San Francisco startup Fuzzy shuts down after raising $80 million
Fuzzy , a vet care startup founded in 2016, is no longer active. Its site and mobile apps have been taken down and the LinkedIn and Twitter profiles of its CEO and co-founder Zubin Bhettay no longer exist.
Dr. Cherice Roth, the Chief Medical Officer of the startup, confirmed the news via a social media post, sharing that “the rumors are unfortunately true” and that it isn’t obvious why this occurred in the manner that it did.
Fuzzy has raised $80.5 million from several investors, including Icon Ventures, Greycroft, Crosscut, and Matrix Partners. The company also secured investment from owners of veterinary clinic groups in the US, UK and Germany, and from high profile individuals including Mark Vadon (former Chairman of Chewy) and Jose Feliciano (founder of Clearlake Group). Its most recent investment round, a $44 million Series C, took place 18 months ago.
Fuzzy provided 24/7 live chat and telehealth for $15/month, ship-to-home prescriptions, vet-curated items in its e-commerce marketplace, educational content, and programs for nutrition, training, and obedience – an approach that saves pet parents “up to $750 a year on healthcare expenses.” It also offered pet insurance powered by Boost Insurance and underwritten by National Specialty, a State National company.
Outside of insurance, a noteworthy milestone achieved by Fuzzy includes its partnership with JetBlue Airways where airline customers who have booked their flights with a pet received an exclusive, pre-flight Fuzzy membership offer valid for one year.
As one former employee wrote – via Glassdoor – the business model was not economically viable, and the company could not scale. Tweets suggest a daunting situation for former employees and vendors:
- “Essentially Zubin and Eric owe hundreds of thousands, possibly millions to creditors, vendors and employees. Every employee woke up on the 16th to a termination letter and no paycheck. They were actively hiring while simultaneously not paying their bills.” (source)
- “I heard from executives that they had sent offer letters and were active on the hiring process when it happened.” (source)
- “As an independent contractor, I’m still awaiting payment. Shockingly, employees and contractors worldwide were dismissed without notice. No explanation given. We were misled, lied to. Our lives are devastated.” (source)
- “They told people all week that their lack of paycheck was an accounting mistake. Then laid everyone off.” (source)
- “I know folks who were laid off today, without final paychecks. The company stopped paying for health insurance 2 weeks ago. Which some found out about at the doctor.” (source)
* As an aside, if you are hiring, have a look at Fuzzy’s talent directory.