Dog lovers, pay attention! If you have a kind heart, a loving home, and a desire to share it with a canine, Petdom could be what you are looking for. This pet adoption platform leverages technology to bring pets from individuals, animal shelters, ethical breeders, and NGOs under one virtual roof, making their discovery easy, and hastening the process of adoption.
A year ago, when Abhinav Tyagi wanted to bring home a dog, he wished to gather complete information on the pet he was going to adopt and looked up Google for an online platform that hosted such data. But he found nothing. The only online platforms that shared a little information were groups on OLX and Facebook.
The incident pushed him towards building a pet-related platform. In September 2015, Abhinav, with co-Founders Udit Agarwal and Neha Khandelwal, launched Petdom. The Delhi-based pet discovery platform doesn’t sell pets, but promotes animal adoption.
It has partnered with pet NGOs and is also reaching out to individual pet lovers. These NGOs and individuals upload all details about the pet on the platform, which helps others make decisions when it comes to adoption.
“We have collaborated with over 300 organisations such as People for Animal (PFA), Friendicoes, SPCA, Sanjay Gandhi Animal Shelters, and Sonadi to get their adoptable dogs listed. Currently, we have over 400 dogs listed on the platform and are aiming to take that number to 10,000-plus soon. In the last two months, we have received around 300 adoption enquiries and have helped 57 dogs find their deserving homes,” says Abhinav, 27, CEO of Petdom. Abhinav, who holds a degree in engineering, has worked as a product manager with companies like Bennett Coleman and Carwale.
He explains that he has tried to codify the behavioral parameters of different dog breeds, and assigned certain scores to each, which he then uses to suggest what dog would suit a prospective owner, depending upon their surroundings and purpose of adoption.
The platform has also collaborated with companies like Pedigree, which offers pet food samples to users; Creature Companion, a pet care magazine; and CollarFolk, a pet-friendly taxi service to transport pets from shelters.
So far, the co-founders have invested Rs 6 lakh in the platform, which has gone into product development, team-building, and marketing. Currently, a six-member team runs operations.
“We are a team of motivated and passionate entrepreneurs, engineers, and designers who are dedicated to the cause of finding pets loving homes in India. We combine our unique experience of working in product, business, design and technology companies and leverage our skills to make Petdom possible,” says Abhinav.
When asked about the revenue model, he says the platform is dependent on crowd-funding. Last month, he launched a crowd-funding campaign, from which he aims to raise a substantial amount to help another 500 dogs find good homes.
He reveals that since he has been able to create a buzz around Petdom, he plans to launch another platform soon, called Petwish, which will provide for the daily needs of a pet on subscription basis. Users can take monthly subscriptions for various food packages available for pets on the website.
“We are planning to expand to a subscription-based service for pet owners across the country. Users can either choose from recommended subscription boxes or customise their boxes based on the needs of pets. The user can also choose from pet-related services like training, walking and grooming as a part of the box,” explains Abhinav.
According to Euromonitor International, a global market research firm, the domestic product market for pets in India is expected to grow at 10-15 per cent in the coming years.
Every year, around 600,000 pets are adopted and this growing number is giving birth to various small and medium enterprises dealing in pet care. It is expected that the total sale of dog and cat food products this year will be worth $102.89 million.
Petdom may claim to be the first-of-its-kind adoption platform, however, its yet-to-be-launched Petwish has tough competition in the market. Woofbox and Wagbox are similar kinds of platforms in this segment. Besides, Pets World, Dogspot, Dogkart, Royalcanin, Petfoodsindia and many other well-established brands are catering to the pet food segment.
Despite the tall claims by industry players, the pet industry is still at a very nascent stage.
However, things are gradually changing on the ground. Investors, who have invested millions in other sectors, are showing some enthusiasm for this industry as well. Recently, online petcare platform Dogspot raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Ratan Tata and other investors such as Ronnie Screwala, K Ganesh, and India Quotient.
There are many potential players out there who aim to exploit the opportunity in this growing industry. They are hoping that investors will show more belief in the industry and help it to push upward.