RevZilla.com, the innovative and fast-growing e-commerce retailer of motorcycle apparel, accessories and parts based in Philadelphia’s Navy Yard, is a familiar presence in Philly.com’s Top Workplaces rankings.
After placing second for two years in a row among small-sized businesses, RevZilla moved up to the midsize company category this year and captured the top spot, based on employee surveys conducted by Workplace Dynamics, an Exton firm.
The company has experienced phenomenal growth since it was founded in 2007 by three friends in their 20s, Anthony Bucci, Nick Auger and Matthew Kull, in what they described as their bombed-out Philly apartment.
RevZilla now employs about 200 people, up about 75 from last year. It plans to hire about 40 more people this year. Revenue has grown from $75 million last year to over $100 million.
The company culture is fast paced, free wheeling and quirky, with a mantra of “work hard, play hard.” The company takes both parts of the equation seriously. A huge trampoline sits in one work area, there’s a game room and a half-pipe was recently installed.
But the big news out of the company came in February when RevZilla and investment funds managed by Boston-based J.W. Childs Associates announced an agreement to be joint equity holders of a new holding company with investments in both RevZilla and Cycle Gear, Inc. Cycle Gear, based in Benicia, California, has 113 stores in 34 states and was acquired by J.W. Childs in January 2015.
Both RevZilla and Cycle Gear will continue to operate as independent sister companies. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
While Bucci, RevZilla’s chief executive officer, declined to discuss the deal, comments on the company’s website assured employees and customers that the three founders are still firmly in control and have no intention of fundamentally changing the way business is done.
The company is analyzing “how RevZilla can leverage new capital to scale more quickly and entertain new opportunities like our own retail destination stores or international expansion.”
With the rapid growth, the company now faces the challenge of maintaining its unique culture. RevZilla has always valued experimentation and speed, but finds itself having to add layers on management.
“We’re trying to be more strategic, but we’re not managers, managing managers, managing managers,” Bucci said.
He said RevZilla keeps employees engaged by being transparent, so everyone knows what is vital to the business.
Flexibility is prized and employees are encouraged to share their ideas and stretch themselves. At any given moment, an employee could be tapped to appear in a video for RevZilla’s popular YouTube channel. As of last August, it had racked up more than 50 million views with 54,758 comments on 4,639 videos.
More editorial content also is being published on the RevZilla website through Common Tread, which features reviews and other stories on just about anything related to motorcycles. Anyone can contribute, which has proved popular in a workplace where 80 percent of the employees ride motorcycles.
Common Tread averages 921,174 monthly unique views, up 143 percent in six months.
Brett Walling, director of media and talent, said editors work with inexperienced writers to get their articles in shape.
“We tell people that if they have a story they want to tell, let us know,” Walling said. “It makes people feel they have a say.”
As for the company culture, it’s as wacky as ever.
Revzilla boasts that more than 45,000 paintballs were fired at an annual company outing last year, part of a tradition that started in 2008 with just the three founders participating.
“It’s kind of nuts,” Bucci said. “We’ll keep doing it as long as people are into it.”