How PetSmart Swallowed Chewy—and Proved the Doubters Wrong

"After more than 100 pitches, in which he argued Amazon could never provide the intimate customer service and expertise of Chewy, someone did. Boston-based Volition Capital LLC put $15 million into the company in 2013. The volume of Chewy’s repeat business was what convinced the firm to invest, according to Larry Cheng, a managing partner at Volition who served on Chewy’s board."

Full Article

How PetSmart Swallowed Chewy—and Proved the Doubters Wrong

The market poo-pooed PetSmart’s $3.35 billion purchase of Chewy—a fast-growing online retailer that was sucking away customers from the bricks-and-mortar chain


By Miriam Gottfried

Executives at BC Partners, which had bought PetSmart in an $8 billion leveraged buyout in 2015, were scratching their heads. Operational improvements they made during their first year of ownership were so successful they had paid themselves a dividend. Why had same-store sales suddenly fallen over a period of only three weeks from flat to down almost 5%?

Anyone buying a retailer in 2015 knew Inc. tends to suck the air out of every category it enters. But the culprit turned out to be another fast-growing e-commerce company. Chewy Inc., CHWY -3.83% founded in 2011, was offering premium brands and effectively replicating the specialty pet store experience online. It had started running TV ads in June of 2016, and the resulting surge in its growth was biting into PetSmart’s sales.

BC Partners quickly realized it would never be able to beat the online star. Instead, the buyout firm settled on a high-stakes strategy for a debt-laden retailer: It bought the very e-commerce upstart that was undermining its business.

In April 2017, PetSmart paid $3.35 billion for Chewy in what was then the largest e-commerce deal ever. The purchase was criticized by PetSmart’s lenders and the wider market as a bet-the-company move that would force PetSmart to add $2 billion in debt to the $6 billion it already had, all to buy an unprofitable rival. Some likened Chewy to, a notorious failure of the dot-com era, and predicted it would ultimately fall victim to competition from Amazon.

For months, sales at PetSmart, which is profitable, continued to sag, and losses at Chewy mounted, even though its revenue skyrocketed.

PetSmart bonds began to fall, eventually going below 50 cents on the dollar. Lenders were signaling that PetSmart could be the next old-line retailer heading for bankruptcy.

These days, Chewy is worth about $11 billion, and PetSmart is shaping up to be one of the most successful private-equity turnarounds in history.

Chewy went public in June, and its shares have climbed nearly 20% since then in what has been a busy year for initial public offerings and despite the recent tumult in the IPO market. PetSmart’s roughly $10 billion paper gain on Chewy’s first day of trading is one of the largest ever from a private-equity-backed IPO. Its bonds are back near par thanks in part to $826 million of debt reduction fueled by proceeds from the share sale.

Though not a household name, BC Partners is known in private-equity circles for bets on companies including regional cable-TV provider Suddenlink Communications (now part of Altice USA ) and satellite operator Intelsat SA . With offices around Europe and in New York, it manages more than $25 billion.

Raymond Svider, an affable 56-year-old Frenchman, serves as the firm’s chairman. A 27-year veteran of BC Partners, he joined after stints in consulting and investment banking.

The investors saw PetSmart as poorly managed, but as a market leader in a strong category, with a healthy portfolio of retail outlets. They set out to fix the company’s pricing strategy and improve its inventory management.

When PetSmart’s business started to decline, Mr. Svider knew he needed to act fast. Given the parlous state of traditional retail and the risky nature of leveraged buyouts, PetSmart’s woes could quickly turn into a death spiral, as they did at Toys “R” Us and other once-formidable, indebted chains that lost customers to online retailers.

BC Partners had also been struggling to meet a target for a new buyout fund it was raising due to the performance of some of its prior investments. Mr. Svider could ill afford a black eye with PetSmart.

Building up PetSmart’s small online presence had been part of BC Partners’ original plan, but the firm was already spending money on its other priorities and couldn’t quickly divert its focus to building an e-commerce business. Mr. Svider also doubted the company would be able to attract the Silicon Valley-type talent necessary to succeed.

