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  • Funded Founders: Terri Rockovich - $50M raised to date.

Funded Founders: Terri Rockovich - $50M raised to date.

🚀 Funded Founders: Interviewing Terri Rockovich, Co-Founder & CEO of Jinx

📃 Message from the Team

If you haven’t already, be sure to read Monday’s Deep Dive into Jinx. We highlighted everything you need to know!

Today, you’ll receive insights, advice and stories from Terri Rockovich, Co-Founder & CEO of Jinx.

More: Introducing DeelScoop’s Referral program! Share the newsletter to friends & family that are interested in what we’re doing and you’ll get rewarded with exclusive merchandise!

For a more sound understanding of this interview, make sure to check out our Monday Deep Dive into Jinx.

Where did the modern dog identity come from and what does it mean to be a modern dog?

“This is something that is so important, and it’s a concept that we incepted at the very formation stages of the business. We arrived at this insight that pet parents, specifically millennials, were integrating their dogs into their lives in a way that felt very akin to a parent-child relationship which is how we arrived at dog-hood.”

“We thought that the concept in its entirety could be threaded then through the identity, tonality and overall essence of the brand. This may include elements like doggy day-care, trips to the office, doggy birthday parties, doggy vacations and clothing items for different occasions. It’s really a lifestyle play that has a bit of an emotional anchor that’s intended to represent the state of modern dogs and convey how much we’re willing to integrate them into our lifestyle and have them be part of our family.”

“This is also the foundational element that we use to build an entire nutrition philosophy - modern dogs deserve nutritionally proportional diets with ingredients you can recognize.”

How are you navigating this tough funding environment? Did you have to pivot from an operations perspective?

“All the focus was on the bottom line. Historically, conversations have been around growth and the top line and how fast can you build. But, they [investors] really shifted to a place where the questions were around are you building a foundationally sound business model, what is the path to profitability, there were deep dives into the unit economics and margin optimization strategy and the conversation really pivoted to this operationally heavy dynamic where we had to go back to our financial models and really build out a tactical strategy to support the underlying opportunity of our bottom line”

Do you have tips for founders trying to raise funds right now?

“My advice to founders would be to do the work to tell a story on how your business is going to drive profit OR, fewer net losses in the next 12-36 months.”

In your opinion, what value-add did investors see in Jinx?

“A really important component of our growth story is that in 2022, Jinx shifted the majority of resources from driving growth in e-commerce to launching retail. So, our products are doing incredibly well in the retail environment - at the start of 2022 with 0 retail doors, by the end of 2023, we’ll have well over 5,500 doors. Our products work very well in an e-commerce environment and retail environment with very scalable economics. So, I think the investor community got really excited about the brand because it works through so many different channels, especially in a product category with a lot of M&A activity.”

You previously said on a podcast that as a child you wanted to do everything - you found interest in a lot of things. Despite that, marketing has been consistent throughout your career.

  1. What about marketing keeps you excited about it and despite being interested in many things, how do you focus your energy on one specific field?

“At my core, I’m someone who craves newness, diversity and evolution. For me, marketing can be a lot of those things; it can be analytical, creative and it’s constantly changing in terms of what’s working and why it’s working - these social algorithms are keeping us all on our toes.”

“Because of the opportunity to ideate, launch and then learn and optimize and chase continuous improvement. I’ve just been constantly challenged and satisfied with the opportunity to build things I believe in and modify them to get to a place where the market responds favorably.”

Despite all of Terri’s past experience as a growth lead, customer acquisition specialist, e-commerce executive and more, Terri’s core strength as CEO continues to be storytelling - which the Co-Founder believes it to be at the core of marketing.

How has your experience as an Acquisition specialist at Casper influenced your strategy at Jinx?

“Casper was a unicorn. I had an incredible experience where as a founding team member and the first marketing hire, I was able to work very closely with the founders and early stage employees to put something into the world that felt like it was really right for disrupting an industry that felt so stuck in the past. With an incredible product, all we needed to do was get the brand in front of consumers and my job was exactly that.”

“Admittedly though, that formula was not a copy paste solution that worked at Jinx. While we were going through the formation stages before the pandemic happened, we soft launched our business through a direct to consumer (D2C) model at the top of 2020. We were in a completely different moment in time where the willingness for trial had a much higher barrier. So, we did use aspects of that [Casper] strategy namely; press, earned media, influencer strategy & support, customer gifting and experiential marketing. But, the marketing strategy to support a majority retail business was much more different than a D2C model. It was a lot more IRL marketing.”

The floor is yours Terri, share any upcoming personal projects or updates at Jinx that our readers can look forward to.

“I feel very grateful that we were able to complete our last fundraise and after getting our Series B over the line, we’ve raised about $50M since our inception. I’m excited to spend more of my time recruiting talent across the company and our board - bringing on new strategic partners that are appropriate for our next stage growth.”

“At the end of the day, my commitment to this company and the community that we’re growing, is to stay focused on bringing products into the marketplace that helps dog parents elevate the way we care for our dogs. So, everything that I’ll be doing post fundraise will be in support of that mission.”

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