Pune-based Woofbnb aims to make the world friendly for pet loversSindhu Kashyaap
Woofbnb is an online platform geared to making it easier for all pet owners and lovers to fulfil their pet needs.
Thirty-two-year-old Khushboo Kumari realised the bitter truth that two realities existed in this world: one where pets, and animals in general are welcome, and the other where they are not. And the world is largely built for those who do not own pets. She had a hard time finding the right grooming services, or someone to look after her four-legged child when she was out of town.
As more people start adopting pets, the demand for services increases too. Anshul Goenka, 25-year-old MBA from Symbiosis Institute of Management Studies, faced the same issue. He as well as all his friends and family who were pet owners were unable to find any reliable pet service provider around them.
“Since all of us were working it became difficult to dedicate time for our pets. Therefore, the idea of Woofbnb came into existence. A one-stop destination for all your pet needs, delivered to the doorstep of pet owners,” says Anshul. Speaking to about 800 pet owners in Pune confirmed the problem was widespread.
So his idea took shape with friends, colleagues, professors, and associates chipping in to help set up Woofbnb in Pune.
Cracking the idea
What Woofbnb essentially does is help pet lovers and owners connect. Their services include grooming, veterinary, walking, pet sitting, as well as an online shop.
They started Woofbnb with only grooming services, while the other verticals were still under development. As of now Woofbnb has launched all verticals successfully and is serving 4,000 clients on a demand as well as subscription basis. “We are growing at 40 percent month-on-month basis and are seeing a surge with consumers becoming more aware of our services,” says Anshul.
Woofbnb works as any e-commerce portal when it comes to products. For services such as grooming and sitting, it works on an aggregator model, while the dog-walking service follows a monthly or yearly subscription.
On building the team, Anshul says,
“It was important for us to get right set of people working for us, who strongly believe in what we are trying to accomplish. Since trust plays a vital role in our business, our core team members are themselves genuine pet lovers too, who are naturally motivated towards achieving our mission, which is to make pet ownership easy and fun.”
Prodipto Roy has 25 years of experience spanning across startups, supply chain operations and retail. Supratik Ghatak is a tech advisor and techno-commercial professional with a passion for leveraging new-age technologies and methods. He is also an active member at TiE (The Indus Entrepreneurs) Pune Chapter and TiECon, Pune organising committee.
According to the recently published India Pet Food Market Forecast and Opportunities, 2019, the pet care and food market in India is projected to cross $270 million by 2019.
Globally, wag.com (acquired by Amazon), ZoopPlus (Europe), and PetsatHome have been successful vertical plays in the pet care category. Apart from these, there are Indian-funded players like Dogspot, Tailslife, and Heads Up for Tails that are standing out in the segment.
Dogspot claims to be the most visited pet portal in the country. It has delivered over 7,00,000 pet products across the country in 2015. Currently, it does about 60,000 orders on a monthly basis with an average basket size of Rs 1,700.
Then there is DogMyCats, whose founder also started by selling products door-to-door. There is also Tupi’s Dhaba that delivers home-cooked food for pets at the doorstep. If the numbers are to be believed, it is said that the Indian market has experienced a double-digit growth in this market.
A report by Euromonitor estimates that the market for pets products in India is going to grow at 10-15 percent in a few years. Also, on an average, close to 6,00,000 pets are adopted every year according to IIFT.
The major factors contributing to this exponential rise in demand include the rising number of nuclear families in urban areas and rising per capita disposable income. However, it still is a growing and niche market and is yet to reach international standards.
Anshul says that Woofbnb's one-stop solution for all pet needs, using a range of services delivered at the doorstep differentiates it from the other players. “Each vertical has a unique service model that ensures quality, affordability, and convenience to our clients,” adds Anshul.
Apart from their initial seed funding, Woofbnb is bootstrapped. They plan to scale up their operations in other cities — Mumbai, Delhi, and Bengaluru, soon.