“It was effectively a make or buy” decision, he says. “What became evident to me was that the ‘make’ would never work; Chewy was already on a path to being 10-to-15 times the size of PetSmart’s online business, and the gap was accelerating every day that went by.”

Mr. Svider sent an email to Ryan Cohen, Chewy’s co-founder and chief executive, whom he had met the previous year. He inquired whether Mr. Cohen would be interested in a sale. Mr. Svider had been impressed by then closely held Chewy’s ability to expand rapidly without eating up a significant amount of cash. He figured that acquiring the fastest-growing online-pet business would immediately help recapture lost sales and gain market share.

“It was both offensive and defensive,” Mr. Svider says of the strategy. “It was defensive because all of a sudden customers are moving online, and we would be buying the leader. It was also offensive because if this thing succeeded, there was an opportunity to create a lot of value.”

Mr. Cohen, who never went to college, could not have been more different from the polished, besuited Mr. Svider, who has two engineering degrees, an M.B.A. and a pair of Siberian cats named Cashmere and Pearl. Mr. Cohen, raised in Montreal, was living in South Florida when Mr. Svider contacted him. He had co-founded Chewy at age 25 after visiting his neighborhood pet store to buy products for his teacup poodle Tylee, and he set out to replicate the warm, knowledgeable customer service online. Chewy was his first real job.

When Mr. Cohen initially sought backers, he was met with skepticism, he recalls. Most venture-capital firms he approached for his first round of funding thought he was crazy to go head-to-head with Amazon.

“I went door-to-door on Sand Hill Road, cold-calling investors,” Mr. Cohen says, referring to the address of many venture-capital firms in Silicon Valley. “Nobody wanted to give me money.”

After more than 100 pitches, in which he argued Amazon could never provide the intimate customer service and expertise of Chewy, someone did. Boston-based Volition Capital LLC put $15 million into the company in 2013. The volume of Chewy’s repeat business was what convinced the firm to invest, according to Larry Cheng, a managing partner at Volition who served on Chewy’s board.

The customer-retention rates were “some of the highest we had ever seen,” he says.

Customers who had signed up for automatic recurring shipments made up 66% of Chewy’s sales in 2018, according to a securities filing. That’s the result of Mr. Cohen’s fanatical devotion to customer service, Mr. Cheng says.

Customer-service representatives were pet lovers who sat near executives at the company’s Dania Beach, Fla., headquarters and were empowered to do almost anything to assist callers, often helping them select the right food for their pet’s sensitive skin, weight loss program or allergies.

Chewy sent handwritten cards to new customers, surprising some, selected at random, with portraits painted in oils of their pets.

Mr. Cheng recalls witnessing some representatives who stayed on the phone with a customer for as long as two hours. “We knew if we won the customer, we would have them for life,” he says.

By the time Mr. Svider emailed Mr. Cohen, Chewy had raised just over $350 million in outside capital and was on the path to an IPO. But the road ahead looked potentially hazardous: Shares of publicly traded e-commerce peers Wayfair Inc. and Etsy Inc. were having a rough time as investors worried they would be unable to cope with competition from Amazon.

It was also a period of personal emotional upheaval for Mr. Cohen. A couple of weeks after his wife gave birth to their son, Mr. Cohen’s father suffered a major heart attack, making the prospect of an IPO seem even more overwhelming.

Selling Chewy to a specialty retailer would give it more leverage with suppliers and help the company reach profitability more quickly, Mr. Cohen reckoned. Still, he and his investors were determined to hold out for a big price. They also wanted Chewy to remain a completely separate business to preserve its startup culture and its value as an unencumbered e-commerce company.

PetSmart rival Petco Animal Supplies Inc., backed by private-equity firm CVC Capital Partners, was also interested in a deal but wanted to pay in part using stock, and Mr. Cohen wasn’t keen on owning shares in a highly indebted bricks-and-mortar retailer. PetSmart surprised him by stepping forward with an all-cash bid as a deadline for offers loomed.

“He was able to do it, last-minute,” Mr. Cohen says of Mr. Svider. He gives the executive credit for understanding that Chewy had to be kept separate and evaluated over a different time horizon than the typical five years that buyout firms hold on to their investments.

“I was building a customer-focused business over the long run,” he says. “Chewy didn’t make sense in the short-term.”

