Smart50 Awards 2014

1 Pet Circle

Revenue

$12 million

Growth

329.68%

Founders

Mike Frizell, 32

Head Office

New South Wales

Year Founded

2011

Employees

26

Industry

Retail

Website

petcircle.com.au

 

Founder Mike Frizell says there was a belief in the pet industry that e-commerce wouldn’t work as the items are bulky and the margins are low.

“Proving the model was the first challenge,” he says.

“We needed to create a smart logistics chain that was profitable. Operating exclusively online, gaining our customers’ trust was another factor crucial to our success.”

The inspiration for Pet Circle came after Frizell noticed his parents were only purchasing 4 kilo bags of pet food for the family’s Golden Retriever because they couldn’t lug the larger bags home.

Frizell knew there must be a better way and so in 2011 he started Pet Circle, initially called Paws For Life, and in less than a year the business recorded revenue of over $1 million.

Frizell attributes the success of the business to a philosophy of championing customer relationships.

“Putting our customer’s needs first forces us to focus on the efficiency and effectiveness of our supply chain,” he says.

“It is a win-win outcome.”

Pet Circle manages everything in house, from developing technology, to warehousing and logistics, to distribution and customer service.

“It is the only way we are able to ensure our customers get the level of service they expect and deserve, and the only way to ensure our partners get the brand integrity they’ve been promised” Frizell says.

Pet Circle is continuing to adapt as Australia’s online pet market consolidates.

“Many of the smaller players are selling or closing given the increased competition in the space,” Frizell says.

Overall, he says the market is maturing as Australian businesses start to focus on the $8 billion opportunity that is the pet sector.

Frizell wants Pet Circle to become “a true market leader” alongside the leading bricks-and-mortar stores.

His aim is for Pet Circle to be one of the top three pet firms in Australia and among the top 20 e-commerce firms in the world.

“To do this, we will be investing in the next phase of growth, including expanding our product range and marketing investment, investing in warehousing and logistics operations, as well as iterating on the seamless customer experience for which we have become known,” he says.

*This article was updated on 23 September 2014 to remove reference to Kip McGrath, which was disqualified from the Smart50.

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