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The early bird gets the worm – but the second mouse gets the cheese

It’s about timing…..

In 1999, Pets.com sought to capitalize on widespread internet access and a $23B pet supplies market by selling products directly to consumers.

They raised $50M funding – to be spent on marketing  – By the time Pets.com went public with an $82.5M IPO in February 2000, it had lost $61.8M on $5.8M in sales. 

Pets.com had 570,000 customers, with its costly marketing operation spending about $158 for every new customer .

And then the tech boom bible burst and boom – that saw them as well as Value America, Garden.com, and Mortgage.com die and liquidate! 

History would prove that its value proposition — selling pet supplies to consumers online — was ahead of its time.

The next decade saw the cost of ecommerce and digital marketing reduce dramatically, and people with access to broadband jump from 48m to 232m. 

With lower costs and a bigger market to sell to, new online pet supplies retailers emerged – and Chewy.com, for example, was acquired by PetSmart for $3.35B in 2017. It was the biggest e-commerce acquisition in history.

The lesson ….

“The early bird gets the worm – but the second mouse gets the cheese! “ 

Posted on March 10, 2019

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