As prices on PetSmart’s bonds began to sag further, it became clear that lenders and the broader market didn’t get the Chewy deal—saying it loaded too much debt on PetSmart and put it in competition with the seemingly unbeatable Amazon.

“Everyone thought it was stupid,” Mr. Svider says. “It was not an easy decision putting $3 billion into a company that was losing money.”

He says the market didn’t understand that Chewy was reinvesting all of the cash generated from existing customers into acquiring new ones, who were expensive at the beginning because the company lured them with big discounts on their first orders.

As long as Chewy’s newly acquired customer base was bigger than its existing one, its losses would continue to mount. The company believed that eventually revenue from existing customers would overtake the costs of growth, and it would register profits.

The comparison to was particularly irksome to Messrs. Svider and Cohen. Incorporated in 1999, aimed to capture what its founders thought would be a flood of consumers shopping online. But e-commerce was still new, and the company was never able to amass the customer base necessary to cover its high fixed costs, namely shipping and warehouse infrastructure. In the end it overspent in a scramble for customers.

At PetSmart, same-store sales continued to decline. In August 2017, its CEO resigned, and Mr. Svider stepped into the role himself. He began a grueling 10-month stint, leaving his wife and three children in New York each week to spend two-to-four days at PetSmart’s headquarters in Phoenix to work on a strategy to stabilize PetSmart and take Chewy public.

In March 2018, Toys “R” Us, which had filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection the previous fall, said it would sell or close all of its more than 700 remaining U.S. stores. PetSmart bonds fell below 50 cents on the dollar, signaling investors were worried it might face a similar fate.

That June, PetSmart announced an aggressive move to restructure Chewy ownership, putting a large chunk of its shares out of the reach of bondholders. It mirrored a tactic employed by other private-equity-backed retailers such as J.Crew Group Inc. and Neiman Marcus Group Ltd. to preserve value for their shareholders.

Lenders saw it as a desperate attempt to keep the most valuable piece of the company away from them in the event of a bankruptcy, and geared up for a legal fight.

After months of negotiations, PetSmart managed to scrape together the votes required to resolve the dispute, paving the way for an IPO of Chewy in June 2019.

Mr. Svider and his team also managed to stem declines at PetSmart’s stores, in part by culling the number of individual products sold and making it easier for customers to find them. Executives expanded and improved the company’s private-label brands, which yield higher margins, and revamped PetSmart’s marketing to emphasize in-store services such as veterinary clinics, grooming, doggy day care and pet hotels—things online retailers, including Chewy, can’t offer.

PetSmart same-store sales were only slightly negative in the first two quarters of this year, investor communications show. The company’s most closely watched measure of earnings came in at $1.1 billion in 2018, higher than what PetSmart had posted in the last year before its buyout.

PetSmart still owns about 87% of Chewy and its ultimate return will depend on whether it manages to sell down the stake profitably. Chewy made its second quarterly report as a public company Sept. 17, posting revenue that grew 43% from the previous year’s quarter to $1.15 billion and raising its sales expectations for the full year. But the company reported a wider net loss, driven by higher costs related to paying employees with stock.

More difficult for BC Partners may be selling or taking PetSmart public at a time when financial markets and private-equity firms have largely shunned bricks-and-mortar retailers.

One possibility could involve combining PetSmart with Petco, which would likely afford ample opportunities to shave overlapping costs, according to people familiar with the matter. Regulators who could otherwise oppose a deal combining the No. 1 and 2 physical players might allow such a move given the heft of Chewy and Amazon in the business and the sale of pet food and supplies through big-box stores such as Walmart Inc. The business could then be sold or taken public.

Mr. Svider says he isn’t ruling out anything but that now isn’t the time to sell. His primary focus is to get PetSmart to a consistently flat or slightly positive same-store sales by the second half of next year or earlier.

For Mr. Cohen, Chewy’s success is bittersweet. The buyout and IPO have validated his vision, but by selling out for cash he missed the explosive gains in Chewy’s shares. He left the company in March 2018.

“It was emotional,” he says of the IPO. “I literally sat paralyzed outside the New York Stock Exchange the night before. I was crying the whole time.”

