Mock all you want: Barkbox is laughing all the way to the bank

By Erin Griffith , written on October 25, 2013

From The News Desk

It's an easy idea to snark on, and plenty have. Barkbox, the company selling dog gear and treats by monthly subscription, has raised $6.7 million in venture backing. Go ahead, point and scream "Bubble!"

In the last week, several different people in the tech world have mentioned the company to me as an example of a startup no one expected to work, but is actually growing like crazy. So I asked Barkbox to elaborate. Here's an update on the company:

Barkbox has grown revenue by 10x this year, and it has hit a $25 million revenue run rate (meaning it's doing around $2 million in revenue per month). The company now has 100,000 subscribers who pay between $19 and $29 per month for the boxes. Barkbox has grown to 30 dog-obsessed employees.

Beyond the subscription boxes of treats and re-ordering opportunities on the site (similar to Birchbox's strategy), Barkbox has a fast-growing content site, BarkPost. After launching earlier this year, the site has grown to three million monthly uniques. BarkPost features curated products that can be purchased on Barkbox, including Barkclips, which sold out its 20,000 units on the first day. The company also has a dog health app called BarkCare, which offers access to vets, wellness tips, and a place to save pet health info.

BarkBox doesn't plan to go into the dog food or dog insurance markets, both of which are sizable. "There is too much opportunity for innovation in this space," says communications director Chris O'Brien. The space he's referring to is crazy pet owners for whom no price tag is too high for their animals. "There is a new breed (pardon the pun) of dog owner out there. We call them dog parents; they're people that treat their dogs like family, will do anything for them."

It may be a silly concept, but, hey, dog owners are silly people. Barkbox is just giving them what they want, and making a profit along the way. I doubt this will change anytime soon: pets make the Web go 'round.