Pet travel company Furlocity is preparing to move from San Diego into office space on State Street in Schenectady and create up to 20 new jobs.
Furlocity, founded in 2012 by Andy and Amber Smit, is a national website that offers pet owners the option to board their animals when going out of town or to find a pet-friendly hotel to take their pets on vacation.
Denise Pallozzi, Furlocity CEO, entered into an eight-year lease at the New York BizLab at 251 State St. to operate the business in Schenectady and hire up to 20 employees by the end of 2019.
“We decided to make some changes in management strategy and geographic location,” said Pallozzi, who became CEO earlier this year. “We moved from San Diego to New York to take advantage of START-UP NY.”
Furlocity moved to the Electric City as part of the state’s business tax incentive program START-UP NY, which offers tax breaks to qualified companies that move to the state and partner with a local college.
Furlocity now has three full-time employees and is planning to move into space at the BizLab in the next month or two. The company enables people to search, compare and book a pet-friendly hotel or boarding location.
“We have access to 42,000 petfriendly hotels because we have a relationship with Priceline,” Pallozzi said. “We are growing organically and increasing our footprint. We work with 275 boarding facilities nationwide.”
As the company grows, Pallozzi is planning to expand Furlocity’s services to include pet grooming, pet sitting and pet walking.
“When you drop off the pet, they ask you if you would like them groomed or to do a daily pet walking, or play with other pets or choose to be isolated,” she said. “It’s easy to add those options because pet boarding typically offers those services.”
Furlocity will be looking to hire individuals with skills in marketing, sales, software development and social media, Pallozzi said.
Pallozzi said the original plan was to move Furlocity into space at the Rensselaer Technology Park in North Greenbush. The company was also pursued by the cities of Rensselaer and Troy as well Schenectady.
Pallozzi said she ultimately chose Schenectady because it was the only municipality that had a program in place to successfully attract businesses.
“Of all the packages being offered, the one offered by Schenectady was the most comprehensive and really serves the best interests of the company in the long term,” she said. “It was a coordinated effort and I have not seen that in any municipality. If it wasn’t for that comprehensive approach, we wouldn’t be here.”
Furlocity also received a $45,000 grant from the Schenectady County Metroplex Development Authority to cover the company’s lease for one year.
Pallozzi said Furlocity’s employees are working remotely until they can move into the 3,000 square feet of space on the first floor of the BizLab.
“We should be here by the end of January,” she said. “I will be putting a fold-up table here and start working soon. I have had the opportunity to see Schenectady evolve, and it’s the growth and revival that is amazing. It’s very impressive.”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday that startup crowdfunding company Fundabilities.com would be moving into the BizLab under START-UP NY.
Fundabilities plans to invest $11,000 and create a total of 11 jobs. The company will occupy 150 square feet of space on the second floor of the BizLab and plans to move in by February.
Other tenants of the 25,000-square-foot BizLab, which houses First Niagara on the first floor, include e-commerce company Sure-Done and second-chance gaming company Lottery Rewards.
New York City-based SureDone was the BizLab’s fi rst tenant in March. The company plans to hire 26 employees over the next three years. Lottery Rewards, run by former New York Lottery CEO Jeff Perlee, plans to hire 16 employees over the next fi ve years.
MARC SCHULTZ/GAZETTE PHOTOGRAPHER
Denise Pallozzi, CEO of pet travel company Furlocity speaks about the company on Thursday. Furlocity is moving into the New York BizLab at 251 State St. in Schenectady.