10 promising pet startups that are keeping pets and pet lovers happy during the pandemic

If you’ve been spending more time (and money) on your pets recently, then you’re not alone. Whether your animal companions are furry, feathery or scaly, it’s natural to focus more attention on them when isolating at home, and equally understandable to reach deeper into your wallet to keep them entertained and happy. 

European pet startups have been joyfully riding this renewed wave of interest, and quite curiously, we’re seeing a flurry of growth in sectors that mirror current human needs. Trends like telemedicine, personalised healthy food boxes and home deliveries are crossing over to the pet world, and the pet-tech founders that were ahead of the game before the pandemic started are now reaping the benefits. More than a few pet startups have landed funding since the lockdown began, and this shows no signs of stopping.

We’ve scouted out the most promising startups that were founded in the last 5 years and are currently growing their team size in leaps and bounds, as well as closing funding rounds fast. Take a look at these promising young teams to get an understanding of what’s ‘hot’ in the pet-tech scene right now, as well as get some ideas on how to treat your own four- or two-legged friends at home.

FirstVet – Founded in 2017, this Stockholm-based team offers a digital veterinary clinic for their users. How do they do this? Via short video consultations between pet owners and veterinarians, which are perfect for self-isolation, as well as being enabling more cost and time efficiency. The startup has been growing its team quickly throughout the pandemic, having now reached 80+ people.

Barkyn – Porto-based Barkyn was set up by dog owner André Jordão, to bring some warmth back into the online pet market, with customised food and 24/7 vet access. Last year we interviewed André about how they were then experiencing a 300% annual growth rate. Since then the startup is riding a stronger boost having just landed €5 million funding this June 2020, and having grown their team too.

Mascoteros – Barcelona-based startup Mascoteros is a marketplace for startups, in Spanish bringing together pet passion and innovation for users. Founded in 2015, the team offers items for dogs, cats, birds, rodents, fish, reptiles and horses, as well as services like vets, trainers and groomers, all accessible by the website or app. The Spanish startup just landed 1 million seed funding in May 2020, and is also growing its team fast!   

KatKin – Cat-first startup KatKin was born in the UK just last year, and has already grown a team of around 15 people. Brother and sister co-founder team Nikki and Brett started the venture as they realised that cat food was not good quality or nutritional. Now, they offer 95% real meat home delivery meals, with personalised features. They raised around 5 million in funding just recently to expand to bring their purrfect kitty meals to more cat families across the UK.

Butternut Box – London-based startup Butternut are on a similar mission with dog food, aiming to cut out all the nasties and bring man’s best friend the healthiest, most natural food possible. If your dog is lucky enough to get one of these boxes, they’ll be treated with a gently cooked, grain and filler-free, taste-tested meal, suitable for even the fussiest of pups. We featured Butternut in our 2018 pet-tech startups to watch list, and they’re continuing to grow fast and hire new team members for expansion, despite the pandemic. 

Pet Buddy – This Stockholm-based startup is bringing that famous Nordic design to the pet food market. With a subscription-based service, their personalised food is slowly oven-baked and made with only natural ingredients, including superfoods like berries. Founded in 2018, the team includes a bunch of humans and 4 dogs, and is growing by the month, having just landed around €915K in July 2020.

Bella and Duke – British pet-tech startup Bella and Duke are offer a raw dog food subscription service, to help dogs thrive. Founders Mark and Tony lost their dogs to cancer, and since discovering that the processed food they were eating could have contributed, have set out to improve the situation for dogs far and wide. Compared to their competitors, they don’t cook their foods, based on the evolutionary raw feeding template of wolves. The UK-based team has grown its team to around 22, and also just landed around €3.8 million funding in March 2020.

Alvarpet – Helsinki-based Alvarpet have been on a mission to minimize carbon paw prints, since 2019. What does this mean exactly? From the food sourced for their bowl, to the transport bringing it to your door, it can be hard to ensure that our pup’s care is planet-friendly. Your pooch will get a personalised diet of sustainable ingredients, regularly delivered to your doggie doorstep. The team recently landed €1 million, and are currently growing their team on their LinkedIn.

PetMedix – PetMedix was founded in Cambridge in 2016, as a biotech veterinary company. Our dogs and cats suffer many of the same health problems as we do, such as cancer, allergies, arthritis, and many more, however human medicines can’t be applied. To fix this and stop our pets suffering needlessly, their team is innovating in species-specific antibodies for use in veterinary medicines. Over the last 12 months, PetMedix has been growing fast and actually doubled in size. To top this off, the team recently raised funding from Cambridge Innovation Capital to push forward further emerging animal health,

Dinbeat Spanish startup Dinbeat specializes in the development of innovative tech products for your furry friends. Founded in 2016, last year it launched ‘Dinbeat UNO’, a wearable device for professional veterinary use, that wirelessly monitors pets’ health in real time and when they’re not sedated, gathering information about electrocardiogram, heart rate, respiration per minute and temperature, among other metrics. The team successfully closed its second investment round of €500K just recently in June.

By the way: If you’re a corporate or investor looking for exciting startups in a specific market for a potential investment or acquisition, check out our Startup Sourcing Service!