Petnet closes seed funding round

Los Angeles-based connected pet device company Petnet has closed a $1.125 million seed funding round. The seed round was backed by Grishin Robotics, Kima Ventures, SparkLabs Global Ventures, and Launch Capital.

PRESS RELEASE

Petnet, a Los Angeles based connected pet device company, announced today that it closed a $1.125 million seed funding round. The seed series includes investments by Grishin Robotics, Kima Ventures, SparkLabs Global Ventures, and Launch Capital. The funding will be used to commercialize Petnet’s first product – The Petnet Smartfeeder – an intelligent pet feeder scheduled to ship to customers in mid-2014.

Today’s pet industry is $100B USD globally, and is made up of over 1 billion domesticated cats and dogs. Feeding plays a central role in the health of a pet, however, most people don’t have the information or time to properly manage their pet’s diet – this leads to numerous health problems. An estimated 54% of dogs and cats in the US are overweight or obese directly due to overeating and the way we feed our pets, and this is quickly becoming a global trend. Overweight pets are at increased risk for weight-related disorders such as osteoarthritis, hypertension, and many cancers, all of which can cost thousands of dollars to treat over a pet’s lifetime.

Dmitry Grishin, founder of Grishin Robotics noted that, “even the simplest things around us are quickly becoming robots these days. Through unique combinations of powerful hardware, smart software, and internet-connectivity, Petnet is a perfect example of this trend. I am confident in the company’s ability to successfully tackle the worldwide pet health challenge and disrupt the multi-billion dollar industry”.

Petnet has received over 10,000 orders for the Petnet SmartFeeder. This first product is a pet feeder with intelligent sensor technology, learning algorithms, and processing power that assesses the dietary requirements of a pet, creates a custom feeding schedule to meet those requirements, alerts pet owners when their pet has been fed and even reminds owners to purchase more food when they run low. The SmartFeeder can be accessed and controlled by any smartphone, tablet or computer, allowing all pet caregivers to monitor and/or adjust feeding schedules, compare their pets’s diet to other similar pets, order food, and more.

Net Jacobsson, former Facebook executive and now Co-founder and General Partner at SparkLabs Global Ventures stated, “Our team is a big believer in the Internet of Everything and our investment in Petnet reflects this vision and strategy. We love their SmartFeeder product, its design, features and vision to capture a global market”.

Petnet was initially funded and incubated at Bolt (www.bolt.io), a seed-stage fund in Boston that invests capital, personnel, equipment, and expertise in hardware startups. Going forward, Petnet will use its seed investment to enhance its core feeding technology, grow its team, and develop other confidential projects, in addition to expanding commercialization of the SmartFeeder.

Having grownup in Los Angeles, Petnet’s CEO, Carlos Hererra, is passionate about bringing the Massachusetts heritage of robotics to Downtown Los Angeles. He states, “LA has tremendous hardware talent with students from Cal Tech, Harvey Mudd, UCLA, and USC, but those students end up finding jobs in other cities where robotics are fostered – We are trying to change that with Petnet.” Beyond creating jobs, Petnet wants to go a step further and mentor local high school students in the Los Angeles Unified School District.

About Petnet:
Petnet’s vision is to revolutionize the way people care for their pets and spark modernization of the entire pet industry. The Petnet team is comprised of talented individuals who are committed to developing innovative products designed to improve the lives of pets and pet parents. Feeding plays a central role in the life of a pet, and is the most important aspect to influence when trying to improve their health. There are numerous pet-health problems associated with things like over-feeding and/or feeding your pet non-nutritious foods. Petnet wanted to go a step beyond being a food dispenser, and get to affecting portion size, offering healthier food alternatives, allowing pet parents to create a feeding regimen that works for their pet – all while providing pet parents peace of mind – hence Petnet was born!

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