June 24, 2022
Adoptimize, Pawlicy Advisor & Dog is Human
🐶 Industry News
– Spoke this week with Jessica Schleder, the founder of Adoptimize, a startup that works with shelters and rescues. Jessica has an MBA from USC and was working in marketing when she began volunteering at a local animal shelter. She quickly discovered how difficult it was to get a good pet photo to post online. (The better the photo, the greater the chance a dog or cat has of being adopted.) This led her to start Adoptimize – a tool that creates high quality intake photos, and is currently used by several hundred organizations.
Working with shelters, she realized the biggest problem they faced was a lack of funding. This led her to create Recipawsity, a service that ships a free coffee mug with a personalized pet portrait to new pet parents shortly after they adopt. The recipients are then encouraged to make a donation to the shelter. Jessica monetizes the process by selling leads to pet brands, including telehealth and pet insurance companies. The service has proven to be a hit, with 50 shelters signed up and another 100 shelters on a wait list. Jessica is looking to connect with pet brands interested in getting front of new pet parents.
– Dogo, a popular dog training app, is partnering with veterinary telehealth startup Barkibu, so that users of the app can access Barkibu’s AI-powered symptom checker. Dogo gets more than 100,000 downloads every month.
– Fortune profile of the founder of Maev, an Austin DTC startup that ships raw dog food. Founded in 2018, the company doubled its subscriber base in the first quarter of 2022, when it served 1 million meals during that timeframe.
💰 Financing & Deals
• JAB, a Luxembourg-based investment group, is expanding its reach in the pet industry by acquiring two more pet insurance companies: Crum & Forster Pet Insurance and PetHealth, for $1.4 billion. Last year, JAB purchased pet insurers FIGO and Cardif Pinnacle. JAB also owns 1,400 vet clinics across the globe.
• Pawlicy Advisor, a New York-based pet insurance marketplace, raised a $12 million Series B round. The company has recently begun partnering with large vet practices to educate pet owners about insurance. Founded in 2018, the company has raised $20 million to date.
• Dog is Human, a NYC startup that makes supplements for dogs, closed a $1.2 million pre-Seed round. Founded in April by a couple of University of Chicago graduates, the company received funding from Ben Weiss, the entrepreneur who founded beverage company Bai Brands
🤷 Somewhat Relevant
• Pet Screening, a startup that helps property managers handle tenants with pets, launched a free “Amber Alert for Pets” service.
• +Kota, the second largest pet retailer in Mexico, has filed for bankruptcy. (Petco is the largest pet chain in Mexico.)
• Meta Dog World, a startup based in the British Virgin Islands, has launched a blockchain-based video game that races virtual NFT dogs in the metaverse. I am not making this up.