, they launched the site and matched the online prices of competitors.

Investors saw the company's appeal and Chewy raised $236 million in venture capital in late 2013. What's more, the online pet supply retailer saw a 2017 IPO as a possibility, but needed to become profitable (a feat it had not yet achieved).

Cohen and Day are tapping into a huge industry. In 2015, consumers spent a total of $60.2 billion on pet products and services, according to the American Pet Products Association. Since its inception, Chewy has attracted 3 million customers and has 4,000 employees.

PetSmart, which was valued at $8.7 billion in 2015, is expected to close the deal at the end of this year's second fiscal quarter. The company is owned by a group of private equity investors led by BC Partners.

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EY announces Brian K. Fitzpatrick of LoanLogics Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2017 Award finalist in Greater Philadelphia.

EY today announced that Brian K. Fitzpatrick, president and CEO of LoanLogics, is a finalist for the Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2017 Award in the Greater Philadelphia Region. The awards program, which is celebrating its 31st year, recognizes entrepreneurs who are excelling in areas such as innovation, financial performance and personal commitment to their businesses and communities. Fitzpatrick was selected as a finalist by a panel of independent judges. Award winners will be announced at a special gala event on Wednesday, June 7, 2017 at the Kimmel Center for Performing Arts, Perelman Theater Plaza in Philadelphia.

Throughout his career, Fitzpatrick has worked tirelessly to raise awareness of the key role technology plays in the production of high quality mortgage loans that support the American dream of homeownership. Much of his innovation came from questioning why things are done a certain way and not only envisioning but executing a better way. By evangelizing innovation, he has helped improve mortgage quality control and built industry confidence to adopt technology automation as a means to reduce the cost of regulatory compliance, greatly improve the lending process and reduce risks to lenders and consumers alike.

Through Fitzpatrick's leadership, LoanLogics in 2014 brought to market the first cloud-based automated document and data deficiency detection system, reducing loan defects and raising the quality of lending. Today LoanLogics is a rapidly growing company that is highly recognized in the mortgage industry for its loan quality and performance management innovations. The company's capabilities include an automated quality system, a due diligence platform for correspondent loan acquisition, a proprietary rules engine, and integrations with other technologies and services that help mortgage lenders and financial institutions validate compliance and automate the inspection of loan quality from pricing through payoff.

Now in its 31st year, the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year® program has expanded to recognize business leaders in over 145 cities and more than 60 countries throughout the world.

Regional award winners are eligible for consideration for the Entrepreneur Of The Year National competition. Award winners in several national categories, as well as the Entrepreneur Of The Year National Overall Award winner, will be announced at the Entrepreneur Of The Year National Awards gala in Palm Springs, California, on November 18, 2017. The awards are the culminating event of the Strategic Growth Forum™, the nation's most prestigious gathering of high-growth, market-leading companies.

Sponsors

Founded and produced by EY, the Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards are nationally sponsored in the US by SAP America, Merrill Corporation and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. In Greater Philadelphia, sponsors also include PNC, Pine Hill Group, Murray Devine, SolomonEdwardsGroup, BallardSpahr, Morgan Lewis, Pepper Hamilton, Philadelphia Business Journal and Simkiss & Block.

About LoanLogics

LoanLogics was founded 12 years ago to improve the transparency and accuracy of the mortgage process and improve the quality of loans. LoanLogics serves the needs of residential mortgage lenders, servicers, insurers, and investors that want to improve loan quality, performance, and reliability throughout the loan lifecycle. It develops advanced solutions that help clients validate compliance, improve profitability, and manage risk during the manufacture, sale, and servicing of loan assets. Achieving these goals was the motivation in the development of the industry's first Enterprise Loan Quality and Performance Analytics Platform. To learn more, visitwww.loanlogics.com.

About Entrepreneur Of The Year®

Entrepreneur Of The Year®, founded by EY, is the world's most prestigious business awards program for entrepreneurs, chosen from an independent panel of judges including entrepreneurs and prominent leaders from business, finance, and the local community. The program makes a difference through the way it encourages entrepreneurial activity among those with potential and recognizes the contribution of people who inspire others with their vision, leadership and achievement. As the first and only truly global awards program of its kind, Entrepreneur Of The Year celebrates those who are building and leading successful, growing and dynamic businesses, recognizing them through regional, national and global awards programs in over 145 cities and more than 60 countries. ey.com/eoy.

