Wearable technology isn’t just for humans. A new generation of tech start-ups is targeting the pet product market, which is worth an estimated $50bn.
San Francisco-based Whistle launched a wireless fitness tracker for dogs on Wednesday (June 5) following a $6m investment from DCM Ventures, also based in San Francisco. Designed to spot canine health problems before they become too serious or expensive to treat, the $99.95 movement-tracking device attaches to the dog’s collar and sends the data to the owner’s smartphone.
Ben Jacobs, Whistle’s 26-year-old chief executive, said: “There are more dogs than children in the US,” and with ownership rising among single adults in the region, these consumers are more willing and able to spend larger sums on pet products.
Other ventures include online community DogVacay.com – described as ‘the Airbnb for dogs’ – allowing owners to leave their pets with vetted and insured dog-lovers when they go on holiday as an alternative to kennels. DogVacay recently secured a $7m investment.
See Stylus’ report Pet Design: A Growing Market for further inspiration.