Write to Miriam Gottfried at

test All   2015   2014   2013   2012   2011   2010

JazzHR Launches Marketplace To Expand Customers' Human Resources Capabilities

PITTSBURGH, Sept. 5, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- JazzHR, the leading recruiting software provider for small and medium-sized businesses, today announced the release of the JazzHR Marketplacedesigned to help SMBs find and connect with JazzHR's network of 200+ service and technology partners. Available now, the Marketplace presents industry-leading solutions that empower teams to streamline HR processes tailored to their unique business needs.

test All   2015   2014   2013   2012   2011   2010

JazzHR Again Named To Inc. 5000 List Of Fastest Growing Companies In America

NEW YORK, August 14, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Inc. magazine today revealed that JazzHR has once again been named to its annual Inc. 5000 list, the ranking of the nation's fastest-growing private companies. The list represents a unique look at the most successful companies within the American economy's most dynamic segment—its independent small businesses. Microsoft, Dell, Domino's Pizza, Pandora, Timberland, LinkedIn, Yelp, Zillow, and many other well-known names gained their first national exposure as honorees on the Inc. 5000.

test All   2015   2014   2013   2012   2011   2010

Securonix Announces Network Traffic Analysis Product Offering

Addison, TX—July 31, 2019—Securonix, Inc., a leader in next-gen SIEM, today announced the launch of its network traffic analysis (NTA) product that will provide bundled Corelight network sensors and use case content. Securonix NTA will be an integral part of the Securonix SIEM product, enabling customers to deploy a single solution that correlates network traffic, security events, and entity context to detect and respond to the most advanced insider and cyber threats.

test All   2015   2014   2013   2012   2011   2010

JazzHR Partners With Wonderlic - Pre-employment Testing Provider

PITTSBURGH, July 10, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- JazzHR, the leading recruiting software provider for small and medium-sized businesses, today announced an integrated partnership with candidate-assessment provider Wonderlic to enable companies make more informed hiring decisions. JazzHR users can now view results from Wonderlic's scientifically backed "Wonscore®" tests right from JazzHR - empowering them to compare candidates, predict engagement and accelerate time-to-hire.

test All   2015   2014   2013   2012   2011   2010 and JazzHR Partner to Accelerate Time to Hire with Candidate-Matching Technology

AUSTIN, Texas, June 17, 2019 /PRNewswire/ --, the leading rewards-based, job-matching platform, today announced a new strategic partnership with JazzHR, the leading recruiting solution for small businesses. The collaboration combines JazzHR's robust hiring solution with's sophisticated AI-powered technology, giving JazzHR users access to's  platform.

test All   2015   2014   2013   2012   2011   2010

Chewy founder Ryan Cohen on its fast-approaching IPO: ‘It’s like seeing my baby graduate’

Read the full article here.

Ask any venture capitalist about the most important ingredient to success in startups, and they’ll tell you it’s founders who can persuade not only investors to part with their capital but, more importantly, who can convince people to leave what are often more stable jobs in order to help build their companies.

Ryan Cohen certainly fits the description. It goes a long way in explaining why Chewy, the online retailer of pet supplies that he co-founded in 2011, sold to PetSmart for a reported $3.35 billion in 2017 — and why it’s also expected to stage a successful IPO this Friday, when PetSmart spins it off (though PetSmart will continue to hold a majority stake in the company). Just today, the expected IPO price range, originally planned at between $17 and $19 per share, was raised to $19 to $21 per share, with the IPO advisory firm IPO Boutique saying the guidance it has received is that the deal is “multiple times oversubscribed.”

test All   2015   2014   2013   2012   2011   2010

Recycle Track Systems Names Bob Farrell, Executive Chairman of GlobalTranz, to Board

New York, New York (May 2, 2019) – Recycle Track Systems (RTS), a technology-driven waste and recycling management company, announced it has added significant transportation and logistics expertise to its Board of Directors with the appointment of Bob Farrell, Executive Chairman of GlobalTranz, a technology company providing award-winning cloud-based multi-modal Transportation Management System (TMS) products to shippers, carriers, 3PLs and brokers.

