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June 19, 2020









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Tracking the Pet Tech Industry

 

Wag’s dog walking service down 70% due to the coronavirus (pet services)

 

Wag, the popular dog walking platform, has seen demand for its core dog walking service down 70% due to the coronavirus.

In an interview with Built In, Wag’s COO Dylan Allread, indicated that the nationwide shelter-in-place orders have drastically reduced the need for third party dog walkers. In response to this lack of demand, the company has been rolling out new services to its customers.

Wag Health is a telehealth solution that is available as a monthly subscription service. Members get access to veterinary help through a chat feature on the Wag mobile app. The service saw a thousand pet health questions come in during the first week.

Wag is also offering pet food delivery and pet transportation services to its customers. Allread indicated that some of these new services were already in the works and some were created in direct response to the pandemic.

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Basepaws cat DNA kit sales are up during the pandemic (pet health)

California-based Basepaws, a DNA testing company for cats, announced that sales have increased during the coronavirus pandemic.  

Company founder Anna Skaya stated that the company received 450 requests for their DNA kits and cat coaching during the week of April 27. Skaya suggested that the DNA tests give cat owners peace of mind about their animal’s health during a time when access to vets are limited.

Basepaws DNA kits are priced at $99 and their cat coaching service is $10 per month.

The company received $250,000 in funding in exchange for 10% of the company during an appearance on Shark Tank in 2019. Robert Herjavec and Kevin O’Leary (Mr. Wonderful) joined together for the investment. Also in 2019, Basepaws landed a $125,000 in funding from the Purina Pet Care Innovation Summit.   
 

AutoPets, maker of the Litter-Robot, starts a cat subscription box service (pet gadgets)

 

Michigan-based AutoPets, maker of the popular smart kitty litter box Litter-Robot, has recently started a monthly subscription box for cats.

The company is selling the box though the website Litterbox.com, an eCommerce site for cat owners that it owns.  

AutoPets had a banner year in 2019, with sales exceeding $40 million and the employee headcount reaching 120. The company secured $31 million in equity financing from Chicago-based Pondera Holding in December 2019.

The company plans to begin shipping Feeder-Robot, a wifi enabled automatic pet feeder later this summer. 
 

BabelBark believes it can create a billion dollar pet business (apps)

Babelbark is an app that connects pet parents, pet businesses, vet clinics and shelters. But it has plans to be much more than that.

In an interview on the StartUp Diary podcast, CEO Roy Stein stated that the company believes that it can create a billion dollar platform business, along the lines of Etsy or Airbnb. A platform is a business model that connects consumers and producers in a marketplace.  

Stein also mentioned that the company had over 300,000 pet parent users and over 1,200 business clients. The app works on a freemium model for pet owners, who can upgrade for $2.65 per month. Veterinarian clients are charged $129 per month. Stein stated that the company will began expanding its platform into Europe this summer.

BabelBark raised $4.5 million in Series A financing in 2018, bringing its total funding amount to $8.6 million.
 

SpotOn, Wag and Small Door Veterinary team up to help NYC first responders 
(pet services, pet health)

Three NYC-based pet companies have joined together to help first responders and healthcare workers who provide assistance to COVID-19 situations.

Pet-friendly rideshare company SpotOn, Small Door Veterinary clinic and the dog-walking service Wag have created the Healthcare Heroes Package as a way to give back to NYC medical professionals trying to keep their fellow citizens sage.

The package includes a year’s free membership to Small Door, including 24/7 telemedicine, 30% of dog walks via Wag and 50% of all pet rides from SpotOn.

Thanks for reading!