A pet pulse
More than 23 million American households (or nearly 1 in 5) adopted a pet during the pandemic, according to the ASPCA, and despite a looming recession, money spent on pet care is showing no signs of letting up. Petco says the overall U.S. pet industry saw $72 billion in sales last year, a figure it expects to continue growing. Little surprise, then, that the tech industry keeps turning its attention (and its sprawling VC-backed budgets) to pets. Today, we’re looking at three startups that are innovating in the veterinary space.
PET HEALTH TRACKERS
How many times a day does your dog eat, drink, scratch, lick, or walk? Pet tech healthcare company Whistle wants to track all of that (and more) with their new AI-enabled, data-driven smart device for dogs. Think of it as an Oura for your canine. When paired with the companion app, the device can detect potential issues, like sudden changes in eating habits, and alert owners – who can then immediately connect with partner veterinarians through an in-app “Ask a Vet” feature. Using data compiled from more than 100,000 pets in its system, Whistle has also built AI capabilities that inform a personalized wellness report for each dog.
VET VIA APP
The Vets is a first-of-its-kind pet healthcare company that marries a tech-enabled pet healthcare platform with professional at-home care. The company, which closed a $40 million seed round earlier this year, has launched in 10 major cities, with plans to expand to 25 locations by the end of the year. The company’s roving veterinarians will arrive on-demand and can provide full diagnostics, such as blood work, from the comfort of your home. Like Whistle, The Vets is aggregating data from its network of pets to zero in on more accurate diagnoses and healthcare trends.
PET INSURANCE INNOVATIONS
If you have a pet, you probably know how complicated pet insurance is. And if you don’t have a pet, you’re probably thinking, “Insurance for pets? Really?” It’s a thing – and it’s a pain. Lassie, a startup out of Sweden that bills itself as “the world’s first preventative pet insurance and health platform,” hopes to make the pet insurance experience more seamless, more empathetic, and more transparent – all things it is currently not. More than simply offering coverage, Lassie aims to help owners become better pet parents through a customer-facing app that offers educational courses. As an incentive, completing lessons unlocks better prices of coverage.