test All   2015   2014   2013   2012   2011   2010

Securonix Selected as SC Media Europe 2019 ‘Best SIEM Solution’ Award Finalist

LONDON, UK – April 2, 2019 – Securonix, the market leader in next-generation security information and event management (SIEM), has been recognised as a Award finalist in the ‘Best SIEM Solution’ category for the 2019 SC Awards Europe.

test All   2015   2014   2013   2012   2011   2010

Recycle Track Systems Selected as New Waste Manager in La Porte, Indiana

New York, New York (March 18, 2019) – Recycle Track Systems (RTS), a waste and recycling management company, announced the City of La Porte, Indiana, has selected RTS to provide waste services for approximately 7,500 service locations. The arrangement will harness the company’s intelligent fleet management technology for all the city’s residential and governmental collections.

test All   2015   2014   2013   2012   2011   2010

Recycle Track Systems starts first-ever municipal contract in Indiana

Read the full article here.

By Cole Rosengren

Dive Brief:

  • Recycle Track Systems (RTS), a New York-based service provider known for its technology platform, has won its first-ever municipal waste collection contract. Valued at $3.75 million, the deal with La Porte, Indiana runs for four years with the option of a three-year extension.

  • This contract was previously held by Waste Management. Now, RTS will facilitate service to 7,500 residential and government locations through local company LakeShore Recycling & Disposal. Every truck will be outfitted with the RTS technology platform, which allows residents to manage service and helps the city optimize routing.

  • "We're thrilled to start this partnership with the City of La Porte which is joining the smart cities movement to become more efficient in managing waste," said Adam Pasquale, co-founder and COO, in a statement. "Waste collection is an essential city service and we're excited to introduce our technology solutions to help improve services for residents and support the city's sustainability goals for the future."

test All   2015   2014   2013   2012   2011   2010

Securonix Wins Most Innovative Cloud Security and Editor’s Choice in the Seventh Annual InfoSec Awards

Addison, TX– March 6, 2019 – Securonix, the leader in next-gen SIEM, added two more awards to its growing list of honors for innovation and product excellence this week. Securonix Next-Gen SIEM won the Most Innovative Cloud Security Award as well as the Editor’s Choice Award for Security Analytics in Cyber Defense Magazine’s InfoSec Awards for 2019.

test All   2015   2014   2013   2012   2011   2010

Securonix Named Gold Winner in the 2019 Cybersecurity Excellence Awards for Best User and Entity Behavior Analytics

Addison, TX– March 5, 2019 – Securonix, the leader in next-gen SIEM, took home the Gold Award for Best User and Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA) in the recent Cybersecurity Excellence Awards. The company was also honored as a Silver winner for Most Innovative Cybersecurity Company in the 100 to 499 employees category.

test All   2015   2014   2013   2012   2011   2010

Recycle Track Systems and Philadelphia Union Launch New, Comprehensive Recycling and Sustainability Plan

New York, New York – (January 17, 2019) Recycle Track Systems, Inc. (RTS) announced a multi-year partnership with MLS’ Philadelphia Union as the exclusive company to manage waste services for the 18,500-seat, Talen Energy Stadium. The collaboration will kick-off with salvaging the existing soccer field’s soil which will provide 93 tons of reuse for composting or fill for construction projects.    

test All   2015   2014   2013   2012   2011   2010

Bond-Pro Raises $10M to Accelerate Leadership in Specialty Insurance Software

Volition Capital Leads Investment to Fund Bond-Pro’s Continued Innovation in Surety & Specialty Insurance Software

Boston, MA and Tampa, FL USA, January 15th, 2019 – Bond-Pro, the leading provider of Surety and Specialty Insurance software products and services, announced today that it has secured $10 million in growth equity funding to continue accelerating Bond-Pro’s vertical market integration strategy between carriers and agencies and to scale Bond-Pro’s delivery capabilities to match the continuing market demand from top US and Canadian insurance carriers. Volition Capital led the round of funding and Roger Hurwitz, Managing Partner at Volition Capital, will join the Company’s board of directors.

