Love dogs & cats? These 5 pet startups show how to mix business with pleasure
It’s a niche sector that purrs robustly at $1.22 billion, with an annual growth of over 35 percent according to a recent media report. The India pet care industry has skyrocketed with its diverse products available for those furry animals that love lolling around your home.
The industry is expected to cross $2.7 billion by 2019, according to a research curated by Indian Pet Food Market Forecast and Opportunities. So, it’s apt for startup India to look towards this sector as more and more families are adopting a pet.
Today, pet parents have a plethora of products and services to choose from, be it pet food, grooming, health or other services. Some of the prominent startups catering to these needs are DogSpot, TailsLife, and Heads Up For Tails.
Here are more startups that help you do all the pampering for those furballs:
Mumbai-based DoggieTheApp offers several services and is not only an app-based startup. Registered as Chien Technologies, the startup’s “home-boarding” feature lets those who want a pet, experiment if they are capable of looking after one for a short period. It also connects pet service providers with pet parents.
DoggieTheApp Founder Amit Verma with Spock, his pet cocker spaniel and the inspiration to start up.
"The biggest problem in today’s pet industry is the number of people who get a pet and then don’t know how to handle them,” says Amit.
The startup also provides a vet clinic management platform called VETolution.
With every prescription, a downloadable link to Doggietheapp is also sent, allowing pet parents to book appointments, view prescription, buy pet food, and avail other services through the platform.
Currently, it has a network of over 15 clinics in Mumbai. DoggieTheApp is also the official partner for Hollywood film A Dog’s Journey (2019) in India.
Pet parents can also subscribe for pet food, home grooming, and vet chat. While home grooming services range between Rs 800 and Rs 3,000, vet chat costs between Rs 50 and Rs 500.
The startup is inspired by Spock, Founder Amit Verma’s cocker spaniel, though its services cater to all types of pets. Currently, it has over 7,000 pets on board and more than 350 pet parents are paying customers.
Founders Yogendra Reddy and Govardhan Reddy noticed how popular social media platforms were filled with pictures and videos of dogs with many likes, yet there was no platform solely for mutts. In 2018, they came up with Boneafite, an all-inclusive social media app for dogs, dog lovers, and dog parents.
The Yoobikwiti-owned platform allows dog parents to post, compete, adopt and look up dog-related events and facts, with vendors offering dog-related services.
The Boneafite team
For vendors and service providers, it helps in targeted marketing, and connects them directly to customers. Their sponsored posts are listed in a repository titled “pupository” through which vendors can give out coupons for the Boneafite virtual bones (rewards earned on the app).
Additionally, dog lovers can browse through pictures and learn about their pets, and there is an option to adopt here as well. Within five months of operation, the app has been downloaded over 12,000 times, the startup claims.
Founded by Swaty Chandel in 2011, ecommerce platform Woofilicious came into being when Swaty wanted the best for her own pug Monk but found that lifestyle products and services for dogs were seriously lacking in India.
The pet parent, who was pursuing a masters in engineering from the US, brought back the diverse pet products she had seen there, and started up.
A look at the site is sure to surprise you as the range of products for pets is vast. Apart from regular products like collars, harnesses, and toys, it also has jackets, sweaters, and hoodies for winters, raincoats and booties for monsoon, mesh and cotton tees for summer, among other products.
While most products are imported, a few are locally produced and maintained by the vendor. Swaty is joined by social media marketer Swati Ramnath and Rohini Manyam in website management and everyday operations. Rohini had earlier worked for Precious Paws Foundation.
Fur Ball Story
Founded by Animesh Khatiyar, Shristi Sharma, and Arushi Dixit in 2016, the Gurugram-based startup Fur Ball Story provides pet therapy at educational institutes, corporate offices, hospitals, and even homes. Over the years, it has added to its list by providing services like home boarding and a dog’s café too.
Fur Ball Story with the team at Sequoia Capital
The therapy is based on Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) and Animal Assisted Activities (AAA) programmes where dogs or other animals are trained as therapist to help people cope with health problems. They faced challenges in finding professional trainers as there were only two to three in Delhi. The team also has to identify the right dog for therapy.
"At least two-three generations of the dog’s parents must be champions of obedient training," the Founders said.
The idea occurred to Animesh and Shristi when their college once brought two dogs to the campus. The two mutts had a surprisingly positive impact – they reduced absenteeism and cured homesickness.
The startup has now collaborated with Mumbai International Airport to provide therapy sessions during weekends so that stressed travellers who need to rejuvenate can avail their sessions.
For Love of All Pets (FLOAP)
The 27-year-old Shruthi Nithin founded FLOAP in 2018 to make pet parenting easier and build a community around pet parents. The platform connects pet parents and people who provide pet services and arranges a range of services through in-person visits and telephone calls.
Shruthi and her husband Nithin, with Charlie
Additionally, pet parents can attend “Pet Talks,” an awareness programme conducted by the startup where experts address topics such as animal therapy and nutrition. The Bengaluru-based startup has also partnered with Animal Angels Foundation, an NGO that focuses on Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT). Soon, FLOAP hopes to expand to Chennai, Delhi, Gurugram, and Mumbai.
(Edited by Suruchi Kapur Gomes)