We are huge fans of podcasts, so we were excited to listen to a pet tech company called DogSpot on the latest episode of The Pitch.
The Pitch podcast is basically an audio version of Shark Tank. A startup tries to raise funds from four investors. You can’t see the startup founders or their products on the podcast, but the episode lasts for over a half hour, so the discussion is much more in depth than anything heard on Shark Tank.
DogSpot is a Brooklyn-based company that makes secure dog houses which are located near the entrance of stores and restaurants. The idea is that pet owners can leave their dogs in a Dog Spot house, instead of tying the dog to a tree or some other object.
The DogSpot dog houses are technology-enabled and allow the owner to monitor their dog through an app while they shop or eat. The houses are secure, are equipped with both heat and A/C, and are remotely monitored.
Chelsea Brownridge, the CEO and co-founder, stated that the company had 65 units across 14 states and was making $15,000 per month in revenue.
The business has three revenue streams. First, pet parents are charged 30 cents per minute to use a DogSpot. Second, the retailer pays the company $800 per year to locate the unit near the entrance to it’s store or restaurant. Third, the company makes $500 per month on ads placed on the unit.
The company was seeking $2.5 million in order to build more units and deploy them across the country. The company claimed they would start breaking even when they had 365 units in operation.
The biggest red flag seemed to be that the dog houses were empty most of the day. The average daily usage was only 30 minutes. However, Chelsea said this was trending up because as consumers became more familiar with the units, usage was increasing.
Initially, all four investors seem excited to invest in the company. However, after realizing that over 60% of the revenue came from advertising, only one person ended up actually funding the business.
Listen to the whole episode at Gimlet Media.