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Fast-Growing Pet-Product Upstart Chewy Is Selling Out To PetSmart For A Reported $3.35 Billion

 

Chewy, the online pet product startup that rocketed to nearly $1 billion in reported sales in the space of five years, may have just set a record for the richest acquisition in Internet history. Earlier today we reported Chewy's sale to brick and mortar rival PetSmart, the nation’s largest pet store chain, for an undisclosed sum. (Forbes wrote about Chewy in January: “The Man Who Found Gold In Dog Food.”) Now tech news site Recode is reporting that "multiple sources familiar with the deal" say the price is $3.35 billion. That would edge Chewy above the previous record, set when Wal-Mart bought Jet last August for $3.3 billion.

Neither company is commenting beyond a press release from Phoenix-based PetSmart, which touts the deal as “a critical milestone in [PetSmart’s] transformational journey.” With $7 billion in revenue and more than 1,500 stores, 30-year-old privately held PetSmart opened 73 net new stores last year, but its same store sales, and same store sales at rival Petco, have been flat, according to a competitor who didn't want to be quoted critiquing a rival. Chewy, fueled by $236 million in venture capital, was siphoning off sales of bulk items like 40-lb. bags of dog food, which it offers to new customers at a discount, with free shipping. In recent months, Chewy said its revenue had exceeded $100 million a month.

While PetSmart still attracts customers with services like grooming and on-site veterinarians, it can’t ignore competition from online pet product sellers, says retail consultant Sucharita Mulpuru. That includes Amazon and Jet, both of which have been posting strong pet product sales. “The large players are all really eager to figure out how to win in digital,” she says. “They see upstarts coming out of nowhere, executing really well. To acquire them leapfrogs them to a level of digital excellence.” One of Chewy’s strengths is its 24-hour customer service, which 31-year-old Chewy cofounder and CEO Ryan Cohen has described as “Zappos on steroids.”

Chewy was growing at a breakneck pace, with a headcount of 3,400 at its 70,000-square-foot Dania, Fla. headquarters. As recently as 2012, cofounder Cohen, a college dropout from Montreal, was fielding rejections from Silicon Valley venture firms. But in late 2013, Boston’s Volition Capital, which seeks fast-growing ecommerce plays, invested $15 million in Chewy, followed by five more investors including BlackRock and T. Rowe Price. Chewy plowed the cash into staff and infrastructure, including a 600,000-square-foot fulfillment center in Mechanicsburg, Pa., opened in mid-2014.

At most fast-growing startups, notes Mulpuru, “entrepreneurs have a very, very inflated sense of self,” and no matter what the price they are offered, they prefer to push ahead on their own. "We want to be the No. 1 pet retailer in the world," Cohen told Forbes late last year. The most dramatic example of a founder turning down a big deal: Groupon CEO Andrew Mason’s refusal to sell his daily deal site to Google for $6 billion in 2010. 

When Forbes wrote about Chewy in January, Mulpuru pegged its value at $4 billion. Now she wonders whether the $3.35 billion price tag is too high. Though Cohen maintained that Chewy's unit economics were in the black, the company wasn't yet profitable and a pet industry veteran who knew three people familiar with Chewy's finances, was skeptical it ever would be, given customer acquisition costs that he pegged as high as $200 each. "I would have thought it was a great acquisition at less than $1 billion," says Mulpuru, but at $3.35 billion, Chewy may not be worth the price.  She points to eBay's $2.6 billion purchase of Skype in 2005, which it wrote down by $1.4 billion two years later. "Just because you buy an Internet darling, there is not always a path to profitability," she says. "If there's no path to profitability, then you've bought a dog--no pun intended."

According to the release from PetSmart, Cohen will remain at Chewy as CEO and Chewy will “operate largely as an independent subsidiary.”

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PetSmart Buys Online Pet Retail Rival Chewy.com

 

PetSmart has agreed to acquire online pet retailer Chewy.com in the latest deal by a brick-and-mortar titan for an e-commerce upstart.

On Tuesday, PetSmart—which was acquired a few years ago for $8.7 billion in a private equity backed leveraged buyout—said it agreed to buy Chewy.com to accelerate the company's efforts to sell pet products and services both in physical stores and online in North America. The deal is expected to close by the end of PetSmart's second fiscal quarter of 2017.

