With 75m cats and 65m dogs in Europe, pet tech is a market ripe for hypergrowth. It stands at the crossroads of several trends that startups can capitalise on: millennials putting off having children and adopting “fur babies” instead, healthy, eco-conscious eating being extended to pets as much as people, the growth of direct-to-consumer deliveries, plus a pile of tech and telecoms advances that make new types of tracking and on-line communications possible for pets.
But we’ve yet to see very large pet tech companies emerge in Europe. The US has seen a number of startups such as Rover and Wag receive large funding rounds and high valuations, but the European market appears to be at an earlier stage, with smaller deals and a more dispersed market.
What needs to be done to create Europe’s first pet tech unicorn?
We gathered a panel of experts including Alex Thurstan, cofounder of gourmet pet food company Different Dog, Andre Jordao, cofounder and CEO of food and veterinary advice company Barkyn; Staffan Helgesson, general partner at Creandum (investor in FirstVet) and Garyth Stone, managing director at Houlihan Lokey (who sold Tails.com and Lily’s Kitchen to Nestle) to answer the question.