Leap Venture Studio Welcomes Fourth Cohort of Innovative Pet Care Startups
The Leap Venture Studio is proud to announce the eight pet care startups that are joining its fourth cohort. The startups — coming from five different countries — were chosen for their unique products and services that are forging new trails in the $100 billion pet care industry.
The emotional comfort and support of our pets has been the one constant during a year of pandemic, economic upheaval, and more. With huge increases in the adoption of dogs and cats — the Los Angeles chapter of the society for the prevention of cruelty to animals reports there were, on average, nearly a dozen adoptions a day in 2020 — the need for new and impactful pet care solutions is bigger than ever before. The fourth cohort represents the pet care trends of the future: artificial intelligence-enabled technology, vegan pet food and treats, holistic and nutritional wellness options for all pet parents, and pet friendly travel.
Here are the incredible startups and founders joining the Leap Venture Studio portfolio:
- Oliver Pets (Mexico City, Mexico and Buenos Aires, Argentina): Oliver Pets is the all-in-one service platform that makes pet parenting more simple and fun.
- Pebble Naturals (Moss Beach, California): Pebble helps shelters save money on drugs by connecting them directly to manufacturers.
- Petaluma, Inc. (Oakland, California): Petaluma is a public benefit corporation that formulates sustainable dog nutrition with environmentally-friendly and animal-free ingredients.
- petNmind Naturals (Coconut Creek, Florida): petNmind’s mission is to enhance the bond between pets and their humans by focusing on quality products, insightful education, simple pet-washing services, and local product delivery, which creates peace of mind for pet parents and a healthy lifestyle for pets.
- The Bark Shoppe (New York City): The Bark Shoppe is a premier pet care company specializing in pet grooming. They aim to standardize and certify pet groomers with their flagship grooming school and online training platform.
- THE PACK. (London): THE PACK are on a mission to cook-up delicious, drool-inducing plant-based meals for every dog-bowl in the world. A kind that’s better for dogs, and their planet too.
- Toletta Cats Inc. (Fujisawa, Japan): Toletta® is a “smart” cat litter box capable of detecting early symptoms of common feline diseases, without the stress of a veterinarian visit.
- Woof Together (Athens, Greece): Woof Together is an innovative startup setting the standards in pet-friendly hospitality by assessing, certifying, and training pet-friendly hospitality businesses.
The Leap Venture Studio is the first pet care-specific startup accelerator and represents Kinship, a division of Mars Petcare, and Michelson Found Animals’ commitment to improving the lives of pets and their owners. This year’s program takes place virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In a positive and ironic twist, the pandemic caused the implementation of travel restrictions, thereby allowing Leap to attract an even more diverse and international set of startup founders. “This unique group of companies may not have been realized had our travel not been limited,” said Brett Yates, CEO of Michelson Found Animals. “And we can already expect that these incredible companies will make a lasting change in the pet care industry.”
“It is clear that innovation in pet care is happening in every corner of the world,” said Asad Butt, Director of Ventures and Partnerships of Kinship. “We are proud that this year’s Leap cohort is representative of those trends.”
The eight companies are joining us from around the world to grow their companies with the support of R/GA Ventures. Each company will work with a curated team of R/GA strategists, technologists, designers, and consultants and receive mentorship from executives at Kinship and Michelson Found Animals. The goal of the program is for each company to enhance their business plans, prepare for fundraising milestones, and establish minimum viable brands. Additionally, each company received an investment of up to $200,000 for being accepted into the Studio.
The Leap Venture Studio will culminate in an online pitch event where the companies will present to investors, industry leaders, and the startup community in May.