May 29, 2020


Tracking the Pet Tech Industry


Former Mars Petcare Exec Accused of Stealing Secret Documents (pet health)

Mars Petcare has sued its former CFO and his new employer, JAB Holdings, accusing the exec of stealing more than 6,000 company documents and sharing them with his new colleagues.

JAB Holdings, primarily known for owning Panera Bread, Krispy Kreme, Einstein Bagels and other popular consumer brands, has denied the claim.

The stolen documents are probably related to vet clinics. While Mars and JAB are both conglomerates owning dozens of popular companies, the primary point of competition between the two is in the ownership of veterinary hospitals.

Mars owns a network of over 2,500 pet hospitals in the US and Europe, including the VCA, Banfield, AniCura, and Linnaeus chains.       

JAB Holdings recently entered this market, buying the 41-location Compassion-First Pet Hospital chain in February 2019 for $1.2 billion. Three months later JAB acquired National Veterinary Associates, which owned 800 vet hospitals in the US, Canada, Australia and Singapore.  

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US Pet Tech Products Grew 11% in 2019 
(pet cameras, trackers, smart feeders, gadgets)

US sales of smart pet products rose 11 percent in 2019, hitting $491 million, according to a recent report released by market research firm Packaged Facts.

While I didn’t buy the $4,500 report, the following tidbits were revealed online:

  • Containment, including invisible fencing systems and smart doors, was the largest category, accounting for 36% of tech product sales
  • Smart collars and tags represented the second largest category at 28%
  • Tech toys came in third at 21%
  • Pet cameras comprised 7%
  • Smart feeders was 5%
  • Smart litter boxes was last at 3%

Check out the full report here.

Startup Petzey Launches a Veterinary Telemedicine Service (pet health)

McKinney, Texas-based Petzey rolled out its new veterinary telehealth service last week.

Nice timing. The veterinary telemedicine market has seen demand skyrocket during the COVID-19 pandemic.  My article on trends in veterinary telehealth digs into the various companies and business models for this niche.

Petzey offers 24/7 access to veterinary experts for $20 per consultation. If a pet requires a higher degree of care, Petzey can refer to a local vet.

Bob Moran, the former Chairman and CEO of PetSmart is the chairman of the company.

Petzey joins Fuzzy Pet, whiskerDocs, PetCoach and InstaVet in delivering telemedicine to pets in the US and Canada.

Other News

  • Ryan Bethencourt, founder of Wild Earth Pet Food (pet food made without animals) is interviewed by Vegconomist.
  • Virtual Vet app wins Wharton Startup Competition (useless fact: the 2003 winners of this competition went on to start both Embrace Pet Insurance and PetPlan Pet Insurance.)  
  • Researchers at the University of Wisconsin found that cats can become infected with Covid-19. (Just don’t tell my cat or he will never leave the house.)
  • Pet Insurance market grew 21% in 2019 with US & Canada premiums hitting $1.7 billion. 

May 15, 2020