While terms of the transaction weren't disclosed by the partiesRecode—citing multiple sources—put the acquisition price at $3.35 billion in cash and near the $3 billion Wal-Mart Stores (WMT, -1.55%) paid for e-commerce startup Jet.com last year. A source with knowledge of the deal told Fortune that price was "inaccurate."

Regardless of the price, the acquisition is yet further proof that brick-and-mortar retailers want to get serious about how to compete in a world where more consumer spending is gravitating to online sources. That pivot in spending has resulted in retail bankruptcies at a pace that hasn't been seen since the financial crisis and hundreds of store closures. The surviving chains are quickly realizing that a compelling e-commerce strategy is needed to better compete. And while many brick-and-mortar chains have bulked up on their own internally developed operations, e-commerce startups like Chewy.com have in many ways been more savvy and have successfully stolen market share.

Chewy.com was only founded in 2011 but it already grew to generate over $880 million in sales in 2016 and the company was projecting to achieve over $1.5 billion this year.

"Retailer and e-commerce is all about execution. The barriers to entry are pretty low," Chewy CEO Ryan Cohen told Bloomberg in an interview last year. "We obsess over of customers and we know the products better than any other pet store."

Cohen had said that his goal was to build Chewy.com into a $10 billion business, though now, he will have to aim for that target under PetSmart's watchful eye. Following the closing of the deal, PetSmart said Chewy.com will still be led by Cohen and will operate "largely" as an independent subsidiary.

Chewy.com was often rumored to be a potential candidate for an initial public offering in 2017. The takeover eliminates that exit path, though other pet-focused companies have gone public in recent years, including Blue Buffalo Pet Products and Freshpet. PetSmart's main brick-and-mortar rival Petco also considered going public, but instead sold itself for around $4.6 billion in late 2015.

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A low-flying pet supplies company just sold to PetSmart in the biggest e-commerce sale ever

 

If you haven’t heard of Chewy, you aren’t alone. But PetSmart, the retail giant with more than 1,500 stores across the U.S., has clearly been tracking the low-flying, five-year-old pet supplies company. According to Recode, it just agreed to purchase its young rival for a stunning $3.35 billion, just slightly more than Walmart paid for Jet.com last year.

This editor only heard of Chewy for the first time last fall, when talking with one of its earlier investors, Larry Cheng of the Boston-based growth equity fund Volition Capital; Volition had written Chewy its $15 million Series A check in 2013, and the company had been growing quietly like a weed, he’d told me.

By design, that began to change late last year, when Bloomberg wrote a long profile about the Dania, Fla., company and the $236 million it had subsequently raised from investors, including BlackRock and New Horizon, the venture arm of mutual fund T. Rowe Price. Until then, said its chairman, billionaire e-commerce veteran Mark Vadon, his advice to the team had been to keep a low profile to better to avoid competition.

It was something of a feat. By the time Bloomberg published its story, the company had more than 3,000 employees and more than $880 million in annual revenue.

Its apparent key to success: personalization, from writing customers hand-written thank you and holiday cards to dedicating roughly one-sixth of its employees to customer service so pet owners’ questions could be answered quickly. Free shipping on orders over $49 also helped.

Perhaps as a result, the company hadn’t yet reached profitability, Bloomberg noted, but no matter. By the time its report was published, Chewy was reportedly talking with Goldman Sachs about preparing an IPO for this year.

No doubt Walmart and Amazon were following its moves, too. Another big profile that ran in Forbes in January reported that Chewy controls 43 percent of the online sales of pet food and litter in the U.S., just behind Amazon’s 48 percent.

As it turns out, Chewy’s traction proved the most irresistible to PetSmart, for immediate strategic reasons. PetSmart was taken private for $8.7 billion in 2014 by the private equity firm BC Partners, and as part of an overhauled designed to fuel its future growth, the company has been shifting more of its business online. Chewy also has a great reputation with its customers, which is less uniformly the case for PetSmart. Indeed, in a statement today, PetSmart CEO Michael Massey said of the deal, “Chewy’s high-touch customer e-commerce service model and culture centered around a love of pets is the ideal complement to PetSmart’s store footprint and diverse offerings.”

The acquisition is expected to close by the end of PetSmart’s second fiscal quarter of 2017.

Chewy cofounder and CEO, Ryan Cohen — who dropped out of college in Montreal to become an entrepreneur — will continue to lead Chewy as an independent subsidiary of the company.

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