Meetup Cofounder Raises $100,000 From Gary Vaynerchuk And Others For A ‘Paw’-some New Startup

matt meeker barkbox
Strife, Meeker and Werdelin cofounded BarkBox

[credit provider=”Matt Meeker”]

Matt Meeker, cofounder of Meetup and Entrepreneur in Residence of Polaris Ventures, is on to his next startup.Meeker, along with Carley Strife and Prehype’s Henrik Werdelin, cofounded BarkBox eight weeks ago.  It’s a subscription e-commerce company that delivers dog treats and toys to a few hundred users’ homes every month.

“We started BarkBox because we’re all obsessed with our dogs,” says Meeker.  “I would stop at the local pet store a couple times a week, spend $25 per trip, and always asked the teenager working there what was good.  It was clear he didn’t know, so we knew there had to be a better way.”

Meeker, Strife and Wedelin have raised a modest $100,000 round from some well known angel investors including Gary Vaynerchuk, College humour’s Josh Abramson and Crowdtwist cofounder Mike Montero. Hayley Barna and Katia Beauchamp, co-founders of Birchbox, are official advisors to the company.

The BarkBox team says they intended to bootstrap the company but an opportunity to include good friends and smart people presented itself.  The startup is still mostly being financed by the three founders though.

hugo dog matt meeker
Hugo, Meeker’s dog, inspired him to start the business.

BarkBox only been in business for two months but it has big future plans.  Meeker says the goal is to create a global pet brand. The subscription commerce aspect is just the first phase.  By the end of this year Meeker wants to have a BarkBox retail business in place followed by branded merchandise and content.Without any marketing or much press, BarkBox has secured more than 200 paying subscribers and has maintained 100% renewal rate after two payment cycles. Monthly subscriptions costs about $25.  In addition, BarkBox pledges to donate 10% of every transaction to dog rescue centres so every dog can find a good home.

Meeker will continue to work at a venture capital firm in addition to running BarkBox.