October 28, 2022
DIG Labs, FurSure & Lyka
🐶 Industry News
– Recently spoke with Tara Zedayko, co-founder of DIG Labs, a startup bringing AI into the pet care world. After 14 years at Johnson & Johnson, Tara started DIG in 2019 based on her experiences trying to cure the digestive problems plaguing her 70-lb rescue pup. Using her science background, Tara created an app that could analyze pictures of dog poop to provide insights into gut problems and dietary issues. The plan was to give the app away for free and then offer pet supplements to treat the underlying condition.
After posting company updates on LinkedIn, Tara was approached by a few pet brands that wanted something similar: an app that could take images provided by customers, analyze the visual data, and suggest a course of action. Within a year, DIG pivoted from a DTC business to a B2B service. Today, Tara partners with companies that want to use customer images to solve problems. Call it image analysis as a service.
Tara is looking to connect with pet pharma and pet diagnostic companies that are interested in using customer-provided images to grow their business. She can be reached via LinkedIn or email and is happy to set up a demo.
– Plug and Play, a VC firm and accelerator, announced the winners of its latest animal health cohort. Pet companies include: PetHub (smart pet tags), Kibus (home dog food cooker), Mighty Petz (pet supplements), Protenga (pet food made from insects), Sphinx (smart wet-feeder for cats.)
– Pet Insurance News:
- Chewy, which entered the pet insurance market earlier this year through a partnership with Trupanion, is expanding its offerings by adding plans provided by Lemonade. Trupanion shares were down 10% on the news.
- Retailer Petco is teaming up with the Nationwide, the largest US pet insurer, in order to cross-promote to each other’s customer base.
- ManyPets, a UK-based pet insurer that entered the US market last year, has acquired Digital Edge Insurance Company, a move that will allow ManyPets to underwrite its own policies.
💰 Financing & Deals
• FurSure, a Miami pet insurance and mobile banking tool for pet parents, landed a Seed round of $3 million. Founded in 2020, the company has helped over 60,000 pet parents to date.
• GoDog, a dog daycare startup, raised $20 million in funding to expand nationally. Founded in 2018 by a father and son team, the company currently has three locations in Durham, Nashville and Chattanooga. The company offers services including boarding, daycare, grooming and training.