“The capital provides us with the resources to further strengthen Bond-Pro’s Next Gen Surety Carrier and Agency solutions, accelerate global expansion beyond North America and launch a B2B Surety Hub that seamlessly connects carriers and agencies in real-time,” said Frederick Duguay, CEO at Bond-Pro. “We’re excited to continue building upon the success of our modern Next Gen Platform solution, which already allows our clients to automate processes, materially reduce operating costs and mitigate their underwriting risk, while growing premiums by making it far easier for agents to write with them.”

 “We carefully selected Volition Capital to be our partners.” said Duguay, “Volition has a great deal of experience investing in best of breed vertical software businesses. Their broad sector knowledge and relationships will be a tremendous asset as we continue to revolutionize how surety and specialty insurance is managed.”

“What impressed us most is how rapidly Bond-Pro has grown to become the leading vendor for surety and related specialty insurance software solutions, and has done so in a bootstrapped, profitable manner”, said Roger Hurwitz, Managing Partner at Volition Capital. “The Bond-Pro team has the vision and foundation in place to transform the automation of specialty insurance. We look forward to partnering with the team to help them increase their reach and expand their offerings.”

About Volition Capital

Volition Capital is a growth equity firm that principally invests in high potential, founder-owned companies across different technology sectors.  The firm specializes in partnering with founders to help them achieve their fullest aspirations for their business.  Much of Volition’s success has come from investing in capital efficient technology companies in sectors such as: enterprise SaaS, consumer e-commerce/brands, tech-enabled services, and transactional applications.  For more information, visit

About Bond-Pro

Bond-Pro, Inc. is the developer and publisher of Bond-Pro® Enterprise Next Gen, the leading automation and management software utilized by hundreds of agencies and dozens of surety carriers to drive greater premium, improve underwriting efficiency, reduce costs and mitigate risk.  Its enterprise products and services enable specialty insurance professionals to fully computerize and effectively manage the entire life cycle including Accounts, Jobs, Bonds, Claims, Reinsurance, Workflow, and Data Analytics.  For more information, please call 813-413-7576 or visit

test All   2015   2014   2013   2012   2011   2010

PlayerLync Receives $12.5M Round B Funding to Accelerate Growth

Volition Capital returns to Colorado and strikes gold in PlayerLync

Denver, CO – November 1, 2018 – PlayerLync, the leading mobile content platform for modern learning and performance management, secured $12.5 million in growth financing for the purpose of marketing, additional staffing, and entering new markets. Volition Capital led the financing with participation by Anschutz Venture Group (AVG), a longtime investor in PlayerLync. Volition is investing in the 2018 Colorado Companies to Watch winner, PlayerLync, and looking to duplicate their success as an early investor in Denver-based Ping Identity, another stand out leader in the Colorado technology landscape.

“PlayerLync’s rapid growth comes from their solution’s wide market appeal and an ability to effectively navigate into adjacent industry verticals. While the business originated in Sports, PlayerLync now serves top Restaurant, Retail and Hospitality brands with over 1 million daily end users. The PlayerLync team demonstrates sound go-to-market tactics and the operational discipline required to service world-class organizations such as Starbucks, Jack-in-the- Box, Talbots, Crocs, Southern Co Gas, and Chipotle,” states Roger Hurwitz, Managing Partner at Volition. “We’re confident from those successes and excited by the growing interest in PlayerLync’s offerings from the Energy, Logistics and Transportation verticals. We’re simply empowering a competent team to more aggressively pursue this multi-billion dollar opportunity.”

PlayerLync is experiencing fast growth under a strong leadership team. Founders Bob Paulsen, Greg Menard, and Robert Smith bring professional execution along with telecom and software experiences to the table, which directly translate into enterprise-ready scale and quality.

“From our backgrounds, we understand that “carrier-grade” is table stakes for enterprise customers today. So, we built PlayerLync on a technology foundation that excels in performance, quality, and security. Then we took it a step further by designing functional teams modeled after world-class SaaS organizations,” said Bob Paulsen, CEO of PlayerLync. “We’re filling a large gap for enterprises, and we’ve got a winning combination that’s allowed us to earn business from marquee brands, pursue partnerships with the largest companies in the world and quickly secure the leadership position in this category. We’re thrilled by this vote of confidence and to be working beside high caliber investors like Anschutz and Volition.”

