This online petcare startup teaches you how to train your pets
It is not easy being a pet parent. Single-handedly caring for one’s fur babies and navigating the confusing online world of pet food and supplies makes the task a difficult one indeed. Bengaluru-based petcare platform, however, promises to ensure a smooth journey.
Launched in 2021 by Vineet Khanna, Varun Sadana, and Aman Tekriwal, the startup provides veterinary care, pet food and supplies, and offers pet training sessions as well.
“Supertails is the first-of-its-kind platform that supports the ever-increasing pet parent community by providing trustworthy veterinary care and is a one-stop solution for pet food and supplies. Supertails stands apart as a fully digital tele-health consultation service with a team of highly experienced in-house veterinarians. With doorstep delivery service available across the country, the brand aims to bring the largest assortment of pet supplies from India and across the globe,” Varun tells YSWeekender.
The Supertails team comprises of multiple entrepreneurs. Vineet Khanna was previously the SVP of Licious and the AVP of Snapdeal; Varun Sadana was the co-founder of Licious and VP of Snapdeal; and Aman Tekriwal was the CFO of Licious.
The founding team also includes Dr Shantanu Kalambi, the founder of Dial-a-vet, who is the Chief Veterinarian at Supertails. Apart from establishing a tele-health service for pets, he has also worked on a variety of animal welfare and conservation projects with ReefWatch Marine conservation, Wildlife Trust of India and CUPA.
Unnati Hunjan, the founder of Therapeutic Paws, an Animal Assisted Therapy venture in Bengaluru; and Sagar Sheth, the founder of Animapp, a veterinary clinic management software company in Chennai, are other members of the team.
“Each one of us has a relentless passion for the petcare ecosystem and share a vision to make India a pet-friendly nation. This is what unites our team of petcare experts and enthusiasts,” says Varun.
Varun says his MBA degree from IIM Lucknow and decade-long experience in the FMCG and retail spaces have helped in his entrepreneurial journey so far. He has worked with brands such as Hindustan Unilever, Snapdeal, and IBM, to name a few. According to him, he aims to reimagine petcare in India with Supertails by bridging the accessibility gap in pet healthcare and creating an ecosystem of products and services that make pet parenting a smooth and enriching experience.
He explains, “The pandemic led to more people adopting pets because the lockdowns brought a feeling of isolation and mental health issues for a lot of people. That was the period when pets played a crucial role in their life. Another interesting factor was the extra time people had while working from home. This made taking care of a new family member an easier experience.”
A large set of new pet parents are GenZ and they are curious and want more credible information around raising a pet. This is the first generation looking at pet parenthood as a concept in itself and actively moving away from the previously popular idea of ‘pet ownership’.
According to researchandmarkets.com, the overall petcare market in India is expected to cross Rs 7,500 crore by the end of the year 2025-26. Emerging global trends and rising disposable incomes are prime reasons for this growth.
“We raised an investment of $2.6 million in our pre-series A round even before our launch from Saama Capital, DSG Consumer Partner, Whiteboard Capital, Sauce VC, Titan Capital, KA Ventures as well as from top angel investors such as Vivek Gupta and Abhay Hanjura, Founders of Licious; Pankaj Naik of Avendus; and Tej Kapoor of Fosun Capital, among others. After this, we raised a venture debt of Rs 5.75 crore from Alteria Capital,” shares Varun.
Since its inception in July 2021, Supertails has catered to more than 10,000 pet parents, and has completed over 5,000 consultations covering healthcare and online training services.
When asked about competitors, Varun points to established names in the business like Headsupfortails, PetSutra, and Amazon, but says, “We are different from these platforms as we are a one-stop petcare platform, which provides an array of pet supplies along with high quality digital services such as healthcare and online training. Our biggest differentiation is our ability to provide trusted information and advice that is lacking in the lives of new pet parents, which will make their pet parenthood enjoyable and wholesome.”
As it continues to grow, the Indian market is likely to see the arrival of more D2C brands from nutritional foods to accessories and toys. Another expected trend, according to Varun, is GenZ changing the outlook of this market as it seeks companionship, leading to an increase of more than 15 percent in the dog adoption rate. Lastly, the packaged food market is also expected to grow further based on two prongs – as existing pets continue to grow and new pets are added to the family.
Virtual pet training
One of the prominent services that sets the startup apart from others in this field is Supertails’ online dog training service. Aimed to be ‘a complete digital solution for young pet parents’ through dedicated sessions with pet behaviour experts, this service assists pet parents in understanding and communicating with their pets. According to the startup, this is the first service of its kind to be offered in India.
“Supertails has designed this solution specifically for a generation that expects and looks for accessible, expert-led solutions online, with an inhouse team of pet behaviour experts ready to help the parents at their convenience. The service is unique, where pet behaviour experts focus on making the pet parent understand their pet better and in turn train their pet themselves. This eliminates one of the biggest challenges of traditional pet training services, where a pet gets used to following only the trainer and not the parent. The focus is on the pet’s relationship with its parents,” explains Varun.
Their training service offers 13 modules spread across five levels and includes skills such as potty training, obedience training, and others.
Word of mouth and referrals of satisfied customers have been the biggest crowd-pullers for Supertails so far, evident from the fact that they have consistently been rated 4.9 out of 5 for their vet consultation services.
Virtual training comes with a free training assessment of each pet parent to help the Supertails team understand training needs. The modules cost Rs 399 per session. Varun highlights that this is an introductory price, which will change soon.
“We always like to approach things from the perspective of the customer. We strongly believe that all forms of training can be delivered online, but during this journey, if we discover aspects of training which can’t be addressed in online format, we shall venture into physical training services as well,” says Varun.
Edited by Megha Reddy