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Petco acquires online company featured on Shark Tank

Petco has expanded its digital offerings, entering the subscription box business by acquiring an online start-up.

Petco has acquired PupBox, an online subscription service company that delivers customized products and training information to new puppy and dog parents based on their pet's current stage of development and physical characteristics. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. The entire PupBox team will join Petco.

In line with the acquisition, Petco and PupBox have launched the first-ever PupBox Holiday Box, a gift assortment of toys, treats and holiday training tips. Available online and in Petco stores, each box is customized based on pet size and features a few seasonal favorites. It will sell for $29.

Petco and its rival, PetSmart, have been beefing up their digital offerings to compete with online competitors. In April, Petco acquired PetCoach, a digital services company that connects pet owners with veterinary professionals who give personalized answers to health questions and concerns. Also in April, PetSmart acquired fast-growing pet food and product site

Petco's latest acquisition, PupBox, is focused on a core subscription offering that delivers monthly boxes filled with developmentally appropriate products that range from toys and treats to grooming tools and accessories. Each PupBox also includes a training guide filled with information to help pet parents keep up with their pet's changing training, developmental and physical needs.

"Helping pet parents improve the health and wellbeing of their pets while deepening their bond is at the very core of our mission," said Petco CEO Brad Weston. "Combining Petco's breadth of product and services offerings with PupBox's highly customized monthly subscription service takes the guess work away from pet parents and provides everything they need to raise a healthy, happy pup at every stage of life."

PupBox was co-founded by Ben and Ariel Zvaifler in 2014 after they adopted a puppy and then then struggled to find products that were perfectly suited for her constantly changing needs. After success as an early stage start-up, the San Diego-based company appeared on ABC's Shark Tank in November 2016. One of the “sharks,” Robert Herjavec, invested $250,000 in exchange for 15 percent equity, implying a $1.7 million valuation, the San Diego Union Tribune reported.
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