Roger Hurwitz joins PlayerLync’s Board of Directors.

test All   2015   2014   2013   2012   2011   2010

Cortera Raises $10 Million to Accelerate Expansion of Commercial Credit Analytics

Hearst’s Fitch Group Joins Investor Group As Part Of Next Growth Stage

BOCA RATON, Fla., Sept. 20, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Cortera®, a leading provider of business information, analytics and workflow solutions, announced today that it has raised $10 million in a Series B funding. Hearst’s Fitch Group Financial Venture Fund led the round, joined by existing Cortera investors that include Volition Capital, Battery Ventures, Allen & Company and Tomorrow Ventures.

Cortera understands the vitality of commercial credit to economic growth. Through a contributory network of smarter business intelligence, Cortera provides unique insights into the purchase and payment behavior of private and public companies. Leveraging behavioral modeling, predictive risk scores and proactive monitoring, companies are now empowered with analytical insights in minutes, no matter size or skill set.

“We are passionate about fueling profitable business growth in the US,” Cortera CEO Jim Swift said. “For too long, the flow of capital has been hamstrung by the need for more complete and timely insights into private companies. It is exciting to be at a point of network coverage where businesses now have a powerful alternative to traditional sources.”

Larry Cheng, managing partner at Volition Capital, continued: “The holy grail of commercial credit has been to bring quality credit data and transparency to the hardest part of the market—private businesses. We believe this partnership helps Cortera to realize this longstanding vision and are excited to be a part of its next chapter.”

The Cortera Credit Exchange, fueled by over $1.3 trillion in annual B2B transactions across more than 20 million U.S. business locations, delivers the best information on private companies with deep-dive views into risk implications spanning 45 industry segments. Innovative features such as interactive infographics, self-service batch appends, robust APIs and real-time scorecard wizards present data-driven insights in easy, intuitive formats.

“Cortera is a strong fit for Hearst’s Fitch Group Financial Venture Fund,” said Shea Wallon, the fund’s managing director. “Cortera’s unique business information and analytics provide an alternative view into the credit risk of private businesses where traditional financial statements are not reliable or easily available. Its business supports Fitch Group’s goal of partnering with companies that generate proprietary content to enable differentiated insights into credit risk. We are excited to play a role in helping Cortera continue to develop the next generation of commercial credit risk analytics and leverage their insights into Fitch’s leading products and solutions.”

Wallon will be joining Cortera’s board of directors as part of the investment.

About Cortera
Cortera predicts outcomes. With over 25 years in financial services, our team understands the vitality of commercial credit to economic growth. By building a network of smarter business intelligence, we are uniquely able to help customers predict opportunity and risk from point of client acquisition through payment. Companies are now empowered with analytical insights in minutes, no matter size or skill set. Headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida, Cortera is the fastest growing commercial data analytics platform. For more information visit

About Hearst
Hearst is one of the nation's largest diversified media, information and services companies with more than 360 businesses. Its major interests include ownership in cable television networks such as A&E, HISTORY, Lifetime and ESPN; global financial services leader Fitch Group; Hearst Health, a group of medical information and services businesses; transportation assets including CAMP Systems International, a major provider of software-as-a-service solutions for managing maintenance of jets; 31 television stations such as WCVB-TV in Boston and KCRA-TV in Sacramento, California, which reach a combined 19 percent of U.S. viewers; newspapers such as the Houston ChronicleSan Francisco Chronicle and Albany Times Union, more than 300 magazines around the world including Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Men’s Health and Car and Driver; digital services businesses such as iCrossing and KUBRA; and investments in emerging digital entertainment companies such as Complex Networks. Follow us on Twitter @HearstLive and @Hearst.

About Fitch Group
Fitch Group is a global leader in financial information services with operations in more than 30 countries. Fitch Group is comprised of Fitch Ratings, a global leader in credit ratings and research; Fitch Solutions, a leading provider of credit market data, analytical tools and risk services; and Fitch Learning, a preeminent training and professional development firm. With dual headquarters in London and New York, Fitch Group is owned by Hearst.

test All   2015   2014   2013   2012   2011   2010