Pet startups have a field day


Over the fourth on the July weekend, Americans filled airports and highways almost as much as they did the holidays before the pandemic. For many people, a hectic weekend trip will be followed by a return to the office and other activities outside the home. This transition period raises many important questions, including: What will happen to all pets?

The past 18 months have been filled with reports of increasing adoption rates and breeder extension waiting lists while the Americans searched for furry companions during the lock. The business is also booming for pet-oriented startups. Sales of pet food and supplies Chewy, Amazon, rose 51 percent in Q4, according to the latest data earnings report. Barkbox, which sells personalized boxes of dog toys and treats, reported 264,000 new monthly subscribers in Q4 – an increase of 72 percent over last year. Pawsh, an app that matches dog owners with groomers, saw customer growth of 125 percent between March and June last year; two-thirds of new users were pet owners for the first time. “Dog adoption became a trend during the pandemic,” says Pawsha co-founder Karthik Naralasetty.

“Our hypothesis is that the group waiting for the pandemic to adopt a pet may be more frequent travelers or people who work longer hours, which could be why they didn’t have a pet before,” says Aaron Easterly, Rover’s pet executive. If these people start resting again or working longer hours in the office, they may be entering a new chapter in their lives as pet owners, with new challenges – demanding new solutions, which startups can offer. Rover, an app for finding walkers and dog keepers, says it experienced its biggest month ever in May, booking more than $ 45 million in services. (While some are concerned about unprepared pet owners who will give their dogs away, animal welfare groups have said so New York Times there was no such jump.)

Caring for pets was already a U.S. industry worth $ 100 billion before the pandemic. Recent report Morgan Stanley estimates that number could triple in the next decade, which would dramatically increase growth. “We think that the American pet industry has reached a turning point,” wrote one analyst, and they are not alone. Investors from venture capital and private equity are snooping for the next big thing, whether it’s luxury items like gourmet dog food or more basic necessities like grooming services. In 2020, VC’s interest in pet-focused startups grew 29.5 percent from the previous year and does not seem to be slowing down.

“In places like San Francisco, there are more pets than children,” says David Cane, vice president of Wag, a dog walking app. These cities could be fertile ground for other business opportunities, such as pet care provided by an employer. Wag is now negotiating to offer walking and sitting dogs as a corporate benefit “with some organizations in the Gulf area that employ thousands of people,” says Cane, who declined to name certain companies because the deals were not finalized.

Investors are not only attracted to the growing number of pet owners; it is also the relationship that these owners have with their pets. For many people, pets have become another member of the family. “It developed more into this parental relationship,” says the Risen One. “Pet owners emphasize finding the right training techniques, whether dog food with cereals is good or bad. A lot of the stress you see with parenting human children you now see in the pet industry. “Especially for first-time pet owners, these stresses can be alleviated with new products and services. The amount households spend on pet care has been steadily rising since well before the pandemic,” Morgan Stanley said.

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